Andrew Short joins the University of Florida as professor and chair of the UF/IFAS department of entomology and nematology. His tentative start date is May 15, 2023.
Short will lead the highly ranked department of nearly 80 faculty members based in Gainesville and around the state of Florida.
“I am incredibly excited to work with and steer such a vibrant community of faculty, students and professionals in the department of entomology and nematology,” Short said. “It’s people, programs and facilities are world-class and uniquely positioned to address a range of pressing entomological challenges facing society, including protecting public health, feeding the world, fighting invasive species and preserving biodiversity.”
Short is currently professor and associate chair of graduate studies in the department of ecology & evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas, and senior curator in the university’s Biodiversity Institute.
Short’s research focuses on the diversity, biology and evolution of aquatic beetles, with field work taking him and his students on dozens of expeditions to Costa Rica, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, the Brazilian Amazon and elsewhere. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation and serves on the governing board of the Entomological Society of America.
For Short, joining a land-grant institution like UF is a return to his educational roots. Short attended two land-grant institutions, the University of Delaware and Cornell University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate, respectively. Before that, Short was an active member of the 4-H program in his home state of Delaware and volunteered and worked at his county Extension office.
Those early experiences were his gateway to the field of entomology and inform his approach to leading the department.
“The motto of 4-H is ‘To Make the Best Better,’ and that ideal guides my goals and aspirations for the department,” Short said. “One of the first goals I have is to enhance communication, integration and understanding among all the department’s varied program and centers. With a shared strategy, we will ensure the department remains the preeminent program in the world for entomology and nematology. I also plan to strengthen and continue diversifying an already outstanding graduate program through expanded funding opportunities.”
Scott Angle, UF’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of UF/IFAS, noted several strengths Short will bring to the role of chair.
“When you already have a department that’s one of the world’s best, improvement depends on inspired leadership,” Angle said. “Dr. Short’s demonstrated ability to secure funding that drives world-class science, his intention to unite a large team behind a shared vision, and his commitment to the diversity that drives innovation indicate he’s the leader the department needs to achieve even greater impact.”