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New chair: Christopher Gunter to lead UF horticulture programs

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Christopher Gunter joins the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) as professor and chair of the horticultural sciences department. His official start date is June 7.

Christopher Gunter (photo by Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS)

As the new chair, Gunter will lead experts and programs that break new ground in research, plant breeding and genetics, fruit and vegetable production and related disciplines that continue to shape the future of food in Florida and around the world.

“I’m excited to be part of one of the best – if not the best – horticultural science departments in the country,” Gunter said. “This department is a crown jewel of our profession, and I feel privileged to be joining this group.”

Gunter comes to UF/IFAS from North Carolina State University, where he was a faculty member for 14 years. His previous role as the director of graduate programs also involved sharing his vegetable production expertise through education and Extension.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to work with our fruit and vegetable industry partners, to learn what their needs are now and into the future, and how our faculty are serving those needs,” he said. “Florida is one of the most diverse food production states in the country, and the volume of food that’s being produced and distributed – across the country and internationally – it’s incredible.”

Scott Angle, UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of UF/IFAS, said Gunter’s background makes him a natural fit to lead the department.

“A world-class leader has been hired to support a world-class department,” Angle said. “Dr. Gunter will assure that the department is there for the fruit and vegetable industry as an essential part of the economy of Florida. I know that our teaching, research and Extension programs will flourish under his leadership.”

Horticulture is a prominent program within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), the fourth-largest college at UF. CALS is a top-ranked agriculture school in the United States and known for excellence in teaching and research worldwide.

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.
ifas.ufl.edu  @UF_IFAS