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Meet the Members of the Consortium

Working collaboratively to increase commercial hazelnut production in North America — that’s what brings the Consortium members together. Meet the team and discover what role each member institution is playing in the research and development of hybrid hazelnuts.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has been conducting research on hazelnuts for more than ten years. This research has focused on yield, oil yield, cold hardiness, drought resistance, and bioenergy. UNL has also developed mechanical equipment for hazelnuts.

In addition, the Nebraska Forest Service has for many decades specialized in the extension of forestry entrepreneurship and tree care to landowners and the general public. The Nebraska Forest Service has helped spur and create numerous extension and outreach programs to inform and educate farmers and other agricultural professionals about hybrid hazelnuts.

Key Findings

  • An average hazelnut could produce nearly two times the amount of oil per acre compared to soybeans (Hammond, 2006).
  • The physical/chemical characteristics of hazelnuts for biodiesel are substantially superior to soybean oil (Xu and Hanna, 2007).
  • The percentage of oil per hazelnut kernel ranges from 56.1% to 75.2% (Josiah, 2007).
  • Hazelnut oil has a unique fatty acid composition, thermal stability, and low temperature properties that should increase its value over soybean oil for a number of applications (Xu, 2007).

Key Personnel

  • Dr. Scott J. Josiah - Former Director of the Nebraska Forest Service: View CV
  • John Erixson - Interim Director of the Nebraska Forest Service: View CV

Publications/Research Papers (5 selected publications)

  • Xu, Y, M.A. Hanna, and S.J. Josiah (2008). Synthesis and characterization of hazelnut oil-based biodiesel. Industrial Crops and Products. Submitted.
  • Xu, Y.X., Hanna, M.A., and S.J. Josiah (2007). Hybrid hazelnut oil characteristics and its potential oleochemical application. J. Industrial Crops and Products 26 (2007) 69-76.
  • Awada, T. and S. Josiah (2007). Physiological response of four hazelnut hybrids to water availability in Nebraska. J. Great Plains Research 17 (2) Fall 2007. Pp 193-202.
  • Gold, M., Godsey, L., and S.J. Josiah (2004). Markets and Marketing Strategies for Agroforestry Specialty Products in North America. Agroforestry Systems, 61:371-382. Also in: Nair PKR, Rao MR, and Buck LE (eds.) New Vistas in Agroforestry: A Compendium for the 1st World Congress of Agroforestry, Klewer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands (2004). 371-382.
  • Fernando, S. and M.A. Hanna (2001). Comparison of viscosity characteristics of soybean oils with a mineral oil two-stroke engine lubricant. Trans. of the ASAE. 44(6):1403-1407.
See All Publications/Research Papers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska Forest Service.

Rutgers University has been conducting research on hazelnuts since 1996. This research has focused on Eastern Filbert Blight resistance (the major challenge for hazelnuts in the eastern U.S.) as well as pest resistance, cold hardiness, yield, and the overall development of hazelnuts for northern climates. Part of this work includes wide germplasm exploration and collection, with focus on newly accessible regions of the former Soviet Union.

Learn more about Rutgers University Hybrid Hazelnut Breeding Program

Key Findings

  • New sources of resistance to the devastating hazelnut disease Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB).
  • Rapid techniques to identify hazelnut seedlings resistant to EFB.
  • Evaluation of improved hazelnut cultivars developed in Oregon for use in the northeastern United States.

Key Personnel

  • Dr. Thomas Molnar - Lead Hazelnut Researcher/Plant Breeder
  • Dr. Bradley Hillman - Plant Pathology/Molecular Biology: View CV
  • Dr. Margaret Brennan - Agricultural Economist: View CV

Publications/Research Papers (5 selected publications) these are from Molnar

  • Molnar, T.J., J.C. Goffreda, and C.R. Funk (2005). Developing hazelnuts for the eastern United States. Acta Horticulturae (International Society for Horticultural Science) 68:609-617.
  • Molnar, T.J., S.N. Baxer, and J.C. Goffreda (2005). Accelerated screening of hazelnut seedlings for resistance to eastern filbert blight. HortScience 40:1667-1669
  • Molnar, T.J. (2006). Genetic resistance to eastern filbert blight in hazelnut (Corylus). Ph.D. Thesis. 113 pages. Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
  • Molnar, T.J., S.A. Mehlenbacher, D.E. Zaurov, and J.C. Goffreda (2007). Survey of hazelnut germplasm from Russia and Crimea for response to eastern filbert blight. HortScience 42:51-56.
  • Molnar, T.J., J.M. Capik, and J.C. Goffreda (2008). Response of hazelnut progenies from known resistant parents to Anisogramma anomala in New Jersey, U.S.A. Acta Horticulturae (International Society for Horticultural Science). In press.
See All Publications/Research Papers from Rutgers.

Oregon State University has been conducting research on hazelnuts since 1969. This research has focused on the development of new hazelnut cultivars for the Oregon hazelnut industry, Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB)resistance, microsatellite marker development, and DNA markers for EFB resistance. Part of this work includes wide germplasm exploration and collection to increase the world’s largest hazelnut germplasm collection.

In addition to research, Oregon State University provides significant extension and outreach to the Oregon Hazelnut Growers, Scientific Committee of International Congresses on Hazelnuts, and Northern Nut Growers.

Watch a summary of the progress Oregon State is making in the hazelnut industry.

Key Findings

  • Jefferson hazelnut (2009).
  • Eta hazelnut pollinizer (2009).
  • Theta hazelnut pollinizer (2009).
  • Red Dragon ornamental hazelnut (redleaf contorted) (Plant Patent Applied For).
  • Yamhill hazelnut (2008).
  • Sacajawea hazelnut (2006).
  • Santiam hazelnut (2005).
  • Gamma hazelnut pollinizer (2002).
  • Delta hazelnut pollinizer (2002).
  • Epsilon hazelnut pollinizer (2002).
  • Zeta hazelnut pollinizer (2002).
  • Rosita ornamental hazelnut (redleaf).
  • Clark hazelnut (1999).
  • Lewis hazelnut (1997).
  • Four hazelnut pollinizers (1990) (VR 4-31, VR 11-27, VR 20-11, and VR 23-18).
  • Willamette hazelnut (1990).

Key Personnel

  • Dr. Shawn A. Mehlenbacher - Lead Hazelnut Researcher/Professor: View CV

Publications/Research Papers (5 selected publications)

  • Gökirmak, T., S.A. Mehlenbacher, and N.V. Bassil (2007). Characterization of European hazelnut (Corylus avellana) cultivars using SSR markers. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131: (in preparation)
  • Mehlenbacher, S.A., A.N. Azarenko, D.C. Smith, and R.L. McCluskey (2007). Santiam Hazelnut. HortScience 42: (submitted)
  • Mehlenbacher, S.A. (2007). Hazelnut. In: J. Janick (ed.). Encyclopedia of temperate fruit and nut crops. CABI (in press).
  • Mehlenbacher, S.A., R.N. Brown, E.R. Nouhra, T. Gokirmak, N.V. Bassil, and T.L. Kubisiak (2006). A genetic linkage map for hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) based on RAPD and SSR markers. Genome 49:122-133.
  • Lunde, C.F., S.A. Mehlenbacher, and D.C. Smith (2006). Segregation for resistance to eastern filbert blight in progeny of Zimmerman hazelnut. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131:731-737.
See All Publications/Research Papers from Oregon State University.

The Arbor Day Foundation began the Hazelnut Research Project in 1996 with plantings of hybrid hazelnuts at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska. By 2000, the project evolved to include charter members across the nation conducting research on hazelnuts in their own backyards and has reached nearly 80,000 active members.

Key Findings

  • Best practices and methods for growing hazelnuts from seeds.
  • Hybrid hazelnuts can thrive in Nebraska as a dryland crop.
  • Arbor Day Farm hybrids grow best in zones 4 to 8.

Key Personnel

  • Adam Howard - Director of Mission Engagement Arbor Day Farm

Four Partners. One Common Cause.

It takes years of research and development to create healthy cultivars.

Take a look at our timeline for hybrid hazelnut commercialization.