Photo of J. Raymond Kessler, Professor in the department of HorticultureJ. Raymond Kessler


Horticulture Department


Ph.D., The University of Georgia, 1989
M.S., Mississippi State University, 1980
B.S., Auburn University, 1978

Professional experience

Professor — Auburn University, 2008-present
Associate Professor — Auburn University, 2000-2008
Assistant Professor — Auburn University, 1995-2000
Master Grower — Heartland Growers, Inc., 1993-1995
Research Associate — Iowa State University, 1990-1993

Honor and awards

The Ulysses P. Hedrick Award for outstanding journal article, The American Pomological Society, 2016, 2017, and 2018.


American Society for Horticultural Science

Research activities

Areas of research include plant growth control of bedding plants and herbaceous perennials including work with photoperiod, vernalization, and plant growth retardants.

Courses taught

HORT 5220/6220 Greenhouse Management Science
HORT4250 Intermediate Fruit & Vegetable Production
HORT 4100 Herbaceous Ornamental Plants
HORT 7010 Experimental Methods in Horticulture

Select Publications

  • Spiers, J., A. Brantley, A. Thompson, J. Pitts, J. Kessler3, Jr, A. Wright, and E. Coneva. 2019. Effective Pollination Period of Actinidia chinensis ‘AU Golden Sunshine’ and Actinidia deliciosa ‘AU Fitzgerald’. HortScience.
  • Vinson, E., E. Coneva, J. Kemble, F. Woods, J. Sibley, E. Fonsah, P. Perkins-Veazie, and J. Kessler, Jr.3 2018. Prediction of flower emergence and evaluation of cropping potential in selected banana cultivars (Musa sp.) Cultivated in subtropical conditions of coastal Alabama. HortScience 53:1634-1639.
  • Hoppers, A.A., J.D. Spiers, J.R. Kessler2, A.N. Wright, and A.A. Powell. 2018. Root distribution of ‘Brightwell’ and ‘Premier’ rabbiteye blueberries as influenced by pecan shell mulch. J. Amer. Pomological Soc.  72(2)101-112.
  • Newby, A.F., J.E. Altland, D.K. Struve, C.C. Pasian, P.P. Ling, P.S. Jourdan, J.R. Kessler3, and M. Carpenter. 2018. Integrating moisture characteristic curves with gravimetric data in the management of substrate moisture content for annual vinca. HortScience 53:1197-1202.
  • Y. Chen, J.R. Kessler, Jr1, G.J. Keever, and G.B. Fain. 2018. Effects of growing season, plant stage of development, and substrate drench applications of Paclobutrazol as compared to a Daminozide standard on growth and flowering of Gerbera Daisy ‘Bright Red with Light Eye’. J. Environ. Hort. 36(2):66-72.
  • Li, M., J.R. Kessler, Jr., G.J. Keever, and W.G. Foshee III. 2016. Pinching, daminozide and night-interrupted lighting start date affect growth and flowering of Achillea בCoronation Gold’. J. Environ. Hort. 34(1):13–18.
  • Li, M., J.R. Kessler, Jr., G.J. Keever, and W.G. Foshee, III. 2015. Bulking duration and daminozide affect growth and flowering of Achillea בCoronation Gold’. J. Environ. Hort. 33(2):84-88.
  • Keever, Gary J., J. Raymond Kessler, Jr., Glenn B. Fain, and David C. Mitchell. 2015. Seedling developmental stage at transplanting affects growth and flowering of medallion flower and globe amaranth. J. Environ. Hort. 33(2):53-57.
  • Keever, Gary J., J. Raymond Kessler, Jr., L. Heath Hoffman, and James C. Stephenson. 2015. Dikegulac sodium concentration and application number affects branching of Blackgum and Southern Sugar Maple during container production. J. Environ. Hort. 33(1):15-19.