UF Plant Science Research and Education Unit gets new director

A veteran of the UF/IFAS Plant Science Research and Education Unit has been named its permanent director, and he hopes to help faculty continue improving crops.

James Boyer, who has worked at the unit for 17 years, was named interim director in May 2016. His appointment to the permanent post was effective April 7. Prior to that, he worked as research coordinator. In that position, Boyer coordinated research for agronomic crops, fruit crops and forages, said UF/IFAS Dean for Research Jackie Burns.

“He will be instrumental in providing leadership for the overall planning and development at PSREU,” Burns said in making the announcement. “I am so pleased to have such an experienced leader as Jim on board.  We look forward to working with Jim and his staff in the future.”

The Plant Science Research and Education Unit is at 2556 West Highway 318, Citra, Florida, between Ocala and Gainesville.

Boyer said he believes in the UF/IFAS vision of helping people live a better life through science.

“The research that is performed at PSREU supports the vision of UF/IFAS, and it is my responsibility to make sure that the PSREU staff and I are providing the infrastructure, tools, technology, materials and knowledge to allow faculty to succeed,” he said.

Boyer said his goals are to introduce the unit’s services to all UF/IFAS faculty and staff, provide a place where unit employees can work toward their potential and create an inviting partnership with all UF/IFAS research centers.

“Our staff is committed to supporting these goals and helping maintain the support for agriculture and our stakeholders,” Boyer said.

Until 1995, the site for the current PSREU was used for cattle research. That year, UF/IFAS administration began a consolidation of agronomic, fruit and vegetable field operations around Gainesville to the PSREU. Initial experiments with agronomic row crops began in the spring of 2000 with the closing of the agronomy site at Gainesville and the relocation of the staff to the PSREU. In 2002, vegetable crop research was consolidated from the Horticultural Unit in Gainesville to the PSREU.

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

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