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Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics: People

John Ruter


John RuterDepartment of Horticulture
327 Hoke Smith Building
Athens, GA 30602

Phone: 706-542-9059
Fax: 706-542-0624

Research area: Breeding and genetics of ornamental plants


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. Dr. Ruter also serves as the Director of the Trial Gardens at UGA (

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 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.


Degree Field Institution Date Obtained
M.S. Ornamental Horticultural and Landscape Design University of Tennessee 1986
Ph.D. Horticultural Sciences University of Florida 1989