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Researchers honored at 9th annual UF/IFAS FAES Research Award ceremony

2016 Agricultural Experiment Station Research Awards Ceremony at the Harn Museum of Art on Thursday, May 19th.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers were honored for helping combat diseases affecting global agriculture, developing new plant varieties and conducting other impactful research and developments in the past year at the ninth annual UF/IFAS Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Research Awards ceremony.

“Our researchers don’t think the sky is falling; they believe that the sky is the limit,” said Jackie Burns, dean for UF/IFAS Research. “It is a privilege to be associated with faculty who are the best and brightest.”

Awards were given for the best thesis and dissertation from master’s and Ph.D. students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Honors were also bestowed to the UF/IFAS 2015 University of Florida Research Foundation Professors, researchers who produced outstanding publications and those who developed new plant and utility patents. Some of the patents included a highly rated variety of tomato called “Garden Gem,” six new varieties of the Coleus plant, including “Gator Glory,” and an invention to control flies and mosquitoes.

Special recognition went to the university’s newest American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow, Frank White. White is a plant pathologist whose research focuses on the relationship between plants and bacteria, plant molecular genetics and plant cell transformation. Also, the Professor Emeritus Award was given to Kenneth Quesenberry, who taught and conducted research in the agronomy department.

Below is the list of award winners in each category:

Awards of Excellence for Graduate Research:

Best Masters Thesis Graduate Student: Kathryn Merriman


Best Masters Thesis Chair, Supervisor Committee: Corwin Nelson


Best Doctoral Dissertation Graduate Student: Eduardo de Souza Ribeiro


Best Doctoral Dissertation Chair, Supervisor Committee: Jose Eduardo Santos
Richard L. Jones New Faculty Awardee:Jiri Hulcr

University of Florida Research Foundation Professors:

  1. Senthold Asseng  –  Agricultural & Biological Engineering
  2. Liwei Gu  –  Food Science & Human Nutrition
  3. Wilfred Vermerris – Microbiology & Cell Science
  4. Nian Wang – Microbiology & Cell Science, Citrus Research & Education Center
  5. P. Chris Wilson – Soil & Water Sciences
  6. A. Mark Settles – Horticultural Sciences


High Impact Research:

  1. Maria Carrasquilla and L. Philip Lounibos
  2. Haiyan Liu, Timothy J. Garrett, Fariba Tayyari and Liwei Gu
  3. Thomas Chouvenc, Ericka Helmick and Nan-Yao Su
  4. Masaharu Suzuki, Karen Koch, Donald McCarty & Prem Chourey
  5. John Hernandez Nopsa and Karen Garrett
  6. E. F. Rios, Kevin E. Kenworthy and Patricio R. Munoz
  7. William Pine, Edward Camp, Rob Ahrens, Rachel Bouchillon and Leslie Sturmer
  8. Robert McCleery and Adia Sovie


Plant Patents:

  1. Harry J. Klee
  2. Barry L. Tillman and Daniel W. Gorbet
  3. Ann R. Blount, Ronald D. Barnett and Stephen A. Harrison
  4. Brent Harbough & Zhanao Deng
  5. Jose X. Chapparo  and Wayne B. Sherman
  6. Jose X. Chapparo, Thomas G. Beckman and Patrick J. Conner
  7. Jude W. Grosser
  8. Rosanna Freyre
  9. Vance M. Whitaker and Craig K. Chandler
  10. David G. Clark and Grayson M. Clark


Utility Patents:

  1. James F. Preston III
  2. Larkin C. Hannah
  3. David P. Chynoweth, John Martin Owens and Pratap Pullammanappallil
  4. Jerry F. Butler, Phillip Edward Kaufman and Rajinder Sign Mann
  5. Lonnie O. Ingram, Keelnatham T. Shanmugan
  6. Willem Evert Vermerris
  7. Kelly Mayrink Balmant, Christopher Dervinis, Matias Kirst, Leandro G. Neves and Marcio Fernando Resende, Jr.
  8. Reza John Ehsani and Won Suk Daniel Lee
  9. Virginia Chow, Guang Nong, James F. Preston III, and John D. Rice


Special Honors:

American Association for the Advancement of Science Recognition: Frank White, selected in 2015

Research Professor Emeritus: Dr. Kenneth H. Quesenberry



By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566,

Source: Jackie Burns, 352-392-1784,