IFAS News

University of Florida

UF Study Suggests Spiders, Scorpions, Ticks, Mites Far Older Than Fossil Record Indicates

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Research

Marjorie Hoy and Ayyamperumal Jeyaprakash examine a fossil spider embedded in amber
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Halloween is the only holiday when spiders and other arachnids get a little respect from humans, and a new University of Florida study suggests they deserve more, because they’ve apparently managed to survive a very, very long time.

By analyzing gene sequences in modern-day spiders, scorpions, ticks and mites, researchers have estimated that these invertebrates first appeared on Earth roughly 400 million to 450 million years ago. (more …)

UF Doctoral Student Uses High-Tech Method to Solve Greece’s Tough Mosquito Problem

Topic(s): Biocontrols, Entomology and Nematology, New Technology, Pests
  • By:
    Mickie Anderson – (352) 273-3566
  • Sources:
    Alex Chaskopoulou – andahask@ufl.edu, (352) 392-2326
    Phil Koehler – pgk@ufl.edu, (352) 392-2484

Alex Chaskopoulou and entomology professor Phil Koehler study GPS maps
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida doctoral student from Greece is helping her country control its massive mosquito problem by using a high-tech, environmentally friendly system that uses a helicopter to spray tiny amounts of insecticide into precision-targeted areas.

Alex Chaskopoulou spent the summer overseeing an experimental mosquito control program, and now Greek government officials are pushing for the program to be rapidly expanded. She sent a formal report on her work to the Greek minister of agriculture two weeks ago. (more …)

UF Senior Vice President Jimmy Cheek Accepts UT Chancellor Post

Topic(s): Announcements, IFAS
  • By:
    Mickie Anderson – (352) 273-3566
  • Source:
    Jimmy G. Cheek – jgcheek@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1971

Jimmy Cheek
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jimmy G. Cheek, the University of Florida’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, has been named the next chancellor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Cheek accepted an offer from UT President John Petersen to become chancellor of the Knoxville campus today and will begin in that role February 1. (more …)

UF Researchers Obtain $4 Million Federal Contract to Improve Military Food Distribution

Topic(s): Announcements, New Technology, Nutrition
  • By:
    Tom Nordlie – (352) 392-3567
  • Sources:
    Jeffrey Brecht – jkbrecht@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1928 x213
    Jean-Pierre Emond – jpemond@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1864 x229

Jeffrey Brecht and Jean-Pierre Emond show packaged military rations at a laboratory on the UF main campus
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers have obtained a one-year, $4 million contract to develop better technology ensuring military rations traveling overseas arrive intact, fresh and nutritious.

Scientists with UF’s Center for Food Distribution and Retailing contracted with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center to improve methods of distributing rations and reducing losses. The results could lead to greater efficiency, cost savings and innovations that benefit the government, and, ultimately, private industry and consumers. (more …)

Ethanol Pilot Plant Ushers in New Era for UF Biofuels Research

Topic(s): Biofuels, Research
  • By:
    Stu Hutson – (352) 273-3569
  • Sources:
    Lonnie Ingram – ingram@ufl.edu, (352) 392-8176
    Pratap Pullammanappallil – pcpratap@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1864 x203

Lonnie Ingram monitors the bioreactor in the cellulosic ethanol pilot plant in Rogers Hall
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Gasoline prices in the United States have fluctuated wildly in the past two years, but this isn’t the first time the nation has felt pain at the pump. Several oil crises in the ’80s prompted microbiologist Lonnie Ingram to begin working on alternative fuels to meet U.S. transportation needs.

Since that time, Ingram and colleagues at the University of Florida have been developing economical and environmentally friendly ways to produce cellulosic ethanol – a clean-burning fuel produced from materials such as yard waste and switchgrass, that could end up replacing much of the country’s gasoline. (more …)

UF/IFAS Ethanol Pilot Plant Dedication (stand alone photo – no story available)

Topic(s): Biofuels, Stand-Alone Photos

Lonnie Ingram explains ethanol production to U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, UF Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Jimmy Cheek, state Rep. Larry Cretul and UF President Bernie Machen
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In this photo released from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, microbiologist Lonnie Ingram (foreground) explains ethanol production to (left to right) U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, UF Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Jimmy Cheek, state Rep. Larry Cretul and UF President Bernie Machen at the dedication ceremony for the new cellulosic ethanol pilot plant on the university’s main campus in Gainesville – Friday, October 10, 2008. The facility will help researchers explore new ways to produce fuel from inedible plant material.

(AP photo/University of Florida/IFAS/Thomas Wright)

UF Entomologists Warn Floridians New Roaches May Be on the Way

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Household Pests, Invasive Species
  • By:
    Mickie Anderson – (352) 273-3566
  • Sources:
    Phil Koehler – pgk@ufl.edu, (352) 392-2484
    Roberto Pereira – rpereira@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1901

Phil Koehler and Roberto Pereira watch as a bearded drgaon lizard peers into a jar filled with Madagascar hissing cockroaches
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As if Floridians aren’t bugged enough by roaches, a growing interest among reptile enthusiasts to farm the insects as lizard food could result in several new cockroach varieties invading the state, University of Florida entomologists warn.

Phil Koehler and Roberto Pereira, researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, wrote an article in last month’s Florida Pest Pro magazine, alerting pest control operators and homeowners to be on the lookout for several new species of cockroach. (more …)

Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant Dedication to Be Held on the UF Campus

Topic(s): Announcements, Biofuels
  • By:
    Stu Hutson – (352) 273-3569

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A ceremony to dedicate the new cellulosic ethanol pilot plant on the UF campus will be held this Friday October 10, 2008. The program will begin at 1:00pm in room 141 of Frazier Rogers Hall with brief statements from UF President Bernie Machen, Senior Vice President Jimmy Cheek as well as alternative energy researcher Lonnie Ingram. Following the statements, Ingram will conduct tours of the plant. (more …)

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