John Reuben Clark
Dr. John Clark is one of the country’s preeminent experts in the field of fruit crop genetics and breeding, particularly blackberries, grapes, nectarines and peaches. As distinguished professor in the department of horticulture at the University of Arkansas, he has been recognized with many awards, including the National Association of Plant Breeders Impact Award, and served as president of the American Society for Horticultural Science. He has released 62 fruit cultivars, with more than 21 million plants sold. Dr. Clark’s development of the thornless, large-fruited blackberries was just the first of many innovations in the blackberry industry. His most meaningful success might well be the development of new genetics and production practices that will enable the availability of fresh blackberry fruit year-round. A native of Jackson, Miss., Dr. Clark earned undergraduate (1978) and master’s (1980) degrees is horticulture from Mississippi State University. He earned a Ph.D in plant science from the University of Arkansas in 1983. Upon earning his Ph.D, he was named resident director of the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville.