Apple Breeder known for SnapDragon and RubyFrost varieties named Director of Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station

Susan K. Brown, the Herman M. Cohn Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was made the Goichman Family Director of New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, NY on January 2, 2015.

Having served as associate director since July 1, 2013, Brown’s administrative accomplishments include leading the NYSAES strategic planning process, in concert with a faculty committee and community input. As a faculty member in the section of Horticulture in the School of Integrative Plant Science, she runs one of the largest tree fruit breeding programs in the world. She has released four apple varieties — Fortune, Autumncrisp, SnapDragon, and RubyFrost — and is the co-inventor of ten sweet cherries and one tart cherry. Her research combines breeding and genetics to improve apple quality, disease resistance, nutritional qualities and tree architecture.

Her professional achievements have been recognized with a 2013 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, a 2012 CALS Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award, and her selection for the 2013 Leading Cornell program. She was named a Woman of Distinction by the New York State Senate in 2014. Susan received a B.S. from the University of Connecticut, an M.S. from Rutgers University, and a Ph.D. from the University of California-Davis. She joined the Cornell faculty in 1985.

Brown succeeds Thomas J. Burr, who will be returning to the faculty in the section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ School of Integrative Plant Science.


Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.




Media note: A photo of Susan Brown can be downloaded at,