Inventor of the Year 2021
John Ruter is the Allan Armitage Endowed Professor of Horticulture and Director of the Trial Gardens at UGA. The research he conducts focuses on breeding and releasing herbaceous and woody ornamental cultivars and developing Camellia oleifera as a new oilseed crop for the United States. His program has developed numerous ornamental cultivars with economic impact over the last 14 years, with more than 30 being licensed to companies in Georgia, across the United States, and internationally. Most notable of the licensed plants are Hibiscus and Ilex (Holly) cultivars, with useful ornamental traits for various landscape applications. Previously, Ruter was awarded the D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Ruter is a Fellow of the International Plant Propagators’ Society and an award-winning author of four books and over 500 scientific and popular publications.