Project Type

URC Presentation

College or School


Class Year



Biological Sciences


Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems and International Affairs

Faculty Research Advisor

Andrew Ogden

Second Faculty Research Advisor

Brent Loy

Third Faculty Research Advisor

Walter Barrantes


Current decrease in crop biodiversity within the commercial agricultural sector has prompted plant breeders to explore and utilize landraces from crop regions’ of origin to provide enhanced resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. This study explores the diversity of the economically significant tropical pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) present in Costa Rica. Through a 9 week IROP, independently designed and funded research grant, I collected 43 tropical pumpkin accessions by traveling to geographically different cities and farmers’ markets around Costa Rica and communicating with local farmers. I spent the weekdays with Costa Rican professors at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) Fabio Baudrit Agricultural Station to assess physical and genetic variation among the regionally collected tropical pumpkin accessions. The completed project provides a detailed inventory of the collected Cucurbita moschata and shows the wide variety of tropical pumpkin present in Costa Rica. Finally, a high presence of international hybrid varieties observed in market suggests an agricultural shift occurring in Latin America.