DVOS monthly meetings will continue to be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format through at least April 2022.  Once again, we are taking advantage of this format to let us hear from another noted orchid expert,  Dr. Robert Griesbach, who will speak on the history of orchid breeding, a topic with which he is intimately familiar.


Dr. Griesbach earned a B.S from DePaul University in 1977, and a Ph.D. in genetics from Michigan State University in 1980.  After receiving his Ph.D., he joined U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), retiring after 40 years of service in 2020.  He spent his first 25 years at USDA-ARS executing a broad-based research program in plant genetics, focusing on the genetics of plant breeding and of flower coloration.  During his last 15 years at USDA-ARS, he was the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Technology Transfer, providing leadership on policies, procedures, and programs to facilitate the adoption USDA research results by the private sector. In 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science for his research contributions to horticulture.   In 2010, he received the American Horticulture Society’s H. Marc Cathey Award for his scientific contributions to gardening and horticulture, and in 2020, the Federal Laboratory Consortium awarded him its Harold Metcalf Award for his contributions to Federal technology transfer.


He has been an active member of the American Orchid Society since 1979, serving as an Accredited Judge, member and chair of the Research Committee, past-Trustee. and past-President.  He is also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Orchid Registration Authority Committee.  He regularly serves as a mentor to graduate students, as well as middle- and high-school students. He has been an instructor various workshops his office conducted in high schools, providing a primer on genetics, and presenting his popular talk, Thanking the USDA for Dinner. 


Beyond his scientific achievements, Dr. Griesbach served as an unofficial historian for the USDA and has published several papers on the history of the ARS’s scientific research, including a 2013 USDA publication describing the highlights of the first 150 years of the Agency’s programs for introducing and breeding new plants, which, although it does not mention orchids, is a fascinating read.

To attend Dr. Griesbach’s presentation, please follow the instructions below.

  • RSVP to dvosshowandtell@gmail.com no later than April 13th.
  • After you RSVP, you will receive the sign-in link and other final information before the meeting. Be sure to look for an email message from the e-mail address above. You do not need to respond to that message.
  • Before the event, please check to be sure you have the latest version of the “Zoom Client for Meetings” from: https://zoom.us/download. There are frequent updates.