An Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member received the 2013 Excellence Award for Assistant Professors from the university in recognition of her outstanding research.
Assistant professor Michelle Danyluk, food science and human nutrition faculty member at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, was awarded for her work this past year on Salmonella and E. coli detection and dispersal.
Danyluk said she was “tremendously excited” to win the award.
“I’m extremely grateful to all the folks who have supported me as I’ve established my program at UF, and think the award recognizes not only me, but all those who have supported me – especially to the technical staff in my laboratory, my current and previous graduate students, county Extension faculty, the business office staff and the leadership at my center, department and IFAS levels.”
The 10 recipients of this year’s award will each receive a $5,000 grant to use toward their continued research. Danyluk said she hasn’t decided how to spend the grant, but said she’s considering spending toward updated computers for her graduate students or another truck for her team’s field work.
Her research interests include microbial food safety and quality, as well as developing standards for maintaining them in different storage and processing conditions. Her research focuses on fruits, vegetables and nuts and looks at how and why foodborne pathogens survive in production environments and the role environments play in food contamination.
UF/IFAS photo of Michelle Danyluk by Tyler L. Jones
Female yellow fever mosquitoes sometimes contend with the courtship and mating efforts of males from another, competing species – the Asian tiger mosquito.
She’s naïve, he’s sneaky. Both species spread dengue, a viral disease that’s a major human health threat.
In an ironic turnabout, Florida dengue cases may rise in the near future due to female yellow fever mosquitoes becoming savvy about the false-flag suitors, leading to increased yellow fever mosquito populations, says an expert with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mid-Florida Research and Education Center Director Wayne Mackay will take on a new role as chairman of the University of Florida’s environmental horticulture department, Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, announced Friday.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Gulf Coast farmers know that the invasive yellowmargined leaf beetle loves cooler temperatures, devouring leaves on turnips and other cole crops in fall and winter; now, a University of Florida study suggests the beetle’s cold tolerance could help it spread much further north than its current range.
Researchers report in the November 2012 issue of Annals of the Entomological Society of America that the beetle’s eggs can withstand prolonged periods at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That means the insect might survive in Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia, says entomologist Ron Cave, an associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. –– Tropicana Products Inc., a division of PepsiCo Inc., has pledged $1.5 million to endow a professorship specializing in innovative citrus research to strengthen the Florida citrus industry, the nation’s largest, University of Florida and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences officials and company representatives announced today.
The endowment, to be known as “The Tropicana Professorship for Florida Citrus Innovation,” will support teaching, research and outreach efforts dedicated to the future of the state’s citrus industry.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida scientist is researching a method to freeze and preserve orchid seeds, and besides aiding producers, it might also give endangered plants a better chance at survival.
Wagner Vendrame, an associate professor of environmental horticulture with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is trying to improve a technique known as cryopreservation, in which living cells or tissues are frozen in liquid nitrogen at minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit for later use. So far, his results from cryopreserving orchid seeds have been promising.
The Florida orchid industry generated more than $43 million in sales in 2011. It produces orchids for both the specialty and mass market using hybrid plants that can be cultivated and are thus not in danger of extinction as many orchid species are.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Protecting Florida’s $80 million blueberry crop from freeze damage is always a wintertime challenge, but a University of Florida study shows that structures called high tunnels could shield plants from cold and promote earlier fruit ripening.
Though the initial investment can run from $18,000 to $25,000 per acre plus labor, high tunnels deliver better quality fruit, bigger early yields and higher prices if growers beat competitors to market, said Bielinski Santos, an associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
The study, published in the current issue of HortTechnology, tracked two growing seasons on a commercial blueberry farm in Alachua County. The results showed that temperatures outside the tunnels plunged to freezing or near-freezing 61 times during the study. Temperatures fell that low just three times inside the unheated tunnels.
High tunnels may increase air and soil temperatures and protect the plants from wind and rain damage, leading to better flowering and more fruit, said Santos, based at UF’s Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Many plant nurseries in Florida have adopted sustainable practices, and the University of Florida is looking to help even more do so with a new video series.
The series, titled Moving Nurseries Toward Sustainability, contains nine videos documenting sustainable practices that can be economically effective and environmentally friendly for nurseries.
Using interviews with nursery growers from Florida and Georgia, the videos show real-life examples of how growers have reduced water use, cut fertilizer applications, minimized runoff, found ways to reuse plastic containers and saved on energy costs by using conservation techniques.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers have created a mathematical model that shows how citrus greening is transmitted within an infected tree – an important step toward helping scientists understand the devastating disease.
The model, published this month by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed that once a tree is infected, insecticides to control the pests that spread the disease may not be enough to halt the disease’s progression in the tree, and instead may only slow its spread within the tree.