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Dr. Ruter currently has a 60% research, 30% teaching and 10% extension appointment. Prior to 2011, Dr. Ruter served as the Nursery Crop Research and Extension Specialist on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus. Classes taught include Environmental Issues in Horticulture and Herbaceous Plant Identification.
Research activities are focused on 1) herbaceous and woody ornamental plant breeding and selection, and 2) nursery crop production. Current research objectives for plant breeding and selection are:
- To develop and evaluate new plants for southeastern landscapes which have unique horticultural characteristics or improved environmental tolerances.
- Conversion and evaluation of polyploid conifers and herbaceous plants
- Development of Camellia oleifera, Tea oil, as a new oil crop for the southeastern United States. Tea oil is a heart healthy oil for cooking that also has industrial and pharmacological uses. View summary article.