James F. Hancock received his BS in Biology from Baldwin Wallace College (Berea, Ohio), a MS in Botany at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and a Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of California, Davis. After a short stint in the Biology Department at the University of South Carolina, he moved to Michigan State University (MSU) as an assistant professor of Horticulture, where he was for over thirty years, being promoted to Professor in 1986. He was the Director of the Plant Breeding and Genetics Program at MSU from 2004 to 2009. The emphasis of his research has been on the breeding and genetics of blueberries and strawberries, and he has published prodigiously in these areas. His previous books have been “The Strawberry”, “The Blueberry” (with Jorge Retamales), “Plantation Crops: Power and Plunder, Evolution and Exploitation”, “Plant Evolution and the Origin of Crop Species” and Spices, Scents and Silks: Catalysts of World Trade. He has also edited “Temperate Fruit Crop Genetics: Germplasm to Genomics”, and “Environmental Biosafety” (with Rebecca Grumet, Karim Maredia and Cholani Weebadde). He is a University Distinguished Professor at MSU, fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, Wilder medal recipient of the American Pomological Society, a former Fulbright Fellow to Chile and received the Technology Transfer Achievement Award from the Innovation Center of MSU for his blueberry cultivar releases. Jim now lives in Maine where he works as a freelance writer of history, is active in a number of conservation organizations and advises in blueberry genetics.
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