Johanny Castro Chinchilla

  • Ph.D. Student
  • Advised by: Dr. Kari Peter
Johanny Castro Chinchilla
211 Buckhout Laboratory
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Post-harvest Pathology
  • Fresh produce quality
  • Musa spp. agronomic management


  1. B.S., Agronomy with emphasis on Plant Sciences, University of Costa Rica, 2007
  2. M.Sc.,Crop Protection, University of Costa Rica, 2015


As an undergraduate student and during my first years as an agronomist, I performed research and participated in extension programs focused on maximizing productivity in tropical crops. Recently, I participated in different projects aimed to improve the postharvest quality of fresh produce. This background increased my interest in achieving a better comprehension of the dynamics of pathogens in postharvest environments, and how this can help to improve or adopt new cost-effective management strategies of postharvest molds and rots.

By combining chemical, biological and cultural practices, fruit and vegetables decay can be reduced, however, a better understanding of the biology, physiology, and pathogenicity of spoilage microorganisms is necessary if cost-effective management practices are to be adopted by growers.

Research interests

  • ·         Management strategies to reduce postharvest rots and molds.
  • ·         Biology and physiology of food spoilage microorganisms.
  • ·         Control of postharvest rots in pome fruits.


Peer reviewed publications:

Cerdas-Araya, M., Castro-Chinchilla, J. 2017.  Postharvest characterization of tacaco (Sechium tacaco (Pittier) fruits in Cartago, Costa Rica. Agronomía Mesoamericana 28(1): 141-148.

Castro, J., Umaña, G. 2015.  Populations and identification of fungi causing postharvest molds on pineapple peduncles in two regions in Costa Rica. Agronomía Costarricense 39(3): 61-77.

Castro, J., Umaña, G. 2017.  Frequency of fungi associated to molds in the pedunculus on pineapples from two regions of Costa Rica. Agronomía Costarricense 41(2): 17-25.

Ulloa, L., Sáenz, M.V., Castro, J. 2015.  Effect of storage at different temperatures on external color and quality of pineapple fruits cv. Gold Extrasweet. Agronomía Costarricense 39(3): 9-20.

Symposium publications

Castro-Chinchilla, J., Umaña-Rojas, G. 2019. Yeasts and bacteria associated with pineapple fruit during postharvest handling. Acta Horticulturae 1239: 77-84

Sabater-Vilar, M., Suñé-Colell, E., Castro-Chinchilla, J., Sáenz-Murillo, M.V. 2018.  Reduction of postharvest rotting with an ethylene absorbent: a case study with pineapple. Acta Horticulturae 1194: 721-728.

Extension publications

Humphreys, D., Flores, L., Castro, J. 2018. Yam tuber deterioration caused by plant-parasitic nematodes. In Spanish. Fittacori-University of Costa Rica. Available at: