GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida boasted its second-best research funding awards over the fiscal year 2021, with UF/IFAS researchers receiving $155.6 million of the $861 million university total.
The UF/IFAS funding, a 10% increase over last year’s total, came from both federal and state sources and represents a wide variety of agricultural and natural resources projects statewide. Like the overall university’s total, this number does not include funding received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“This funding increase is indicative of our forward motion coming out of this pandemic year,” said Robert Gilbert, dean of UF/IFAS Research and director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. “UF/IFAS faculty really put a lot of effort into writing for both peer-reviewed publications and for grants. The continued success of these research programs is the result of that tremendous effort.”
Among the top UF/IFAS awards during fiscal year 2021:
- A multi-million grant seeks improvement in the safety of fresh produce. The four-year, multi-university collaboration is led by Michelle Danyluk, with the UF/IFAS food science and human nutrition department, and is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
- At the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, a multi-million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue its scientific research related to production and consumption of animal-source food in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger, Rwanda and Nepal for another five years. Adegbola Adesogan, professor of animal sciences and director of the Lab, said the work, which began in 2015, “has already improved livestock productivity, reduced disease prevalence, empowered women, improved food safety, increased incomes, and improved the nutrition of mothers and infants in our focal countries.”
- In horticultural sciences, Ali Sarkhosh is leading a team to investigate the use of essential oils in organic crop growth to control pests and diseases. USDA-NIFA awarded the four-year project nearly $2 million.
- In agricultural and biological engineering, Ziwen Yu has a $1.6 million award from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to investigate how to enhance irrigation management in vegetable farms in the southeastern United States by developing root zone soil moisture maps.
The largest share of UF/IFAS awarded dollars went to the Citrus Research and Education Center, where scientists are on the forefront of developing protections for the state’s signature crop against the devastating citrus greening disease, although 27 areas topped $1 million apiece.
“Our innovative researchers are always looking for those solutions to better the everyday lives of Floridians,” said Scott Angle, UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources and the leader of UF/IFAS. “I look forward to seeing where this next round of research will lead, both scientifically and in benefitting the people we serve.”
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.
ifas.ufl.edu | @UF_IFAS