Department Head

Rolston St. Hilaire
Image of Rolston St. Hilaire

Research area: landscape and ornamental horticulture, environmental stress physiology, molecular ecophysiology


  • Ph.D., Horticulture, Iowa State University, 1998

  • M.S., Horticulture, M.S., Horticulturem 1994

  • B.S. (Magna cum laude), Horticulture, University of Puerto Rico, 1992

  • Diploma (Honors), Agriculture, Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry (E.C.I.A.F.), Trinidad, 1985

Additional Qualifications:

  • Diploma, Teaching Techniques Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology of Canada 1987

  • Certificate, Vegetable Production Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Taipei, Taiwan

Academic Distinctions:

1994-98 Graduate Research Assistant (Ph.D.)

1992-94 Caribbean Scholarship Program Award (M.S.)

Ralph S. Garwood Award (Top of the horticulture class),

University of Puerto Rico

1988-92 Caribbean Scholarship Program Award (B.S.)

1985 Proficiency Award in Farm Practicals, E. C. I. A. F.

Caroni Prize, E.C. I. A. F.

Agricultural Development Bank Prize, E. C. I. A. F.

Federation Chemicals Prize, E. C. I. A. F.

Director's Prize, E. C. I. A. F.

1984 Barbados General Agricultural Society Prize, E. C. I.A.F.

Student of the Year Award, E. C. I. A. F.

1983-85 Canadian International Development Agency Scholarship (Diploma-Agricultural Engineering Specialization)

Research Interests:

Ecology and Conservation, Gardening and Landscaping


2004 - present Associate Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture, New Mexico State University (NMSU)

2003 - 2004 Director, NMSU Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program of the Academy of Applied Science

1998 -2003 Assistant Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture, NMSU

1994 -1998 Graduate Research Assistant, Horticulture, Iowa State Univ.

Research on environmental stress physiology of hard maples

1993 -1994 Teaching Assistant, Department of Horticulture and Department of Agricultural Mechanization, University of Puerto Rico

Responsible for laboratory practicals for HORT 6669 - Growth Regulators in Horticulture, and HORT 6611 - Advanced Plant Propagation.

Taught a unit of laboratory practicals for TMAG 4016 -Agricultural Mechanization.

1992-1993 Graduate Assistant, Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, teaching assistant for Quim 3002 - Inorganic Chemistry.

Teaching (landscape horticulture and environmental stress physiology)Instructor,

  • HORT 200 - Special Topics/Ornamental Plants II, New Mexico State Univ. (NMSU)

  • HORT 210 - Ornamental Plants I, NMSU

  • HORT 211 - Ornamental Plants II, NMSU

  • HORT 308 - Landscape Construction, NMSU

  • HORT 307 - Landscape Design, NMSU

  • HORT 465 - Landscape Case Studies, NMSU

  • AGRO/BIOL/HORT 533 - Environmental Stress Physiology, NMSU

Awards and Honors:

Campus Leadership Award, Iowa State University, 1997.

First place poster presentation, Chavez, S. and R. St. Hilaire, Adventitious rooting and development of terminal and single-node cuttings of Nepeta cataria L., NMSU Graduate Research and Arts Symposium, April 27, 2001.

Patricia Christmore Faculty Teaching Award, (University-wide award for junior faculty excellence in Teaching), New Mexico State University, 2001

Faculty Teaching Award for the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, New Mexico State University, 2002.

Faculty Team Research Award for the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, NMSU, 2005

Membership in Departmental, College and University Committees (NMSU) * Departmental

  • Direct Assessment of Learning, Curriculum, Multimedia, scholarship College of Agriculture

  • Student Appeals, Recruitment and Retention, Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Advisory committee University

  • Advisory Board for Teaching Academy at NMSU

Membership in State and National Boards and Regional committees:

  • Landscape Advisory Committee - Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute

  • New Mexico State Board of Landscape Architects

Theses, Dissertations Directed: Chair (4 M.S., 2 Ph.D.); Committee (6 M.S., 4 Ph.D):

1998 - 2000 Balok, M. S. student, Chair of Graduate Committee

Thesis 2000: Water deficit stress responses of seven trees used in Southwestern landscapes

1999 -2002 Jane Spinti, M. S. student, Chair of Graduate Committee

Thesis 2002: Balancing landscape preferences and water use in a desert environment

2000 -2003 Cathleen Feser, M. S. student, Chair of Graduate Committee

Thesis 2003: Plant water relations, evapotranspiration, and development traits of Mexican elder plants subjected to various irrigation regimes

2001-Present Emad Bsoul, Ph.D. student, Chair of Graduate Committee

2001-Present Clare Bowen O'Connor, Ph.D. student, Chair of Graduate Committee

2005 Victoria Frietze, M.S. student, Chair of Graduate Committee

Undergraduate advising, New Mexico State University Faculty Advisor to Student chapter of the Plant

National Service:

Grant review panelist for Corporation for National Service, Washington, D.C.

Grant review panelist for 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program, USDA-CSREES

Peer reviewer for the journals, HortTechnology, HortScience, Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, Journal of Plant Foods.

Consulting Editor - Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Honorary and Professional Societies

Alpha Zeta

American Society for Horticultural Science

American Society for Landscape Architects - Full Member

Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) -Faculty Advisor to NMSU Student Chapter

Gamma Sigma Delta - (Current President of the NMSU chapter 2004-2005)

Membership in other Societies

Western Coordinating Committee (Production, transition handling, and reestablishment of perennial nursery stock)-Secretary Elect-2000, President 2001-2002

Metropolitan Tree Alliance Association - Assistant Director

Proposals Funded:

A Landscape Inventory of the Parks in the city of Las Cruces, St. Hilaire, R. Service Learning of Southern New Mexico, 1999

Improving intergenerational mentoring through real-world landscape projects, St. Hilaire, R. 2000-2001, Paso Del Norte Health Foundation

Minority Biomedical Research Support/Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS/RISE)-NMSU 2000-2003

Determining landscape choices, plant water use and minimum irrigation requirements in the urban environment, Rio Grande Initiative-Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in the Rio 2001 - 2003

Physiological responses of two woody plants and two turf grasses grown in soil amendments, project funded by Watch-IT-Grow, Inc., 2001-2003

2003 - Ecophysiological basis for the landscape use of Acer grandidentatum -Landscape Plant Development Center, 2002-2003

Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program, Army Research Office, 2003-2004

Client-based, collaborative and experiential learning projects: a model to improve minority participation in landscape horticulture, USDA-CSREES, 2002-2005

An integrated approach to demonstrating water-conserving landscapes plants-NMSU Rio

Grande Irrigation Project thru Texas A&M Agr. Expt. Sta., 2004 - 2006