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Ohio Floriculture

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Welcome, Dr. Garrett Owen!

Jan. 1, 2023
Dr. Owen in the greenhouse working on plants

We are pleased to announce that Dr. W. Garrett Owen will be joining HCS in January 2023 as an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Greenhouse Nursery Systems at The Ohio State University!

Department Chair, Dr. Doug Karcher, summed up our collective excitement best: “We are excited to have Dr. Owen joining our department in January. He has emerged as a national leader in ornamental Extension and will be a valuable addition to our growing ornamental horticulture team. Besides Extension, Dr. Owen has impressive research and teaching records, and we are pleased that he will be working in all three of our land grant mission areas. Considering the current outstanding research and teaching programs of Dr. Michelle Jones and Dr. Wendy Klooster, respectively, the onboarding of Dr. Owen next year, and soon-to-be-filled faculty director positions in the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center and the Chadwick Arboretum, the future of ornamental horticulture in CFAES at The Ohio State University could not be brighter.”

Currently, Dr. Owen is an Assistant Extension Professor for the Department of Horticulture at the University of Kentucky (focused on greenhouse & controlled environments). Prior to this role he was an Academic Outreach Specialist for Michigan State University.

He has spent time participating at many horticultural-related events over the years, including judging at the National FFA Convention for the Floriculture Career Development Event, leading Twilight Tours of greenhouses, and leading industry workshops. Dr. Owen has served as a research mentor to dozens of bright young students and plans to advise many more. Additionally, he has conducted countless extension presentations both domestically & internationally. 

Dr. Owen received his Ph.D. at Purdue University under the advisement of Drs. Roberto Lopez and Cary Mitchell. His dissertation focused on Supplemental and Sole-source Light and Root-zone Temperature Influence Cutting Physiology, Morphology, and Rhizogenesis of Herbaceous Perennials - 2017. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Owen received his M.S. (Thesis: Pine Wood Chips as an Alternative to Perlite in Greenhouse Substrates: Cultural Parameters to Consider - 2013) & B.S. (Horticultural Science - 2011) from North Carolina State University.

Some core areas Dr. Owen plans to focus on at Ohio State:

  • Extension
    • Developing a nationally recognized and regionally relevant extension program to respond to the needs of a diverse green industry including ornamental, floriculture, nursery, as well as other high value crops.
  • Research
    • Leading a strong interdisciplinary research program, responding to horticultural industry needs that advance the sustainability and increase the resiliency of responding to global climate change and labor shortages.
  • Teaching
    • Furthering undergraduate and graduate student education by leading sustainable nursery and greenhouse courses + advising research and extension programs.

Wow, that's quite a broad range of high-impact responsibilities & we could not be happier to bring Dr. Owen on board for this exciting task! Luckily, he had a minute to step away from the greenhouse & sit down with us to give us a brief glimpse into his thoughts...

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