UF/IFAS Spotlights: Amegda Overman, among first women scientists employed by UF/IFAS
Amegda Overman was a nematologist and among the first women employed as a scientist by UF/IFAS.
In 1945, Ms. Overman took a position as a soil microbiologist with the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, (GCREC), then located in Bradenton. At the time, she possessed a bachelor of science degree from the University of Tampa. She later earned a master’s degree from the University of Florida and remained with GCREC for 45 years, retiring as a full professor in 1980.
During her career, Overman researched damage caused by nematode worms on ornamental and vegetable crops. She did extensive work on the ecological management of nematodes and other soil-borne pests.
Perhaps her most significant accomplishment was contributing to the development of plasticulture (using plastics in agricultural applications) production methods suitable for outdoor-grown vegetables in Florida; the methods she helped devise are now used statewide.
In 1997, she became an honorary life member of the Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida.
About this Series: The year 2020 commemorates the centennial year of the passage of the 19th Amendment, a crucial achievement in the women’s suffrage movement. This milestone reminds us of the collective spirit marshaled to enact this change. Throughout the year, UF/IFAS is highlighting female researchers, educators, staff members, students and innovators who embodied a similar trailblazing spirit during their engagement with the university. These trailblazers left an indelible mark on both the university and the state of Florida. The 19th Amendment states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” although some women were still denied the right to vote until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s. We hope this series inspires others to ignite their own trailblazing spirit and effect change in our world.