Two UF/IFAS assistant professors honored by UF

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty members have earned the 2014 Excellence Award for Assistant Professors for UF.

A committee of UF distinguished faculty and eminent scholars chose Luke Flory, assistant agronomy professor, and Christine Miller, assistant entomology professor, as two of the 10 campus-wide faculty honorees. The panel selected Flory, Miller and the others for the quality and innovation of their research, according to a letter from UF Provost Joe Glover.

Flory, an ecologist, concentrates his research primarily on biological invasions. In particular, he studies the causes of non-native plant invasions and how they impact biodiversity and ecosystem functions.

Flory joined UF/IFAS in 2011, coming from Indiana University, where he earned a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology in 2008. From 2008-10, he worked as a visiting scientist at Indiana. Then in 2010-11, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Research in Environmental Sciences, also at Indiana.

Miller, an evolutionary ecologist, seeks to understand the genetic and environmental basis of individual differences across species. Much of her work focuses on the reproductive behavior of insects, including how they select mates and what that means for evolution.

Miller started as an assistant professor at UF/IFAS in 2011, after working for four years as an assistant research scientist here. Miller earned her doctorate in organismal biology and ecology from the University of Montana in 2007.

Flory, Miller and the other eight faculty winners will each receive a one-time award of $5,000 that can help pay for travel, equipment, books, graduate student support and other research-related expenses.

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