University of Florida

UF/IFAS study finds algal cells create fat more quickly than thought, could aid biofuel research

Topic(s): Aquaculture, Biofuels, Economics, Environment, IFAS, New Technology, Research

Flasks of biofuel algae in a labortory.  Alternative energy and fuels.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Click here for high-resolution image. Caption at bottom.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Many scientists see great promise in algae as a new source of oil — a sustainable, environmentally sound way to break the world’s fossil fuel dependence.

Algal lipids from microalgae are one of the best sources for biofuels – algae grow quickly, tolerate extreme weather conditions, and do not pose the same issues as biofuel crops that are grown both for fuel and food.

Many research teams in academia and private industry are struggling, however, with one vexing problem with algae as a fuel source: The conditions that promote algal growth aren’t the same as the conditions that allow the algae to create the maximum amount of oil.

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Pastured ‘wild’ horses to cost U.S. $1 billion by 2030, researchers warn in report

Topic(s): Conservation, Economics, Environment, IFAS, Livestock, Research

wild horses

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Captive “wild” horses will cost U.S. taxpayers $1 billion by 2030 if federal management approaches don’t change, according to a new report by a pair of researchers who were part of a national committee that studied the issue.

A possible solution, they say: contraceptive vaccines.

The report by researchers Madan Oli of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Robert Garrott of Montana State University, was published late last week in the journal Science. Oli is a professor in the wildlife ecology and conservation department, and Garrott is a professor in the MSU ecology department.

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Generous donation allows UF/IFAS much-needed citrus field research acreage

Topic(s): Announcements, Citrus, RECs


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Polk County architect-turned-citrus grower’s decision to allow researchers to use 100 acres of land has given the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences a much-needed boost in the battle against deadly citrus greening.

Located around Polk County, the donation – a combination of older and recent gifts from grower Jim Hughes, who died earlier this month – increases the UF Citrus Research and Education Center’s available field-trial research space by about 50 percent, said Jackie Burns, the center’s director.

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UF has experts for back-to-school news stories on head lice, lunchbox germs & more

Topic(s): Families and Consumers

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has experts for back-to-school news stories on head lice, lunchbox germs & more.

1. HEAD LICE: Head lice, an easily transferable pest, are often found in children due to their play activity and close contact. Early detection can help prevent advanced infestations. With September being National Head Lice Prevention month, Rebecca Baldwin, an assistant professor in the UF/IFAS entomology and nematology department, can help explain ways to prevent head lice as well as ways to inspect and treat them. Phone: 352-273-3974; email: baldwinr@ufl.edu

2. LUNCHBOX HYGIENE: Food Safety expert Keith Schneider can help you be confident your child’s lunchbox isn’t a germy mess. Schneider, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition, is at keiths29@ufl.edu or 352-392-1991, ext. 309

3. MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES FUN AND NUTRITIOUS: It’s almost time to put away the barbecue grill and break out the school lunch bags again, and a University of Florida nutrition expert has ideas for making those sandwiches and snacks almost as much fun as summer vacation. Karla Shelnutt, an assistant professor of foods and nutrition, says a nutritious lunch helps your kid do his or her best. When kids eat well, they’re ready to learn and do better in class. She’s got specific tips for how to make nutritious lunches your kids will actually want to eat. Email kpagan@ufl.edu or 352-392-1778, ext. 240

4. FRESHMAN 15: Many have heard about the dreaded “Freshman 15” – the extra pounds some students gain during their first year in college. However, help avoiding the extra pounds can come from healthy eating choices. Julie England, a family and consumer sciences agent with UF/IFAS Extension in Lake County, can share some easy ideas for healthy eating for college students as well as some techniques to keep meals inexpensive and simple. Phone: 352-343-4101; email: julieeng@ufl.edu

5. TOO MANY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?: How many after school activities is too many? Researchers found that moderate involvement in activities appeared to be beneficial and was linked to improved school performance. However, at very high levels of involvement — more than 14 hours a week — teens’ academic well-being did decline. UF/IFAS assistant professor Bryan Terry can talk about the value of extracurricular activities for young people. Phone: 352-273-3539, email: terrys1@ufl.edu

UF researchers find changes in forest management could produce large water yields

Topic(s): Conservation, Environment, Forestry, IFAS, Research

Kaplan and McLaughlin

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Despite a soggy summer, water supply remains a critical issue in the Sunshine State. University of Florida researchers now say that reducing plant material, or biomass, in forests could significantly increase water supplied to streams, lakes and aquifers.

Researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences made the finding by creating computer models that analyzed the effects of reduced forest biomass on regional hydrological supplies. Their results will be published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

In one 4,000-acre tract in Central Florida, the model predicted that converting a densely planted pine forest to one managed with slightly fewer trees per acre could supply an additional 400,000 to 1.6 million gallons of water per day to the regional water supply.

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UF/IFAS’ Phil Kaufman to be lauded as Illinois 4-H alumnus

Topic(s): Announcements, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Phillip Kaufman

UF/IFAS veterinary entomology Associate Professor Phil Kaufman will be honored at the 2013 Illinois State 4-H Awards ceremony in Champaign on Sept. 6.

Kaufman is one of three who will receive the Illinois 4-H Alumni Award during the ACES College Connection event. He was a 10-year member of 4-H from Grundy County, Ill. His fellow winners are Brian Basting, an advanced trading commodity research analyst from Bloomington, Ill., and Brian Moeller, a senior vice president with U.S. Bank Food Industries Group.

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