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University of Florida

UF/IFAS honors alumni, friends at Dinner of Distinction

Topic(s): Announcements, Honors and Appointments

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences honored some of its most ardent supporters at its annual Dinner of Distinction, held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center on Friday.

This was the fourth year for the awards banquet that recognizes individuals and organizations that support and advance UF/IFAS in its research, teaching and Extension efforts.

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UF/IFAS termite pioneer to be inducted into inventors hall of fame

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Economics, Entomology and Nematology, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, Household Pests, IFAS, New Technology, Pests, RECs

TERMITES2 Nan-Yao Su 022415

Nan-Yao Su

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nan-Yao Su, the University of Florida scientist who invented the Sentricon® system for termite colony elimination, is scheduled to be inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame Oct. 2 in Tampa.

Sentricon®, the first commercial baiting product for subterranean termites, has protected millions of structures, including the White House and the Statue of Liberty.

The Hall of Fame selection committee chose nominees whose inventions and achievements have “advanced the quality of life for Floridians, our state and our nation,” according to a letter to Su from hall of fame Program Manager William Nikolic.

Su said he feels honored to be mentioned alongside such great inventors as Thomas Edison and UF’s own Robert Cade, who invented Gatorade®.

“I am glad that I can contribute to the quality of life of many homeowners in Florida and worldwide,” Su said.

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UF/IFAS landscape management researcher named Early Career Scientist by global tree group

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Environment, Extension, Forestry, Green Living, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Research

Koeser tree award 091415 (1)

Andrew Koeser

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A UF/IFAS scientist, who has helped design a tree risk-management app and is co-writing tree identification books, has been named as a co-recipient of the International Society of Arboriculture’s Early Career Scientist Award.

The award is given to professionals showing exceptional promise in arboriculture research.

Andrew Koeser, an assistant professor in environment horticulture at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Baum, is also a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology.

One of Koeser’s projects is a mobile app for risk-assessment data collection and mapping. He is also co-writing a series of tree identification books unique to the different regions of Florida.

Koeser hopes his research enhances efforts to improve risk-assessment and storm response processes. The app project is designed to give cities an easy and efficient means of taking inventory and assessing the safety of their trees. Should a severe storm hit, the data collected will help managers more quickly estimate debris levels for cleanup.

“My research in tree risk assessment carries on the goal of enhancing current efforts being made to improve assessment processes,” said Koeser, a faculty member with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “I think the app project has the potential to gather user data needed in order to make reasonable assessments of potential tree failure.”

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UF/IFAS entomologist to be inducted into pest management hall of fame

Topic(s): Announcements, Entomology and Nematology, Environment, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, Household Pests, IFAS, Pests


Please see caption below.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Phil Koehler sees his students as the reason he’s being inducted into the Pest Management Professional Hall of Fame.

“The thing I’ve done is provide opportunities for students, and they’ve pretty well stayed with the pest management industry in one way or another,” Koehler said. They attend pest management meetings around the world and interact with industry professionals.

Some will attend his hall of fame induction in Nashville, Tennessee, in October, an honor Koehler appreciates.

“This award is probably the highest award that you can get for contributions to the pest management industry worldwide,” said Koehler, likening the award to winning an Oscar. After all, the November ceremony is a black-tie event.

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UF/IFAS forestry professor earns top global award

Topic(s): Announcements, Conservation, Environment, Forestry, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Eric Jokela and a UF researcher measuring the growth of a tree.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After three decades of outstanding forestry research, A UF/IFAS professor will receive one of the top global awards in his field.

Eric J. Jokela, a professor of silviculture – managing and producing better forests — and forest nutrition will receive the Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Since 1955, this annual award recognizes “distinguished individual research in any branch of the biological sciences that has resulted in substantial advances in forestry,” according to a release from the society.

“Being the recipient of this award is indeed very humbling as I reflect back on the previous awardees who have made lasting contributions to the field of forest science,” Jokela said. “I find it especially gratifying to know that results from our long-term, cooperative research efforts have found strong applications and also contributed to the advancement of sustainable forest management systems used in the South and elsewhere.”

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UF/IFAS expert wins lifetime achievement award for his international work for nonprofits

Topic(s): Announcements, Families and Consumers, Finances, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Muthusami Kumaran.  Family, Youth, and Community Sciences.

Muthusami Kumaran

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Since 2012, for three summers, UF/IFAS students have travelled to India with Family, Youth and Community Sciences nonprofit management faculty member Muthusami Kumaran to learn about Non-Governmental Organizations (nonprofits) and development.

While there, Kumaran also lends his expertise on strategic planning, fundraising and best management practices to local NGOs.

This year brought an added bonus: Kumaran won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sethu Valliammal Educational Trust and the Soka Ikeda College of Arts and Science for Women, for his years of work with nonprofit organizations and NGOs worldwide. The trust, a major NGO itself, operates schools, colleges and vocational training institutions with a focus on providing educational opportunities to underserved students.

“It’s amazingly humbling,” Kumaran said of the award. “I truly consider it an honor to serve NGOs.”

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Researchers Honored at 8th Annual UF/IFAS FAES Awards Ceremony

Topic(s): Agriculture, Environment, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers were honored on May 19 for outstanding work in agricultural sciences, including creating new patents, new plants and fruits, and finding ways to combat diseases. The ceremony for the UF/IFAS Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Research Awards was held in the Harn Museum.


“The science and new knowledge generated by UF/IFAS researchers is changing the world,” said Jackie Burns, UF/IFAS dean for research. “Through the hard work, creativity, and diligence of UF/IFAS scientists, we are expanding the frontiers of understanding, creating new knowledge in applied and basic science, and paving the path toward a future with improved human health, a prosperous agricultural industry, and sustainable and healthy natural ecosystems.”


Awards were given for thesis and dissertation from master’s and Ph.D. students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Honors were also bestowed to early career scientists, researchers who produced outstanding publications and those who produced patents. The patents include new varieties of peanuts, a Ruellia cultivar that boasts leaves in a stunning shade of purple and an invention to improve the heat stress tolerance of plants.


Special recognition went to the university’s two newest fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Also, the Professor Emeritus Award was given to Barry Brecke, who spent 30 years with UF/IFAS.


“We salute and celebrate these successes. But perhaps more fundamentally tonight we celebrate the pursuit of scientific understanding, and our collective vision that through research we can create the foundation that will guide us to the future,” Burns said.


Below is the list of award winners in each category:


Graduate Research Awards


  1. Nathan Holt w/advisor Sanjay Shukla
  3. Cintia Ribeiro w/advisor Matias Kirst



2015 Early Career Scientists Recognition


  1. Damian Adams
  2. Soohyoun Ahn
  3. Nikolay Bliznyuk
  4. Nathan Boyd
  5. John Bromfield
  6. Samantha Brooks
  7. Zhengfei Guan
  8. Jaclyn Kropp
  9. Phillip Lancaster
  10. Guodong Liu
  11. Paul Monaghan
  12. Patricio Munoz
  13. Gulcan Onel
  14. Joshua Patterson
  15. Elizabeth Pienaar
  16. Paul Sarnoski
  17. Huiping Yang



Richard L. Jones Award

  • Jianping Wang
  • S. Luke Flory  


  1. UFRF Professors
  • Michelle Danyluk
  • Robert Fletcher
  • Bin Gao
  • Zhenli He
  • Jose Eduardo Santos
  • Gary Peter High Impact Research Award Authors:  S. L. Flory and J. T. BauerPest Control Authors:  Barbara DeRatt, Maria Ralat, Omer Kabil, Yueh-Yun Chi, Jesse GregoryAir Quality Authors:  Denis Valle, Benjamin Baiser, Christopher Woodall, Robin Chazdon  Authors:  Dongyoung Shin, Ayse Civana, Carolina Acevedo, Chelsea SmarttCrop Management Authors:  Muthusami Kumaran, Kate Fogarty, Amanda Terminello, Whitney FungCoral Reef Health Authors:  Subhas Hajeri, Nabil Killiny, Choaa El-Mohtar, William Dawson, Siddarame     Plant Patents


  3. Gowda
  4. Citrus Greening
  5. Authors: Cory Krediet, Kim Ritchie, Ali Alagely, Max Teplitski
  6. Youth Drug Use
  7. Authors:  Gregory Hendricks, Sanjay Shukla, Thomas Obreza, Willie Harris
  9. Virus Transmission
  10. Quantifying Biodiversity
  11. Authors:  Timm Kroeger, Francisco Escobedo, Jose Hernandez, Sebastian Varela, Sonia Delphin, Jonathan Fisher, Janice Waldron
  12. Human Health
  13. Authors:  Lindsy Iglesias, Teresia Nyoike, Oscar Liburd 
  15. Invasive Plants
  1. Zhanao Deng
  2. Rosanna Freyre
  3. Daniel Gorbet
  4. Brent Harbaugh
  5. Kenneth Quesenberry
  6. Donald Rockwood
  7. Dorothy Sistrunk
  8. Barry Tillman


Utility Patents

Group 1: Balasubramanian Rathinasaabapathi and Walid Fouad

Group 2: Balasubramanian Rathinasaabapathi and Sabarinath Sundaram

Group 3: William Dawson (Not Present), Svetlana Folimonova, Alexey Folimonov

Group 4: Bruce Welt and Ayman Abdellatief

Group 5: Harry Klee, Denise Tieman

Group 6: Dennis Gray, Zhijan Li

Group 7: Lonnie Ingram, Brent Wood, Lorraine Yomano, Sean York

Group 8: Lonnie Ingram), Keelnatham Shanmugam, Shengde Zhou, Lorraine Yomano, Sean York

Group 9: Lonnie Ingram, Jonathan Moore, Keelnatham Shanmugam, Kaemwich Jantama, Mark John Haupt, Xueli Zhang

Group 10: Nan-Yao Su

Group 11: Marty Marshall, Kurt Schulbach

Group 12: Arnold Schumann

Group 13: Nikolas Georgelis, Curt Hannah

Group 14: Curt Hannah and Carla Lyerly Linebarger


Special Honors

National Academy of Sciences Recognition

  • Linda Bartoshuk
  • Robert Cousins
  • James Jones
  • Harry Klee
  • Lonnie Ingram


AAAS Awardee

  • Robert Cousins
  • Andrew Hanson Research Professor Emeritus
  • Barry Brecke




Two UF/IFAS agricultural engineering faculty earn high global honors

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Conservation, Environment, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Rafael Munoz-Carpena.  Associate Professor, PhD.  Agricultural and Biological Engineering.  Email: carpena@ufl.edu


ABE AWARDS 051315 - McLamore


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two faculty members in the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering have won prestigious global awards for outstanding contributions to their field.

One has also been elected to an advisory panel to the government of Spain.

Professor Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, has won the 2015 Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award for “accomplishments in hydrological and integrated environmental modeling and education of next-generation soil and water scientists and engineers.”

Muñoz-Carpena, who specializes in hydrology and water quality, remembers when, as a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, his mentor, Wayne Skaggs, won the award. Skaggs later became a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Skaggs “is one of the fathers of modern agricultural drainage,” says Muñoz-Carpena.

The Hancor award means every bit as much to Muñoz-Carpena now.

“It has additional meaning to me,” he said, because his former mentor won the award. “It’s recognition of your work among peers. The fact that I got it surprises me.”

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UF/IFAS Extension program to control Tropical Soda Apple earns national award

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Biocontrols, Economics, Environment, Extension, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Invasive Species

TASBEETLE for web 041415

Cutline below

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — St. Lucie County ranchers have saved an estimated $850,000 a year, thanks to University of Florida experts who taught them how to release a beetle to eat an invasive plant that normally elbows out valuable cattle forage.

“Using the Tropical Soda Apple beetle has resulted in significant cost savings for ranchers while at the same time protecting the environment by reducing the need to use herbicides,” said St. Lucie County Extension agent Ken Gioeli, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The program, which uses beetles to biologically control the Tropical Soda Apple (TSA) on St. Lucie County ranches, has won the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals National Innovative Program Award. That’s the fourth straight year UF’s St. Lucie County Extension Office has won a national award.

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5 faculty, staff win CALS teaching/advising awards

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

CALSFACULTY  - Mortensen 041315Amy AlexanderCALSFACULTY - Baldwin 041315CALSFACULTY - Lucky 041315CALSFACULTY - Monroe 041315

Left to right: Chris Mortensen, Amy Alexander, Rebecca Baldwin, Andrea Lucky and Martha Monroe.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Five University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty and staff members have won the 2014-15 college teaching and advising awards for their contributions to advancing undergraduate and graduate student education.

The five will receive their awards at a banquet April 16, said CALS Dean Elaine Turner.

“These honored faculty and staff carry on a long tradition of excellence in teaching, advising and mentoring in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences,” Turner said. “One of our top priorities is to promote excellence in teaching, and this year’s honorees are passionate about what they do, bringing creativity and a personal touch to their work. I’m grateful for all they do every day on behalf of CALS students.”

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