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Horticultural Science Extension Faculty

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Portrait Name & Summary
Ted Bilderback Dr. Ted Bilderback, Professor and Director of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. Research and extension focus on environmentally conscious cultural practices and techniques for growing nursery stock and plant water relations and nutrition of container nursery stock, related to manipulation of container substrates and irrigation practices.
Lucy Bradley Dr. Lucy Bradley, Associate Professor. Urban horticulture, especially Master Gardeners, Extension agent support, and community gardens.
Wayne Buhler Dr. Wayne Buhler, Professor and Assistant Department Head. Director of the Southern Region Pesticide Safety Education Center. Responsibilites include development and distribution educational materials for the certification and recertification of North Carolina's Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicators and Dealers of restricted use pesticides.
Mark Clough Mr. Mark Clough, Focuses is on Irish (white) potato production, breeding and genetics, specifically on developing high quality potatoes adapted to North Carolina growing conditions. Mark is based at the Vernon G. James Research & Extension Center.
Nancy Creamer Dr. Nancy Creamer, Professor. Director, Center for Environmental Farming Systems. Organic and sustainable vegetable production. Research focus on long-term comparative farming systems trials, organic transition strategies, using winter and summer cover crops in vegetable production systems, determining optimum cover crop mixtures, allelopathic suppression of weeds, and organic vegetable production.
Jeanine Davis Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist. Specialty crops, especially organic vegetable, fruit and herb production and a variety of non-timber forest products including mushrooms, hops, truffles, etc. Located at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center in Mills River, Dr. Davis helps farmers improve sustainability and profitability of their farms by optimizing organic production systems, introducing and developing new crops, and improving the sustainability of commercial vegetable production systems. Particular focus is on NC medicinal herbs.
Elizabeth Driscoll Ms. Elizabeth "Liz" Driscoll, Youth programs in Horticulture. Liz also coordinates youth programs for Crop Science, Soil Science and Entomology.
Barbara Fair Ms. Barbara Fair, Assistant Professor. Landscape, especially water use in the landscape, wood plant identification, planting and maintenance, and plants for the urban environment.
Gina Fernandez Dr. Gina Fernandez, Professor. Caneberry production and breeding, especially raspberries and blackberries. Conducts research on small fruits in North Carolina. Leads Rubus (raspberry and blackberry) breeding program. Seeks to grow the blackberry and respberry industries through small fruit program Team Rubus.
Christopher Gunter Dr. Christopher Gunter, Assistant Professor. Vegetable production, especially with tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and broccoli, and food safety. Specializes in vegetable production for the commercial vegetable industry in North Carolina, working with commercial vegetable growers to maintain a high quality of life through the use of integrated, economical and environmentally sound production practices.
Katie Jennings Dr. Katie Jennings, Assistant Professor. Research area is weed management in small fruits and vegetables. Focus on herbicide efficacy and carryover, weed/crop competition, weed biology, and field residue studies.
Anthony Lebude Dr. Anthony LeBude, Assistant Professor and Nursery Extension Specialist. Research focus is on developing new technologies for growers to understand and implement effective best management practices to optimize ecosystem services; and evaluating new plant introductions and cultivars for adaptation to the southeast.
Joe Neal Dr. Joe Neal Weed management in nursery crops. Christmas tree production, and landscape plantings. Research interests include: herbicide safety and efficacy in woody and herbaceous perennial plant production and maintenance, optimizing herbicide use patterns for effective weed control and environmental stewardship, ecology of weeds in soilless media and urban landscapes, integrated weed and ground cover management systems, and alternatives to traditional herbicides including plant pathogens for biological control of weeds.
Mike Parker Dr. Mike Parker, Associate Professor. Apple rootstocks, peaches and alternative tree fruit crops, primarily applied in nature. Areas of interest: cultural management strategies, rootstock performance in the southeast, peach thinning, planting systems and orchard floor management.
Maggie Schaber Margaret Schaber, Research Associate. Responsibilities include blueberry breeding and genetics. Emphasis is on creating high quality blueberry cultivars adapted specifically for the environment of North Carolina. Maggie is based at the Castle Hayne Research Station.
Jonathan Schultheis Dr. Jonathan Schultheis, Professor and Departmental Extension Leader. Vegetable crop production and postharvest handling, especially with sweet potatoes and curcurbits. Development and optimization of cultural practices for commercial production of vegetables. Interests include stand establishment, plasticulture, developing new alternative crops, drip irrigation, nutrition, and seed physiology.
Sara Spayd Dr. Sara Spayd, Professor. Grape production and postharvest handling, both vinifera and muscadine types. Works with North Carolina grape industry with cultivars and cultural practices to optimize fruit quality. Research interests include fruit composition and quality as affected by vineyard management practices.
Allan Thornton Mr. Allan Thornton Vegetable production and handling. Allan is based at Sampson County Center.
Mark Weathington Mr. Mark Weathington Evaluation and use of landscape plants, especially woody plants. Mark is Assistant Director and Curator of Collections at the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Brian Whipker Dr. Brian Whipker, Professor. Floriculture production, especially plant growth regulators, plant nutrition and economics. Extension specialization includes providing production information and diagnostic services to commercial greenhouse floriculture operations.

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