Dr. John Mortensen moved to Florida in 1960 to join the University of Florida’s Central Florida Research and Education Center. During a 30-year career at the center, he left an indelible mark on Florida agriculture through his grape-related research. As a geneticist, Mortensen’s research resulted in the development of grape varieties in Florida’s climate. His research not only paved the way for homeowners to grow grapes, but made it possible for the viticulture industry to become a reality in the Sunshine State. In 1989, he was named the assistant center director and in 1991 retied from the center and now holds the title of professor emeritus.