David Byrne receives national 2013 Carroll R. Miller Award for peach research

COLLEGE STATION — Dr. David Byrne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist in College Station, has received the Carroll R. Miller Award from the National Peach Council.

The award was established in memory of Miller of Martinsburg, W.V., a founding member and first president of the peach council, according to the group’s website. The award is given “to encourage and recognize noteworthy research relating to improved marketing and utilization of peaches and/or peach products.”

Byrne, who researches stone fruit and roses, was cited for his recent introduction of four new peach varieties suitable for growing in areas that do not receive the cold temperatures that most other peach varieties need to produce.

Dr. David Byrne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research peach breeder, examines trees in his plot in College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kathleen Phillips)

Dr. David Byrne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research peach breeder, examines trees in his plot in College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kathleen Phillips)

He said they are the first series low-acid white peaches for warmer climates.

“These releases are part of several decade-long projects in which I’ve been developing a range of stone fruit types adapted to the warm winter regions of the world,” Byrne said.

He is currently in the process of releasing a series of yellow peaches, nectarines and flat peaches adapted for such regions. He has also actively investigated the origin of peach germplasm and, with various collaborators, has documented the health benefits of eating peaches and plums.

Byrne received his bachelor’s in plant science from Rutgers University in 1975 and his doctorate in plant breeding in 1980 from Cornell University.

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