College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
Plants, Soils and Climate
Dr. Brent Black grew up in Eastern Idaho, where both of his parents were college professors (and USU alumni). From an early age, he was interested in plants and was particularly fascinated by how some plants survived the harsh East Idaho winters. From these early experiences, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and study Horticulture with an emphasis in Plant Physiology.
While completing his undergraduate degree in Plant and Soil Science at USU, he became particularly interested in fruit crops. After USU, Brent pursued an M.S. degree in Horticulture at Michigan State University, then a PhD in Plant Physiology at Oregon State University and the University of Maryland. The next stop was as a Research Scientist at the USDA’s flagship Henry A. Wallace Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. There he studied how the physiology of berry crops were affected by crop management practices.
After six years with USDA, he was interested in new challenges and specifically in more direct interaction with commercial fruit growers and with students. He found these opportunities as the Extension Fruit Specialist at his alma mater. Current research interests include precision tart cherry management, tree fruit rootstocks, and developing and adapting alternative crops.