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Graduate Student Highlight: Jackson Jablonski

Jackson Jablonski, UF/IFAS CAIP Graduate Student

Jackson Jablonski is an agronomy master’s student focusing on invasive plants. Cuban bullrush management is his main project with graduate supervisor Dr. Candice Prince. At the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Jackson has contributed to projects related to Brazilian Peppertree, Water hyacinth, Hydrilla, and Cogon grass.

In Gainesville, Jackson enjoys exploring the local creeks and sifting for fossils.

Jackson spent approximately one year as a PeaceCorps agriculture volunteer, working with native communities in Madagascar to adopt agriculture techniques that complimented the environment they relied on. In March, Jackson evacuated Madagascar, and all other volunteers, who were sent home in response to the global pandemic.

Jackson worked with community leaders to implement agriculture techniques. Jackson lived in a native community with 200 citizens and enjoyed learning Malagasy!

Upon his return to the United States Jackson recalled meeting Cynthia Hight, an agronomy academic specialist, after his undergraduate capstone project presentation a few years prior. Cynthia shared she was impressed with his project and encouraged him to continue his education. As his service in the PeaceCorps came to an abrupt halt, Jackson felt it was the perfect time to pursue his master’s in agronomy and reached out to Cynthia seeking opportunities available at the University of Florida.

Jackson shares that students interested in science should take advantage of opportunities and allow them to introduce you to new ideas. “I allowed myself to lean into the work I happed to be doing on invasive species and now [as a researcher] I have made my own path.”

Funding graduate student research and supporting students interesting in invasive aquatic plant management are two of the many goals of UF/IFAS CAIP. Any questions should be directed to Shelby Oesterreicher at 352-273-3667 or soesterreicher@ufl.edu. For more information about the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, please visit https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu. Be sure to follow us on social @UFIFASCAIP.

UF/IFAS CAIP, Turning Science Into Solutions.