IFAS News

University of Florida

Fact Or Fiction? The Truth About Those Pesky Lovebugs

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source:
Tom Fasulo fasulo@ufl.edu, 352-392-1901 x136

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Fact or fiction? Sometime in the 1950s an experiment gone horribly wrong at the University of Florida produced a pesky bug with no apparent purpose. The strange-looking insect — commonly known as the lovebug — managed to escape from researchers and began to spread rapidly, wreaking havoc on people and cars.

“Although most people have heard, or told, this story in some form or another, it’s just not true,” said Tom Fasulo, an extension entomologist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

Endangered Miami Blue Butterfly Gets New Lease On Life In UF Breeding Program

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Thomas Emmel tcemmel@ufl.edu, 352-392-5894
Jaret Daniels drjcdaniels@aol.com, 352-392-5894
John Capinera jlcap@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-1901

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EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK—The critically endangered Miami Blue butterfly, one of the rarest insects in North America, will return to South Florida today when University of Florida researchers release several hundred butterflies that have been bred in captivity.

“Last year, the entire Miami Blue population was down to about 50 adults, and their habitat was restricted to Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys,” said Thomas Emmel, director of UF’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Environmental Research in Gainesville. “We hope the release will establish a new, self- sustaining colony that will eventually increase in number and repopulate other areas of South Florida.” (more …)

Once The Pride Of The South, Old-Growth Longleaf Pine Forests Almost Gone

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Morgan Varner jmvarner@botany.ufl.edu, 352-219-0663
John Kush kush@forestry.auburn.edu, 334-844-1065
Rhett Johnson johnsee@auburn.edu, 334-222-7779

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Old-growth stands of longleaf pine, the tree that once dominated the Southern landscape and still provides habitat for dozens of threatened species, have all but vanished, according to study by a University of Florida researcher.

Of the estimated 60 million acres of virgin pine forest that blanketed the Southeast when the first European settlers arrived, as little as 12,000 acres remain, said Morgan Varner, a doctoral candidate in interdisciplinary ecology at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

A First: UF Researchers Help Eradicate Exotic Termite

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Rudolf Scheffrahn rhsc@ufl.edu, 954-577-6312
Brian Cabrera bcabrera@ufl.edu, 954-475-4125
Steve Dwinell dwinels@doacs.state.fl.us, 850-488-7447

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — University of Florida experts and state officials have eradicated a newly introduced termite species from America’s shores, and they say this is the first time such an invasion has likely ever been stopped.

UF researchers say the tree termite, a tropical wood-devouring insect first discovered in Florida three years ago, could have caused as much as a billion dollars in property damage if it became established here. (more …)

UF/IFAS Food Safety Training Program Certifies Food Managers

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Amy Simonne ASimonne@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-1895 ext. 232
Rita Law-McCumber RLM@ifas.ufl.edu, 407-665-5553

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—With 40 million tourists every year — and millions of year-round residents — Florida’s $18 billion restaurant industry is making food safety a top priority with the help of a University of Florida training program.

Food managers — those individuals who are responsible for receiving, storing, preparing, displaying and serving the public — must be nationally certified in food management, and food safety experts at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are helping train people for the certification. (more …)

UF Lycopene-Extraction Method Could Find Use For Tons Of Discarded Tomatoes

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Murat Balaban MOBalaban@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-1991 ext. 507
Amy Simonne ASimonne@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-1895 ext. 232
John VanSickle jjvansickle@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-1881 ext. 221

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Researchers at the University of Florida have found an inexpensive way to extract the antioxidant lycopene from tomatoes, a technology that could turn a mountain of discarded produce into a marketable commodity.

“It’s a very good solution to two problems,” said Murat Balaban, a professor of food engineering and processing at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “You have a shortage of lycopene, which costs $2,500 per kilo in its pure form. And you have farmers with tons of blemished tomatoes that they can’t sell or even give away.” (more …)

Maria Gallo-Meagher Receives Fulbright Scholar Award For Teaching And Research In The Netherlands

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source:
Maria Gallo-Meagher mgmea@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-1823 ext. 200

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Maria Gallo-Meagher, an associate professor with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award for Teaching and Research at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands.

Beginning May 15, Gallo-Meagher will spend seven months at the Dutch university conducting research on molecular plant physiology and biotechnology, and lecturing on critical thinking in the sciences. (more …)

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