Research Committee Members


Robert Griesbach, Ph.D. |

Professional: Retired, Geneticist and Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Home Society: Maryland Orchid Society
1973 – Present: AOS Member
1982 – 1986: Director, AOS Fund for Education and Research
1987 – 1994: Chair, AOS Research Committee
1985 – Present:Accredited AOS judge
1986 – 1995: AOS Trustee
1991 - Present:Member, RHS Advisory Subcommittee on Orchid Hybrid Registration
1991 – 2002: Associate Editor, Lindleyana
1995 - 2002:AOS Vice-President
2002 - 2004:AOS President
2020 - Present:Chair, AOS Research Committee
Orchid interests: Orchid genetics and flower color; Phalaenopsis breeding; Cymbidium species breeding; Paphiopedilum species; and red cattleyas 



John Stommel, Ph.D.

Professional: Research Leader, Research Geneticist, USDA
Home Society: Maryland Orchid Society
1992 – Present: AOS Member
2004 – 2017: Member, AOS Research Committee
2010 – Present: Probationary AOS Judge, National Capital Judging Center
2017 – Present: Chair, AOS Research Committee
Orchid interests: amateur grower, species and hybrids



R. Andrew Cameron, Ph.D.

Professional: Senior Research Associate, Emeritus. Division
of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Home Society: Santa Cruz Orchid Society, Gold Coast Cymbidium Growers
2016 – Present: AOS Member
2018 – Present: Member, AOS Research Committee
2020 – Present: AOS Student Judge
Orchid interests: amateur grower and hybridizer, cymbidiums and laelias


James Heilig, Ph.D.

Professional: Raspberry Pre-Breeder, Driscoll's
Home Society: Greater Lansing Orchid Society
1999 – Present: AOS Member
2005 – 2015: Accredited Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center
2012 – 2015: Training Coordinator, Great Lakes Judging Center
2015 – Present: Accredited Judge, Pacific Central Judging Center
2017 – Present: Training Coordinator, Pacific Central Judging Center
2018 – Present: AOS Trustee
2018 – Present: Member, AOS Research Committee
Orchid interests: Breeding/genetics of Phalaenopsis species, Habenaria, and Angraecoids.


Hideka Kobayashi, Ph.D.

Professional: Assistant Professor, Kentucky State University
1994 – 1998, 2011 – Present: AOS Member
2005 – 2015: Accredited Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center
2011 – 2014: Student Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center
2014 – 2017: Associate Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center
2017 – Present: Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center
2006 – Present: American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS)
Orchid interests: Temperate terrestrial orchids and imparting cold hardiness.

Founding member of the Illini Orchid Club at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the Orchid Professional Interest Group with ASHS.


Retha Meier, Ph.D.

Professional: Pollination Biologist and Educator, Professor St. Louis University
December 2020 – Present: AOS Member
Orchid interests: Conservation and learning about all orchids


Cynthia Van Der Wiele, Ph.D.

Professional: Sr. Environmental Scientist, Wetlands and Streams Regulatory Section, US EPA Region 4
Home Society: Atlanta Orchid Society
1984 – Present: AOS Member
1994 – Present: Accredited AOS Judge, Atlanta Judging Center
2006 – Present: Member, AOS Research Committee
2008 – 2010: Chair, AOS Research Committee
Orchid interests: species orchids, especially angraecoids and terrestrials; conservation, and fire-dependent ecosystems

Wagner Vendrame, PhD

Professional: Professor and Assistant Chair, Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida
Home Society: Gainesville Orchid Society
1994 – Present: American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) - Orchid Interest Working Group
2004 – Present: Florida State Horticultural Society (FSHS)
2017 – Present: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2018 – Present: Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB)
2019 – Present: National Association of College Teachers in Agriculture (NACTA)
Orchid interests: Micropropagation, Cryopreservation