Research & Development

Joe Doccola - Director of Research and Development

Joe is an ISA Certified Arborist and Plant Health Care Specialist with over 30 years of experience in the horticultural and arboricultural fields. Joe was educated at Cornell University in Plant Sciences and at the New York Botanical Garden in Horticulture. He has worked in commercial, residential and public environments, and managed Plant Health Care in Prospect Park, for the City of New York. For over 15 years, Joe has developed research methods for Arborjet technology and has established cooperative studies with universities, the USFS and private entities in efforts to manage invasive and destructive tree pests.  He has authored and co-authored publications on destructive pests of trees such as the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, Erythrina Gall Wasp, and Emerald Ash Borer.

Don Grosman - Technology Advancement Manager

Since joining the Arborjet team in 2013, Don Grosman is utilizing his broad knowledge of entomology and insect control strategies to help develop the next evolution in plant health technology. He holds a PhD. in Entomology from the Virginia Tech, a M.S. in Forestry from the University of Maine, Orono, and Bachelor of Science in Forest Biology from SUNY-CESF, Syracuse. Previously, Don served as Coordinator of the Forest Pest Management Cooperative based with the Texas Forest Service (17 years). He has conducted ground-breaking research in protecting the urban and natural forests against pests, including bark beetles, seed and cone insects, pine tip moth, and leaf-cutting ants. He has also discovered the efficacy of emamectin benzoate against several pine bark beetles, ambrosia beetles, and stem gall wasps.

At Arborjet, Don coordinates with Director of Research & Development Joe Doccola and President Russ Davis to identify, develop, and evaluate environmentally friendly and effective products and application systems for southern and western United States markets. He conducts laboratory and field bioessays with emphasis on the applied control of natural and urban forest insect and disease. A prolific author, Don has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals; is a frequent presenter at conferences; and is a member of various societies and committees including the Entomological Society of America and the International Society of Arboriculture – Texas. Don has been recognized with several awards such as the Forest Research Award and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Services.

Don has relocated with family to New Hampshire. Outside work, he spends time with family, wood carving, and repairing his log home, and in 2016 he started a Christmas tree farm.

Matt Andrus - Horticultural Specialist

In 2012, Matt joined the Arborjet Research & Development team, and began demonstrating his thirst for knowledge and understanding of the world surrounding him. As Arborjet’s Horticultural Specialist, Matt designs studies, formulates products, and travels across the United States sharing the latest developments in Plant Healthcare. Not only does Matt seek out new products, techniques and information, he gets to educate the community, which he is equally passionate about. He also operates the research greenhouse, which he is especially proud of having taken part in modifying. The “outdoor greenhouse” was modified to be used indoors, enabling Arborjet to extend the growing season and conduct studies for all 12 months of the year.

Matt has been in the green industry since he was 16 years old. Although his first task was pulling weeds from under benches, the opportunities for him seemed endless. He eventually became head propagator and managed 6 large greenhouses for 5 years. In addition to traditional greenhouse culture, Matt started a “rooftop garden” business and teaches public and private classes about various cultivation techniques.

In Pennsylvania, Matt studied Environmental Science and Biology, and went on to continue his studies at NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in Wyoming. This experience ignited his passion even further, as the courses allowed him to live outdoors in different geographical regions, amongst the very nature he was studying. In addition, he received Risk Assessment, Wilderness First Responder, and Outdoor Educator Certifications from the Wilderness Medicine Institute. His education motivated him to pursue a hands-on approach of “live it, learn it, and teach it.”

In his spare time, Matt enjoys rock climbing and back country backpacking. You can also find him taking classes to broaden his horizons, as well as providing demonstrations for various organizations and non-profits. He also provides Integrated Pest Management and plant nutrition optimization consultations.

John-Michael Alexy - Research Associate

John-Michael is a graduate of Boston University, where he earned a degree in Biology. Growing up, JM enjoyed being outdoors and discovering the “how and why” of nature. That mindset continued as he got older, and encouraged him to pursue a career in which he could feed his curiosity. JM joined the Arborjet Research & Development team in 2016, where he helps to maintain the team’s lab space, formulations room, greenhouse, and outdoor plot. JM also formulates Arborjet’s products and keeps up with studies that are performed in-house.

When he’s not formulating in Arborjet’s lab, JM enjoys doing some formulations of his own at his home brewery. You can also find him on the golf course or out fishing, satisfying his need to be outdoors.