Michigan State University
Dr. Erik Runkle is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. Erik obtained a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Illinois and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticulture at Michigan State University. Since he joined the faculty in 2001, he and his graduate research team have performed numerous experiments in controlled environments to determine the effects of light, temperature, and other environmental factors on plant growth and development. Experiments have been performed on a wide range of herbaceous specialty crops including leafy greens and ornamentals. Erik recently developed the Controlled-Environment Lighting Laboratory to better understand how the lighting environment can be manipulated to produce crops with desired attributes. He is the director of OptimIA, which is a project focusing on improving the profitability and sustainability of indoor leafy-greens production.