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UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

Research


 

Meet the Researchers


Horticultural Sciences


Dr. John M. Chater

Dr. John M. Chater

Assistant Professor

(863) 956 - 8662 | jchater@ufl.edu

BIO

Breeding and bioinformatics for citrus variety improvement; identification and evaluation of advanced selections in scion and rootstock field trials for the Florida citrus industry and other stakeholders; fruit and juice quality and sensory analysis; effects of rootstock-scion combinations.

Dr. Manjul Dutt

Dr. Manjul Dutt

Research Assistant Scientist

(863) 956 - 8679 | manjul@ufl.edu 

BIO

Protoplast and cell culture. Genetic engineering to develop HLB tolerant citrus. Understanding and utilizing the Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) phenomenon for disease resistance. Gene editing for trait improvement. Applied plant breeding with a focus on finger limes and citrus relatives.

Dr. Fred Gmitter

Dr. Fred Gmitter

Professor

(863) 956 - 8878 | fgmitter@ufl.edu 

BIO

Citrus breeding and genetics for variety improvement; genomic research to develop efficient ways to select improved plants and to enable cloning and manipulation of important genes; seedless variety development by mutation breeding and tissue culture methods; citrus.

Dr. Jude Grosser

Dr. Jude Grosser

Professor

(863) 956 - 8680 | jgrosser@ufl.edu 

BIO

My research program in citrus variety improvement addresses all major citrus production problems in Florida, and also strives to develop new cultivars that will provide growers with new marketing opportunities.

DR. AHMAD OMAR

Dr. Ahmad Omar

Research Assistant Scientist

(863) 956 8678 | jomar71@ufl.edu

BIO

Our research focuses on citrus scion and rootstock improvement and understands disease resistance mechanism for citrus canker and HLB (Huanglongbing or citrus greening).

Dr. Tripti Vashisth

Dr. Tripti Vashisth

Associate Professor

(863) 956 - 8846 | tvashisth@ufl.edu 

BIO

Extension responsibilities focus on citrus production needs and implementing horticultural practices to improve citrus production, tree health and fruit quality. Also, the use of integrated crop management and control measures for citrus greening and other exotic diseases.

Dr. Christopher Vincent

Dr. Christopher Vincent

Assistant Professor

(863) 956 - 8757 | civince@ufl.edu 

BIO

The purpose of my program is to serve Florida perennial fruit crop producers with production methods and biological understanding to improve productivity of citrus crops and additional crops and cropping systems in the traditional citrus region.


Entomology and Nematology


Dr. Lauren M. Diepenbrock

Dr. Lauren M. Diepenbrock

Assistant Professor

(863) 956 - 8801 | ldiepenbrock@ufl.edu 

BIO

Program Emphasis: Integrated Pest Management and Insect Ecology

Dr. Larry Duncan

Dr. Larry Duncan

Professor

(863) 956 - 8821 | lwduncan@ufl.edu 

BIO

Our research focus is on the ecology and management of plant parasitic nematode pests of citrus and the ecology of entomopathogenic nematodes and their potential role in citrus IPM. Specific projects relate to the phylogenetics of plant parasitic nematodes; population assessment of nematode and insect pests; crop loss assessment; soilborne foodweb dynamics; and IPM tactics.

Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski

Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski

Associate Center Director and Professor

(863) 956 - 8666 | pelzstelinski@ufl.edu 

BIO

My research program focuses on the biology and microbial ecology of insect vectors of plant diseases. Currently, I am investigating transmission of the Huanglongbing (HLB) pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las) by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri,to further the development of successful ACP management programs. Aspects of this research include evaluating the effects of Las on ACP fitness and investigating the distribution.

Dr. Lukasz Stelinski

Dr. Lukasz Stelinski

Professor

(863) 956 - 8851 | stelinski@ufl.edu  

BIO

My research focuses on development of integrated management strategies for insect pest control. Although citrus is the focal commodity for my current research program, I extensively collaborate with colleagues on research projects involving insect pests of temperate tree fruit, small fruit (both temperate and tropical), as well as in other agricultural commodities such as ornamental plants and vegetables.


Food Science


Dr. Michelle Danyluk

Dr. Michelle Danyluk

Professor

(863) 956 - 8654 | mddanyluk@ufl.edu  

BIO

Research focuses on microbial food safety and quality, emphasizing the microbiology of fruit juices, fresh fruits and vegetables and tree nuts. Extension Specialist for citrus processing issues - work with processors and packers to enhance quality, safety and value of processed citrus products.

Dr. Yu Wang

Dr. Yu Wang

Associate Professor

(863) 956 - 8673 | yu.wang@ufl.edu 

BIO

Research focuses on food chemistry and quality, emphasizing the flavor (aroma and taste) of fruits, herbs and other agricultural commodities. Usage of citrus by-products for flavor modulation and health benefit is also an interest of mine. Extension responsibility includes working with growers and processors to improve quality, particularly flavor of citrus products.


Plant Pathology


Dr. Choaa El-Mohtar

Dr. Choaa El-Mohtar

Research Assistant Scientist

(863) 956 - 8720 | mohtarc@ufl.edu 

BIO

My program works mainly with the development and the deployment of CTV infectious clones for basic science research and practical purposes (HLB/Asian citrus psyllid control).

Dr. Megan Dewdney

Dr. Megan Dewdney

Associate Professor and Extension Specialist

(863) 956 - 8651 | mmdewdney@ufl.edu 

BIO

Extension responsibilities focus on integrated management and control measures for citrus canker and citrus greening with additional responsibilities for fungal pathogens. Research projects include better understanding the biology of both bacterial and fungal pathogens to lead to enhanced control.

Dr. Nabil Killiny

Dr. Nabil Killiny

Associate Professor

(863) 956 - 8833 | nabilkilliny@ufl.edu 

BIO

My research interests focus on the biology of pathogen-vector interfaces. Interactions between vector and pathogen vary from simple mechanical transmission to intricate interactions where the pathogens must develop and multiply within vectors.

Dr. Amit Levy

Dr. Amit Levy

Assistant Professor

(863) 956 - 8704 | amitlevy@ufl.edu 

BIO

My general area of interest is the biology of pathogen-host interactions. The lab's main research focus is the biology and molecular characteristics of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) infection, and identification of the molecular and cellular events which underlie the virus' ability to infect and spread within a plant.


Soil and Water Science


Dr. Davie M. Kadyampakeni

Dr. Davie M. Kadyampakeni

Assistant Professor

(863) 956 - 8843 | dkadyampakeni@ufl.edu 

BIO

Develop and implement sustainable strategies that optimize water management for citrus production, conservation of water, and water quality.

Dr. Arnold Schumann

Dr. Arnold Schumann

Professor

(863) 956 - 8855 | schumaw@ufl.edu 

BIO

To identify soil spatial variability, its causes, and impacts on the environment, citrus growth, nutrition and yield.


Microbiology and Cell Science


Dr. Nian Wang

Dr. Nian Wang

Professor

(863) 956 - 8828 | nianwang@ufl.edu 

BIO

Plant-bacteria interactions, genetic improvement of citrus via CRISPR/Cas genome editing, and citrus bacterial diseases (Huanglongbing and Canker).


Food and Resource Economics


 Dr. Ariel Singerman

Dr. Ariel Singerman

Associate Professor

(863) 956 - 8870 | singerman@ufl.edu 

BIO

I am currently working on evaluating different economic aspects related to the adoption of technology and management strategies to enhance growers’ productivity and profitability; particularly for the case of citrus greening (Huanglongbing, HLB).