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About Dean A. Kopsell

Dr. Kopsell's research program emphasizes cultural, environmental, and genetic influences on the phytonutritional value of vegetable crops. Current research projects have focused on genetic and environmental factors that affect the accumulation of lutein/zeaxanthin and beta-carotene carotenoids in the leafy vegetable crops of kale, spinach, parsley, and basil. Data showing genetic and environmental effects on phytochemical content in vegetable crops is promising and may lead to changes in production practices. Dr. Kopsell's research program includes collaboration with food scientists and nutritionists to help identify bioavailability and impacts of phytonutritionally enhanced crops. Other areas of interest include the enhancement of essential mineral elements (such as Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Se, and Zn) in economically important vegetable crops.


Present Associate Professor of Vegetable Crop Physiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Co-author of article selected for a press release by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). Article: Farnham, M.W. and D.A. Kopsell. 2009. Importance of Genotype on Carotenoid and Chlorophyll Levels in Broccoli Heads. HortScience 44(5):1248-1253.
  • Selected as the University of Tennessee’s Quest Scholar of the Week for August 30th to September 5th, 2009 by the UT Knoxville Office of Research. The Scholar of the Week highlights the work of a faculty member at UT Knoxville who is doing outstanding work regardless of the field. Only one individual campus-wide is honored each week.
  • Recipient of the 2009 T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award. This award is given annually by The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in recognition of outstanding research achievement. The award is presented to a young scientist who has less than 12 years of professional experience beyond the terminal degree, with a minimum of 5 years of service on the agricultural faculty of The University of Tennessee. To be eligible, a person must not have exceeded his/her 45th birthday by June 30 of the year of award. In addition, the faculty member must also have an appointment such that 50% of the annual time commitment is administered by either the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and/or UT AgResearch.
  • Mentor to Kristin Abney (M.S. Candidate), who was awarded 1rd place in the Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants Graduate Student Poster Competition sponsored by the Coke-Cola Company at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science. St. Louis, MO. July 25-28.
  • Lead author of the manuscript entitled, “Increase in nutritionally important sweet corn kernel carotenoids following mesotrione and atrazine applications” published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Published manuscript was selected for a press release by the American Chemical Society in their ACS News Service Weekly PressPac for July 8, 2009. The ACS PressPac contains reports of research selected from 34 peer-reviewed ACS journals and Chemical & Engineering News. This weekly service provides leads on the latest advances in science and their impact on the business world. The summary is distributed to over 2000 media outlets world-wide. The manuscript authors were: Kopsell, D.A., G.R. Armel, T.C. Mueller, C.E. Sams, D.E. Deyton, J.S. McElroy, and D.E. Kopsell.
  • Invited Plenary Presentation, FAV Health 2007: International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables, International Society for Horticultural Science. Houston, TX. October 9-13, 2007.
  • Mentor to Lisa Hunt (M.S. Candidate), who was awarded 3rd place in the annual Graduate Student Presentation Competition at the 2003 Annual Meeting Northeast Region American Society for Horticultural Science. Baltimore, MD. Jan. 7-9.
  • Senior author of publication highlighted in Research Spotlight section of May 1999 Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 124(3).
  • Excellence in Doctoral Research and Writing (Krezdorn) Award given by the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 1998. Manuscript entitled: Selenium affects S-alk(en)yl cysteine sulfoxides among short-day onion cultivars.
  • Co-authored publication highlighted in Spotlight section of July-September 1998 HortTechnology 8(3).
  • Graduated Cum Laude, Illinois State University, 1992.
  • Most Outstanding Senior Award, Agriculture Department, Illinois State University, 1992.

Contact Information

Department of Plant Science
University of Tennessee
252 Ellington Plant Sciences Building
2431 Joe Johnson Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4561
Office phone: (865) 974-1145
Office fax: (865) 974-1947


Articles (44)