Promotion and Tenure 2016


Promotion to associate professor with tenure

David Butler, Department of Plant Sciences, 75% research/25% teaching

In 2010, Dr. David Butler began working in the Department of Plant Sciences as an assistant professor. Butler’s research focuses primarily on soil-plant-microbe interactions within organic and other alternative cropping systems. He is the 2015 recipient of the T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award. Butler also has teaching responsibilities, and his courses focus on organic crop production and agroecology. He serves as the chair of the Organic Production concentration in the Plant Sciences major. Butler received his PhD in Agronomy (Soil Science) from the University of Georgia in 2008 and afterwards completed a postdoc at the USDA-ARS, U.S. Horticultural Research Lab, in Fort Pierce, Florida.


Jennifer DeBruyn, Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, 75% research/25% extension

Dr. Jennifer DeBruyn received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee in 2008. DeBruyn completed her postdoctoral research in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, and began as an assistant professor in the same department in 2010. Her research focus is microbial biodegradation and decomposition of organic inputs, including pollutants, plastics, and animal mortalities. Her extension program focuses on 4-H science education. She is the 2016 T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award winner.


Amy Fulcher, Department of Plant Sciences, 75% extension/25% research

Dr. Amy Fulcher is an associate professor for Sustainable Ornamental Plant Production and Landscape Management in the Department of Plant Sciences. Her research focuses on sustainable nursery production, particularly plant water use, efficient irrigation technologies, and integrated pest management. Fulcher completed her PhD in Crop Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 and began working for UTIA as an assistant professor the same year. She is the 2014 Outstanding New Extension Worker Award winner. Amy works with Extension agents and nursery producers to optimize production practices and improve the sustainability of nursery production, particularly through efficient and environmentally sound use of water and pesticides.


Sharon Jean-Philippe, Department of Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries, 70% teaching/30% extension

Dr. Sharon Jean-Philippe began as an assistant professor of Urban Forestry in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries in 2010. Jean-Philippe’s research interests include carbon sequestration, street tree health, and biogeochemical cycling of elements. Jean-Philippe received her PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee in 2010. Her teaching responsibilities include undergraduate urban forestry courses, and she co-instructs the graduate seminar in wildlife and fisheries science and natural resources. In 2015 she received the W.F. and Golda Moss Teaching Award. Her new extension appointment will focus on the development of a statewide program targeting Urban/Community Forestry for county-based extension personnel and citizens of Tennessee.


Andrea Ludwig, Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, 100% extension

Dr. Andrea Ludwig began her UTIA career as an assistant professor in 2010. She is an ecological engineer who works in the areas of watershed restoration and stormwater management. Ludwig is the Stormwater Management Specialist for UT Extension where she provides technical expertise in the areas of green infrastructure and water quality. Her primary focus is on developing practices for decreasing nonpoint source (from runoff) pollution in the state’s watersheds. Ludwig completed her PhD in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2010 before beginning work with UTIA. Ludwig is the 2013 Outstanding New Extension Worker and two-time BESS Outstanding Service Faculty Award winner.


Justin Rhinehart, Department of Animal Science, 100% extension

Dr. Justin Rhinehart’s professional interests are beef cattle management and applied reproductive technologies in beef cattle. Rhinehart is the codirector of the Tennessee Beef Heifer Development Program where he works with producers to translate his research findings into management practices that improve the profitability of beef cattle production. He earned his PhD in Reproductive Physiology in 2007 and worked as an extension beef cattle specialist at Mississippi State University before joining the Department of Animal Science as an assistant professor in 2010. Rhinehart received the J.E. Moss Extension Achievement Award in 2015.


Promotion to professor

Seong-Hoon Cho, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, 85% research/15% teaching

Dr. Cho began his career with UTIA in 2004 as assistant professor. His research focuses on the interaction of natural systems and human systems and includes management of urban sprawl, valuation of national forest visits, and the relationship between land use and climate changes. Cho also teaches natural resource economics for undergraduate/graduate students and advanced topics in natural resource economics for graduate students. He received his PhD in Resource and Environmental Economics from Oregon State University in 2001. Upon finishing his degree, Cho completed postdoctoral training at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. He was awarded the David C. Lincoln Fellowship Award in 2009 and 2010 as well as the OECD Co-operative Research Programme Fellowship in 2010.


Nicole Labbé, Department of Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries, 100% research

Dr. Nicole Labbé is a professor in the Center for Renewable Carbon with an academic appointment in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Her research focuses on conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into fuels, chemicals, and products. Labbé received her PhD in Wood Sciences from the University of Bordeaux before beginning her postdoctoral work in the UTIA Forest Products Center from 2002–2004. In 2004 she began her tenure as a research assistant in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries before becoming an assistant professor in 2006. In 2011 she received the Gamma Sigma Delta Excellence in Research Award.



Dayton Lambert, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, 90% research/10% teaching

Dr. Dayton Lambert’s research interests are diverse and include areas such as regional economics, production economics, and econometrics. He is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and began in the department as an assistant professor in 2006. Lambert received his PhD in 2005 at Purdue University where he studied Agricultural Economics. He then spent a year as an economist with the USDA before joining the faculty ranks at UTIA. Dr. Lambert’s teaching responsibilities include a graduate-level course in risk and decision analysis. Lambert was part of the group that was awarded the 2012 Gamma Sigma Delta Award Team Award.


Adam Taylor, Department of Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries, 90% extension/10% teaching

Dr. Adam Taylor is a professor in the Department of Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries. He began with the department in 2004 as an assistant professor. In his extension appointment, Taylor works to solve problems in the wood products industry through information transfer and applied research. Dr. Taylor teaches students in Forestry, Architecture, and other majors about wood properties and products and the workings of the forest industry. He earned his PhD in Wood Science from Oregon State University in 2004 before joining the UTIA faculty. Dr. Taylor considers himself a wood generalist and his work extends from wood quality to wood deterioration and protection. In 2009, Dr. Taylor received the Forest Resources Award from the Tennessee Forestry Association.