UF/IFAS awards 17 young faculty with research seed money

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Seventeen young scientists at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have earned grants from the Dean for Research office, thanks to their innovative proposals addressing critical agriculture and natural resources issues that impact farm production and consumer behavior.

UF/IFAS scientists will examine a wide range of topics, including ways to detect E.coli in meat to herbicide resistance to developing better-tasting tomato products and why students don’t eat their school-provided lunches.

“The future of UF/IFAS and UF is driven by the young faculty that join us to build their careers and impact our world through their research, teaching, and extension efforts,” said Jackie Burns, dean of research at UF/IFAS and director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. “This year the IFAS Dean for Research office, in partnership with the senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and the vice president for research, has once again implemented an Early Career Scientist Seed Funding program to facilitate development of new faculty research, jumpstart their research programs and provide a platform for their future success.”

Burns called this year’s selection “highly competitive,” with 26 early career scientists presenting excellent proposals. After a rigorous review by a panel of UF/IFAS scientists, Burns announced the awards.

  • The awarded 2015 Early Career Seed Funding Proposals all go to assistant professors, and they are, listed alphabetically by last name, with their projects and the money awarded:
  • Damian Adams, School of Forest Resources and Conservation; “Assessment of Feasible Forest Water Yield Program Features and Landowner Preferences;” $49,971.
  • Soohyoun Ahn; Food Science and Human Nutrition; “Detection and Molecular Identification of Viable Shiga Toxin-Producing E.coli in Meat by Multiplex DNA Sensor Array System Combined with Nucleic Acid Photo-Labeling;” $49,962.
  • Nikolay Bliznyuk; Agricultural and Biological Engineering; “Novel Methods for Spatio-Temporal Modeling and Inference for Infectious Diseases;” $48,400.
  • Nathan Boyd; Horticultural Sciences at the Gulf Cost Research and Education Center in Balm; “Development of Precision Application Technology for Weed Management in Vegetables;” $33,476.
  • John Bromfield; Animal Sciences; “Uterine Infection & Immunity: What’s Protecting the Germline from Pathogens?” $50,000.
  • Samantha Brooks; Animal Sciences; “Identification of Heritable Genetic Components Contributing to Cryosurvival in Stallion Sperm;” $41,180.
  • Zhengfei Guan; Food and Resource Economics at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm; “Development of the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) for Florida Strawberry Production;” $49,602.
  • Jaclyn Kropp; Food and Resource Economics; “Examining Socioeconomic and Demographic Determinants of Differences in Lunch Consumption by National School Lunch Program Participants Using Plate Waste Data;” $39,752.
  • Phillip Lancaster; Animal Sciences at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona; “Metabolic Differences in Growing Heifers and Mature Beef Cows Having Low and High Feed Efficiency;” $49,882.
  • Guodong Liu; Horticultural Sciences; “Rapid Identification of Phosphorous-Efficient Genotypes from Tomato Germplasm Banks;” $48,167.
  • Paul Monaghan; Agricultural Education and Communication; “Using Social Marketing Research to Understand the Dissemination of Innovations Promoted by Florida Friendly Landscaping Practices;” $50,000.
  • Patricio Munoz; Agronomy; “Discovering the Molecular Mechanism of 2,4-D Herbicide Resistance;”$49,380.
  • Gulcan Onel; Food and Resource Economics; “Creating Sustainable Workforce for Small Fruits and Vegetables Industry in Florida: The Impact of Federal Immigration Programs and Solutions to Labor Shortages;” $49,979.
  • Joshua Patterson; Forest Resources and Conservation; “Intraspecific Variation in Phenotype and Gamete Compatibility of Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis;”$49,689.
  • Elizabeth Pienaar; Wildlife Ecology and Conservation; “Game Ranching in Southern Africa: Can Trophy Hunting Incentivize Conservation and Recovery of Both Game and Non-Game Species on Private Lands?” $50,000.
  • Paul Sarnoski; Food science and Human nutrition; “Developing Better Processed Tomato Products;” $49,103.
  • Huiping Yang; Forest Resources and Conservation; “Application of Germplasm Cryopreservation for Molluscan Shellfish Aquaculture;” $49,604.

Each faculty member will give a poster presentation at the 2016 UF/IFAS Research Awards Ceremony, during which they will present their preliminary research results.


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

Source: Jacqueline Burns, 352-392-1784, jkbu@ufl.edu


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Posted: February 17, 2015

Category: UF/IFAS
Tags: Research

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