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UF/IFAS Global honors three faculty members for international work

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Taking the charge to bring agricultural solutions to countries far and wide, three faculty members with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have done just that. Thus, they were honored at the third annual UF/IFAS Global forum and awards ceremony in February.

Luke Flory, an assistant professor in the agronomy department, received the UF/IFAS Global International Achievement award for his work on reducing the effects of invasive plants around the world. His research has received international recognition, with invitations to speak at universities and organizations in Asia, Canada and Europe, said Rob Gilbert in a nomination letter.

William Giuliano, a professor and UF/IFAS Extension specialist in the department of wildlife, ecology and conservation, was named a UF/IFAS Global International Fellow. Giuliano secured substantial funding for, established, and now directs the Program for Tropical Ecology and Conservation Science and its associated two field stations in Belize. Also, he established a program to conduct research with and train Belizean scientists, said nominator and colleague Eric Hellgren.

Gene McAvoy, UF/IFAS Extension Hendry County director and regional vegetable agent, received the UF/IFAS Global Internationalizing Extension award. McAvoy has taken a lead in spearheading international efforts to improve pepper production. He has tirelessly organized two International Pepper Conferences in the past, and will be chairing the organization of a third in 2018, said nominator and colleague Richard Raid. McAvoy, who has worked abroad for 12 years in Niger and Jamaica, and led cooperative ventures with countries such as Antigua, Barbuda and Swaziland, is fluent in three languages and has a working knowledge of three more.

“The honorees can be proud of the recognition because there are so many in UF/IFAS who are doing great international work,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “The land-grant mission of discovery, teaching, and Extension of knowledge does not stop at our border. It is our mission to bring science to those who benefit from it, whether they’re across the street or across the ocean.”


By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566,