Davey Institute adds to staff

Two new tree science experts have been hired to assist in technical support.

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January 12, 2015

KENT, Ohio – The Davey Institute has announced the hiring of two new tree science experts to assist in technical support, research and training for The Davey Tree Expert Company.

Plant biologist Christine Balk and forest resources expert Aaron Carpenter bring focused expertise in plant pathology and tree biomechanics to the Davey Institute, the industry's premier research, development and innovation group.

Balk holds a master’s degree in plant pathology from Ohio State University and has a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Lawrence University. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Balk is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and the American Phytopathological Society.

She will work to diagnose and develop treatments for tree diseases in addition to providing training support for Davey field employees.

Carpenter holds a master’s degree in forestry, specializing in tree biomechanics, from West Virginia University and has a bachelor’s degree in forest resources management from WVU. The Colonial Heights, Va., native has studied the effect of climate changes on how tree branches bend and fail. He is a member of the ISA and Utility Arborist Association.

Carpenter will provide education, training and diagnostic support to Davey’s mid-Atlantic region.

Jim Zwack, director of technical services for Davey Tree, said both Balk and Carpenter’s skills were sought after to complement the knowledge base at the Institute.

“We are just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding how trees bend and break, so having Aaron’s expertise in-house has implications both for safe work practices and how winter storms contribute to utility power outages,” Zwack said. “And Christine’s pathology background brings additional capacity to our lab and bolsters our initiatives in plant health care and the management of exotic, invasive threats.”