Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281
FORT PIERCE, Fla.—Walter Tabachnick, University of Florida professor of entomology and director of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach, has been named interim director of UF’s Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce.
He replaces Calvin Arnold who recently became director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce. Arnold was director of the Indian River center from 1995 to 2001.
Tabachnick, who joined the UF faculty in 1999, has served as director of the Vero Beach laboratory for the past three years. In addition to his new leadership role at Fort Pierce, he will continue to direct the Vero Beach laboratory. Both facilities are part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
In announcing Tabachnick’s appointment, Mike Martin, UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources in Gainesville, said Tabachnick is well qualified to lead both facilities.
“We’re indeed fortunate to engage an administrator of Walter Tabachnick’s ability and character,” Martin said. “He is an outstanding leader and a very highly respected scientist. We are delighted he is willing to add to his duties the interim directorship of the Indian River Research and Education Center.”
At the Fort Pierce center, Tabachnick will manage 14 faculty members and a staff of nearly 50 support personnel. He also will coordinate research and education programs at the center with statewide UF/IFAS teaching, research and extension programs.
At Vero Beach, Tabachnick oversees the laboratory’s $1.5 million annual budget and 42 staff members, including nine faculty. The laboratory provides research and education on mosquito-borne diseases.
Tabachnick, whose scientific and administrative career spans 34 years, has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other institutions, including Yale University, Rutgers University and University of California at Los Angeles.
He completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in zoology at Rutgers in 1974. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at Brooklyn College and City University of New York.