Meet Dr. Thomas Rufty, Bayer CropScience Professor of Sustainable Development at North Carolina State University

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bayer CropScience endowed $1 million to North Carolina State University to establish a Professor of Sustainable Development. In 2009, Dr. Thomas Rufty, Professor of Crop Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University, was chosen for this chair.

Dr. Rufty leads an aggressive research and outreach program addressing a wide range of distinct but interwoven sustainability-related initiatives. His work spans basic research, applied field studies, and industry outreach and advocacy. He is highly sought as a speaker on the benefits of managed landscapes. He serves as a volunteer leader at the college, university, and community levels to advance sustainability initiatives.

In every aspect of his research, he advances the shared mission of Bayer and the College to ensure the development and management of landscapes in socially and environmentally responsible and economically viable ways.

Rufty has provided leadership through:

  • Plant health research in collaboration with Bayer including examinations of plant health mechanisms that can lead to development of new chemical formulations.

  • A multiphase project in collaboration with environmental science to increase the drought and heat tolerance of perennial ryegrass through genetic engineering.

  • Research, teaching, direction and oversight at NC State’s golf course, a sustainable golf course ecosystem that serves as a model for the students, the green industry, and the general public.

  • Carbon sequestration research, development of a carbon calculator now used in K-12 environmental education programs, and work with Bayer staff to assess the carbon footprint of Bayer’s Clayton Field Laboratory.

  • Prolific publications and presentations on research findings and collaborative work with environmental science colleagues.


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