IFAS News

University of Florida

UF/IFAS study: In battle against flies, don’t toss old bulbs

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Economics, Pests

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Restaurants and supermarkets could save millions of dollars by hanging on to bug zapper bulbs instead of tossing them every year as they normally do, a new University of Florida study has found.

What’s more, the benefits could extend to the environment by keeping some of the bulbs’ mercury out of the waste stream.

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UF researchers help write new book on rare tropical fish

Topic(s): Agriculture, Aquaculture

Banggai Cardinalfish Pair Image Scott MichaelBanggai-Cardinalfish-Pair-Image-Scott-Michael

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GAINESVILLE – A new book gives readers a plethora of information about an Indonesian tropical fish that’s popular globally but threatened by the aquarium industry, says a University of Florida professor who helped write it.

The book, “Banggai Cardinalfish: A Guide to Captive Care, Breeding & Natural History,” is described on the cover as a manual for aquarium enthusiasts, divers and breeders interested in the Banggai Cardinalfish. It’s available online at www.banggai-rescue.com.

“It’s kind of an educational update,” said Roy Yanong, an associate professor and extension veterinarian at UF’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin, part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “It’s a review of all we learned, scientifically and anecdotally.”

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UF survey: Adults lack basic knowledge on caloric intake

Topic(s): Agriculture, Families and Consumers, Nutrition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Adults generally don’t know how many calories they should consume daily to maintain their current weight, according to a new University of Florida survey, but that may not be a bad thing.

That’s because knowing one’s calorie needs can be a double-edged sword, said Cassie Rowe, who worked on the survey as a graduate student and is now a study coordinator at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“On one hand, it may allow people to balance energy intake with physical activity to manage their weight,” Rowe said. “On the other hand, I think most Americans get bogged down by the numbers. In this respect, knowing your calorie needs may lead to unnecessary stress surrounding counting calories.”

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Al Wysocki Accepted to APLU’s Food Systems Leadership Institute

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS

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Al Wysocki, associate dean for the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, has been accepted for the fall 2013 Food Systems Leadership Institute, an executive leadership development program for academia, industry and government.

The institute emphasizes leadership, organizational-change skills, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on food systems. The organization works to prepare scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs and to assume leadership responsibilities within their own organizations.

The two-year program includes intensive executive education residential learning sessions at three university locations, where scholars learn to increase awareness of their own leadership style, and aided by a professional coach, implement a personal development plan. During the second year, they work to apply what they’ve learned while carrying out an individual leadership project. More information about the program is available at www.fsli.org.

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UF/IFAS irrigation apps for urban turfgrass, strawberry and citrus now available

Topic(s): Conservation, New Technology, RECs, Uncategorized

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida has released three smart device apps of interest to those in the irrigation business, and for the time being, users can download them for free.

The first three apps to be released were designed for citrus, strawberry and urban turfgrass irrigators, said Kati Migliaccio, an associate professor in agricultural and biological engineering, based at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Fla.

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Everglades REC director to chair UF/IFAS Agronomy Department

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

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Rob Gilbert, director of the University of Florida’s Everglades Research and Education Center, will be the agronomy department’s next chairman, UF/IFAS’ top official announced this week.

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said Gilbert will begin his new position Jan. 15, allowing him time to wrap up his responsibilities at the center in Belle Glade.

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UF/IFAS professor takes on interim post at Southwest Florida Research and Education Center

Topic(s): Announcements, RECs, Uncategorized

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A longtime UF/IFAS professor will step into the role of interim director at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, officials have announced.

Phil Stansly, an entomologist who conducts research on pests affecting major crops grown in southwest Florida, including citrus and vegetables, will begin his new job Nov. 1.

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UF/IFAS study: Distressed older adults more likely to accept financial help

Topic(s): Agriculture, Economics, Families and Consumers, Finances

GAINESVILLE – Emotionally unstable elderly people tend to accept financial assistance more readily than their more stable peers, a new University of Florida study shows.

Martie Gillen, an assistant professor in family, youth and community sciences at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, studied how personality traits play a role in whether elderly people are willing to accept financial assistance from others and in what form.

Gillen said the study has implications for public assistance programs, including food stamps. It may be that such programs should be better marketed to older adults, she said.

“Many elderly people are eligible for food stamps, but will not sign up for the benefits,” she said.

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UF study: Boomboxes amplify predatory bird sounds and are used as cues

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry

GAINESVILLE — Using boomboxes to amplify predator bird sounds in the wild, University of Florida researchers have found that smaller birds listen to vocal cues to avoid areas populated by predators.

In her study, doctoral student Fangyuan Hua set up above-ground boomboxes mounted in camouflaged boxes on half-acre plots at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station near Melrose.

Powered by car batteries, these boomboxes were programmed for four months to broadcast predator sounds according to a schedule that simulated when and how predators would normally call.

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Florida weather network adds three stations

Topic(s): Agriculture, Citrus, Crops, New Technology, Weather

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GAINESVILLE — The Florida Automated Weather Network is bigger than ever, with three new sites added this year.

Stations added since April are in Citrus, Okeechobee and Palm Beach counties, said Rick Lusher, manager of the network at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

That makes 41 stations now in the network, built in 1998 to give the state’s agricultural producers the most current weather information possible.

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