This endowment, named in honor of the internationally known entomologist, Dr. Sridhar Polavarapu, is aimed to recognize and promote innovative research for improving the profitability and sustainability of blueberry and cranberry cultivation. Dr. Polavarapu was a talented observer, researcher, and innovator with the unique ability of applying biological principles for solving horticultural problems. His understanding of the dynamic relationships of beneficial insects and their role in establishing balance in the agroecosystems of the New Jersey Pine Barrens allowed him to develop practical and sustainable solutions. The recipients of this endowment reflect his research philosophy.
Sridhar was a scientist who followed his passion. He received his early training in the country of his birth at the agricultural university Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth. Next he moved on to receive a Masters of Science degree from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. He moved to Canada in 1987 and completed his PhD in entomology from the University of New Brunswick. It was in Canada that he first encountered Vaccinium species. Working under the guidance Dr. William Seabrook he studied the Blueberry Leaftier moth and established his reputation as a keen observer and insect biologist. Lowbush blueberry grower organizations helped fund his research
This endowment provides support for students and faculty dedicated to the advancement of research as it pertains to problems surrounding Vaccinium production