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Michael R. Evans

Michael Evans
185 Ag Quad Lane, 328 Smyth Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Formerly the director of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, I am currently conducting research in controlled environment agriculture, focusing on the production of crops such as lettuce, herbs, medicinal plants, and strawberries in soilless and hydroponic systems within greenhouses, factories, and vertical farms.


  • Controlled Environment Agriculture


  • Ph.D. Horticulture, University of Minnesota, 1990
  • M.S. Horticulture, University of Minnesota, 1987
  • B.A. Horticulture, Virginia Tech, 1985

My research is focused on the production of lettuce and herbs in NFT systems with a focus on nutrient management as well as maximizing production with minimal inputs (e.g. energy and nutrients). My program is focused on the economical production of small fruits such as strawberry and blackberry in greenhouse. Research is focused on techniques to maximize economic returns by reducing cropping time and maximizing yields as well as on pest management.

Guest lectures in Greenhouse Management and advising undergraduate and graduate students on research projects.

April 1, 2018 – present
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences,
Virginia Tech

April 1, 2018 – July 1, 2024
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences,
Virginia Tech

Interim Associate Dean
August 15, 2016 – March 31, 2018
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural Food and Life Sciences

July 1, 2009 – August 15th, 2016
Department of Horticulture
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Associate Professor
April 1, 2001 – July 1, 2009
Department of Horticulture
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Assistant Professor 
March 1, 1994 to March 31, 2001
Department of Horticulture
Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist
July 1, 1990 to February 15, 1994
Environmental Horticulture Department
University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton, FL 34203.

  • Alex Laurie Award for outstanding research publication, 2011
  • John W. White Outstanding Teaching Award. University of Arkansas, 2011
  • Outstanding Club Advisor. Presented by the Iowa State University Ag Council, 1997
  • Alex Laurie Award for best research paper publish in ASHS journals in 1992, 1993
  1. Evans, M.R. B.E. Jackson, M. Popp and S. Sadaka. 2017. Chemical properties of biochar materials manufactured from agricultural products common to the southeast United States. HortTechnology 27(1):16-23.
  2. Chitwood. J, A. Shi, M. Evans, C. Rom, E. Gbur, D. Motes, P. Chen and D. Hensley. 2016. Effect of temperature on seed germination in spinach (Spinacia oleracea). HortScience 51(12):1475-1478.
  3. Bortolini, L. C. Nicoletto, P. Sambo and M.R. Evans. 2016. Radicchio cultivation under different sprinkler irrigation systems. Contemporary Engineering Sciences 9(7):345-355.
  4. Shoulders, C. W., Evans, M. R., Lolley, M. C., & Currey, C. J. 2016. A description of national horticulture curriculum for greenhouse food crop production. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal (NACTA) 60(1):82-85.
  5. Conneway, R., S. Vertlinden, A.K. Koeser, M.R. Evans, R. Schnelle, V. Anderson and J.R. Stewart. 2015. Use of alternative containers for long-and short-term greenhouse crop production. HortTechnology 25:26-34.
  6. Evans, M.R., A.K. Koeser, G. Bi, S. Nambuthiri, R. Geneve, K. Jacobsen, S.T. Lovell and J.R. Stewert. 2015. Impact of biocontainers with and without shuttle trays on water use in the production of containerized ornamental greenhouse crop. HortTechnology 25:35-41.
  7. A. Bassan, P. Sambo, G. Zanin and M.R. Evans. 2014. Rice hull-based substrates amended with anaerobic digested residues for tomato transplant production. ActaHorticulturae 1018:573-581.
  8. Evans, Michael R. 2014. Efficacy of ground fresh rice hulls as a substrate component using overhead and ebb-and-flood irrigation systems. Acta Horticulturae 1034:241-247
  9. Koeser, A.K., S.T. Lovell, M.R. Evans and J.R. Stewart. 2013. Biocontainer water use in short-term greenhouse crop production. HortTechnology 23(2):215-219.