Matthew Rutter

Associate Professor; Academic Director for Stono River Preserve

Address: RITA 231
Phone: 843.953.7113


Ph.D. - Duke University
A.B. - Harvard University

Research Interests

My interests are at the interface of evolution, genomics and ecology.  I use plants as my study organisms, primarily the model genetic plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

Topics of Interest

The contribution of mutation to evolutionary processes, ecological genomics, plant genetics, Arabidopsis thaliana, building a database of phenotypes of single-knockout mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana, measuring the effects of spontaneous mutation in natural conditions, phytoremediation and restoration ecology, Chamaecrista fasciculata.

Courses Taught

BIOL 102: Concepts and Applications in Biology II
BIOL 211: Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Biology
BIOL 350: Evolution
EVSS 610: Environmental Biology 


Rutter MT, Bisner AM, Kohler C, Morgan K, Musselman O, Pickel J, Tan J, Yamasaki Y, Willson J, Callahan HS, Strand AE and Murren CJ. 2020. Disrupting the disruptors: the consequences of mutations in mobile elements for ecologically important life history traits. Evolutionary Ecology

Rutter MT, Murren CJ, Callahan HS, Bisner AM, Leebens-Mack J, Wolyniak MJ, and Strand AE. 2019. Distributed phenomics with the unPAK project reveals the effects of mutations. The Plant Journal 100: 119-211. doi:10.1111/tpj.14427

Murren CJ, Wolyniak MJ, Rutter MT, Bisner AM, Callahan HS, Strand AE, and Corwin LA. 2019. Students learn to “unPAK” the phenome of Arabidopsis: design and student outcomes of an adaptable network CURE. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education 20 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i2.1650

Weng M-L, Becker C, Hildebrandt J, Rutter MT, Shaw RG, Weigel D, and Fenster CB. 2019. Fine grained analysis of spontaneous mutation spectrum and frequency in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics 211: 703-714.

Rutter MT, Roles, AJ and Fenster CB. 2018. Quantifying natural seasonal variation in mutation parameters with mutation accumulation lines. Ecology and Evolution 8: 5575-5585.

M.T. Rutter, K. V. Cross and P.A. Van Woert.  2012. Birth, Death and subfunctionalization in the Arabidopsis genome.  Trends in Plant Sciences.

M.T. Rutter, A. Roles, J.K. Conner, R.G. Shaw, F.H. Shaw, K. Schneeberger, S. Ossowski, D. Weigel, and C.B. Fenster. 2012. Fitness of Arabidopsis thaliana mutation accumulation lines whose spontaneous mutations are known. Evolution.

M.T. Rutter, F.H. Shaw and C. B. Fenster. 2010. Spontaneous mutation parameters for Arabidopsis thaliana measured in the wild. Evolution 64:1825-1835.

M.T. Rutter and C.B. Fenster. 2007. Testing for adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana: a calibrated common garden approach. Annals of Botany 99: 529-536.

M.T. Rutter and M.D. Rausher. 2004. Natural selection on extrafloral nectar production in Chamaecrista fasciculata: the costs and benefits of a mutualist trait. Evolution 58: 2657-2668.

M.T. Rutter and R.A. Zufall. 2004.  Pathway length and evolutionary constraint in amino acid biosynthesis. Journal of Molecular Evolution 58: 218-224