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

Meet the Team: Adam D'Angelo

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!

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