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May 8, 2007

Joly named head of horticulture and landscape architecture department

Robert Joly
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Robert Joly, a Purdue professor of plant physiology, has been appointed head of the university's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, which he has been leading in an interim capacity since last fall.

Joly, who studies how plants adapt to the effects of environmental stress, will head a department with research ranging from basic molecular biology to crop improvement to innovations in landscape design. The department, part of the College of Agriculture, offers five majors with 30 faculty, 297 undergraduate students and 39 graduate students.

Joly succeeds Edward Ashworth, who took a position at the University of Maine.

"I am very excited to work with the great faculty, staff and students that make up this department," Joly said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to make us even more prominent nationally, to build on our leading programs in horticulture, plant biology and landscape architecture, and to ensure that our educational programs continue to be among the best in the world."

Recently the horticulture faculty was ranked second in the nation by Academic Analytics, a company that ranks thousands of doctoral programs in more than 100 different disciplines. The ranking is determined by a school's "faculty scholarly productivity index," taking into account the number and quality of department's publications.

The undergraduate program in landscape architecture ranked second in the nation this year, according to DesignIntelligence, a publication for design professionals. Purdue's program provides a practical education component in which each student works one year in the landscape architecture industry before graduation.

"Robert Joly is nationally known as an excellent researcher and teacher," said Randy Woodson, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. "He will be a great leader to a department that is already recognized as one of the best in the country."

The department also operates the Purdue Master Gardner Program, which provides horticultural education and assistance to adults across Indiana who provide gardening instruction and activities in their local communities.

Joly's numerous teaching awards include the Charles B. Murphy Award from Purdue, the Outstanding Undergraduate Educator Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. He is a founding fellow of the Purdue Teaching Academy.

A member of the Purdue faculty since 1985, Joly earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of New Hampshire and a doctorate in plant physiology from Oregon State University.

Joly is originally from Claremont, N.H.

Writer: Douglas M Main, (765)496-2050,

Sources: Robert Joly, (765)494-6997,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

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