Dr. Bruce Schaffer

Professor — Ecophysiology of Subtropical and Tropical Horticultural Crops

Dr. Schaffer's research focuses on ecophysiology of subtropical and tropical horticultural plants with emphasis on fruit crops. The program is aimed at improving agricultural sustainability and the compatibility of agriculture with natural ecosystems.



My research is directed at understanding how physiology, growth and productivity of subtropical and tropical horticultural crops are impacted by biotic and environmental stresses. The application of this research is to improve the sustainability of subtropical and tropical horticulture and to increase the compatibility of agricultural production areas with the adjacent urban and environmental uses. Recently, my focus has been on understanding the effects of root zone flooding on physiology of subtropical and tropical fruit crops and developing best management practices for irrigation and fertilization of subtropical and tropical crops. There are many overarching goals between my research objectives and those of colleagues in several other disciplines. Therefore my work involves a multidisciplinary approach in close collaboration with horticulturists, entomologists, environmental chemists, soil scientists, agricultural engineers, agricultural economists, plant pathologists, geneticists and ecologists.


I have no official teaching appointment.  However, I regularly supervise Ph.D. and M.S. students, serve on students’ graduate committees and host international and national undergraduate and graduate student interns.

Dr. Bruce Schaffer (Professor) — Ecophysiology of Subtropical and Tropical Horticultural Crops