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Image of Adam D'Angelo holding a pawpaw fruit in front of fruiting pawpaw trees

Adam D'Angelo - Director of Research

Adam D'Angelo started Project Pawpaw with the mission of helping more people to enjoy delicious and local fruit. Adam has been a lifelong pawpaw enthusiast, planting his first seedlings at age 11 after seeing pawpaw trees growing while visiting his brother at Cornell University. 

He completed his undergraduate education at Rutgers University where he double majored in Plant Biology and Agriculture & Food Systems with a minor in Agroecology. Throughout college, he worked as an hourly research technician at the Rutgers Hazelnut Breeding Program, where he helped to breed European hazelnut trees with resistance to Eastern Filbert Blight, a devastating fungal disease preventing the establishment of commercial hazelnut plantings in the Eastern US. After graduating from Rutgers, he attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison where he earned his Master's degree in Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics. His research at the UW-Madison was focused on breeding table beets for improved flavor and eating quality. Adam is excited to combine his training in using modern plant breeding tools to breed for consumer quality traits with his experience and passion for perennial tree crop breeding!


Adam has been working on Project Pawpaw for years, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive breeding program and performing preliminary research on critical components of pawpaw plant physiology. While the Project Pawpaw research orchards are growing, he will be working as the Breeding Operations Manager for the Savanna Institute, a nonprofit working to breed perennial fruit and nut crops for agroforestry systems. He is so excited to share this project with you and to have the opportunity to help make our food system more sustainable, attainable, and delicious!


David Hlubik - Research Farm Manager

David Hlubik is a farmer collaborator in southern New Jersey who recently helped Project Pawpaw to break ground on our first large scale research orchard. David has a wealth of experience in farm operations, perennial plant management, and plant breeding data collection. 


David completed his P.h.D. in Plant Breeding and Genomics at Rutgers University, working under Dr. Tom Molnar in the Rutgers Hazelnut Breeding Program. While at Rutgers he developed protocols for the determination of chilling and heat requirements in hazelnuts and evaluated phenological and disease resistance characteristics of interspecific hybrid hazelnuts.


He is currently working on his family's 120 acre diversified farm, growing vegetables, fruit, nuts, hay/straw, grain, and raising beef cattle. The farm has been in operation for over 70 years, selling wholesale, on site at a farmstand, and at several local farmers markets. David has been actively involved with the farm for over 10 years and have led several operations on the farm in recent years including agrotourism development and introduction of new tree crops, with approximately 400 hazelnut trees planted between 2018-2023, 60 pawpaw trees planted in 2023, and the 750 tree Project Pawpaw Research Orchard planted in 2024.

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Have a question that you can't find an answer to in the Learning Center or the FAQs? We'll do our best to point you in the right direction. 

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