Matthew Chappell is currently a Professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia. His educational background, although focusing on plant breeding and genetics, is a bit unconventional in that he has worked with agronomic (wheat/barley/tobacco) and ornamental crops. This diverse interest was initiated while he was raised on an agronomic farm (producing tobacco, peanuts, soybeans, and corn) in southeastern Virginia, followed by courses in horticulture at Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia. Since starting his professional tenure at the University of Georgia in 2007, he has developed a research program focused on a dual role in ornamental production and ornamental plant breeding and genetics; while serving as Department of Horticulture Extension Coordinator since 2018.
Matthew has a solid and broad educational background in agriculture that includes both agronomic and horticultural (specialty crop) fields of study, incorporating international experience as a Fulbright Scholar at Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (SLU; Åkarp, Sweden). He has used these experiences to build a broad network of collaborators and associates across academia and industry. While his research focus has centered on ornamental (mostly native taxa) plant breeding, the field requires a working knowledge of a number of applied agricultural fields including agricultural economics, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, and environmental science.
In total, Matthew has authored/co-authored 30+ refereed scientific manuscripts, 41 abstracts with associated presentations at scientific meetings, 28 proceedings articles with associated presentations at scientific meetings, and helped generate $5.5 million in grant funding. He has done this despite having no formal research appointment until 2015, and a 10% appointment since 2015.
In his spare time, Matthew enjoys surf fishing, kayak fishing, gardening, and golfing. His two children and his wife (Sarah), however, are the apple of his eye.