Center News

  • Chris Marble awarded UF/IFAS equipment grant
  • Michael Dukes elected Fellow Environmental and Water Resources Institute
  • Dukes elected Fellow American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
  • Dukes paper on residential irrigation demand wins award
  • UF helps residents save at least 65 million gallons in outdoor irrigation annually
  • Center's Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program major part of new landmark water study
  • Gail Hansen and Esen Momol lead design for new garden at Florida hospital
  • Adam Dale and Basil Iannone awarded seed funding
  • Hayk Khachatryan part of $7 million grant from USDA
  • Hayk Khachatryan paper wins at international conference
  • Michael Dukes receives John Deere Gold Medal award
  • Laura Warner leads study on targeting water conservation campaigns
  • Hayk Khachatryan using new technology to study consumer behavior

Chris Marble awarded UF/IFAS equipment grant

CLCE faculty member Dr. S. Chris Marble was awarded a grant through the UF/IFAS Equipment and Infrastructure Awards Program. The funds will go to the purchase a LI-COR 6800, which measures photosynthesis. This is Li-COR's newest model. Many of the faculty at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center will be using the equipment. They will use it to closely monitor how plants are responding to stress (water, heat, drought, disease, etc.), herbicide applications, nutrition, growing conditions, and other impacts. The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, in partnership with the University of Florida's Office of the Vice President for Research, offer the Equipment and Infrastructure Awards Program with the goal of enhancing infrastructural capacity for research within UF/IFAS, to increase the impacts of our research efforts, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural funding. There were 62 proposals submitted, more than double from the previous year.


Michael Dukes elected Fellow Environmental and Water Resources Institute

CLCE Director Dr. Michael Dukes was elected to the grade of Fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) in 2017. An EWRI Fellow is defined as a member with at least 10 years of membership and has demonstrated accomplishments that have contributed significantly to the advancement or application of water resources or environmental engineering, science, and technology.


Michael Dukes elected Fellow American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

CLCE Director Dr. Michael Dukes was elected to the grade of Fellow by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) in 2017. An ASABE Fellow is defined as a member with at least 20 years membership and that has unusual professional qualities with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in, or related to the field of agricultural, food, or biological systems engineering. It is ASABE's highest honor.


Michael Dukes paper on residential irrigation demand wins award

CLCE Director Dr. Michael Dukes' paper, "Mining for Water: Using Billing Data to Characterize Residential Irrigation Demand" was recognized by the American Water Works Association Water Conservation Division as Best Paper. His graduate student, Mackenzie Boyer was primary author and coauthors include Dr. Linda Young and Shu Wang. The award will be given at the June 2017 AWWA annual conference in Philadelphia.


UF helps residents save at least 65 million gallons in outdoor irrigation annually

Participants in a UF/IFAS program saved 65 million gallons in outdoor irrigation in 2016, enough to supply 15 subdivisions with water for a year, experts with the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology say. "UF/IFAS is making a difference with our limited water resources," said Laura Warner, assistant professor of agricultural education and communication. "Seemingly small drops in the bucket really add up when we look at the big picture across the state and over time." Using less water also saves money: $200,000 a year in tap water utility bills, said CLCE affiliate faculty member Tatiana Borisova, a co-investigator and associate professor of food and resource economics. Their figures come from a sample of Extension agents in 16 Florida counties, so the savings may be greater, the researchers said. Read the full article at UF/IFAS News.


Center's Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program major part of landmark water study

"Water 2070: Mapping Florida's Future - Alternative Patterns of Water Use in 2070" is a report from a joint effort among Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), University of Florida Geoplan Center, and 1000 Friends of Florida. The project's goal was to "explore the impact on water demand of projected population growth and agriculture demand" in the coming years. The report concludes that there are two fundamental options to address future water demand: increase supply or reduce demand. Focusing on the second option, the report recommends using two existing statewide programs, Florida Water Star and the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL), a program of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. Recommended actions included expanding funding and requiring FFL standards for all new development. The summary report (pdf) is available online at the 1000 Friends of Florida's Water 2070 website.


Gail Hansen and Esen Momol lead design for new garden at Florida hospital

CLCE faculty Dr. Gail Hansen and Dr. Esen Momol recently led a University of Florida design team to create Florida Hospital Fish Memorial's community garden. "We are so thankful for our partnerships with the University of Florida. They so willingly shared their knowledge and expertise, designing this entire space," said Maureen Mercho, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial Foundation executive director. "This is huge for West Volusia and something to celebrate. On this single plot of land, members of our community can grow their own organic food and get exercise while doing it. What could be better?" Read the full article on the Florida Hospital website.


Adam Dale and Basil Iannone awarded seed funding

The IFAS Early Career Scientist Seed Funding program has recognized two CLCE affiliate faculty. Dr. Adam Dale, an assistant professor in turfgrass and ornamental entomology, was awarded $50,000 in research funding for his project, "The effects of turfgrass diversity on arthropod pests and biological control in urban landscapes." Dr. Basil Iannone, an assistant professor with the School of Forest Resources and Conservation was also awarded $50,000 for his proposal "Evaluating the contribution of biotic complexity to pest control in ornamental plant communities." The IFAS Dean for Research office, in partnership with the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Vice President for Research, has once again implemented the funding program to facilitate development of new faculty research, jumpstart their research programs, and to provide a platform for their future success. Out of 25 proposals, 15 were awarded. The scientists will present their preliminary research results at the 2017 IFAS Research Awards Ceremony.


Hayk Khachatryan part of $7 million grant from USDA

CLCE faculty member Hayk Khachatryan, assistant professor and extension economist, is part of two projects recently announced as funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). On Tuesday August 2, 2016, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this year's Specialty Crop Research and Extension Investments (SCRI) funded projects. The first award is a 5-year project with approximately $7 million in funding; Dr. Khachatryan is one of the Co-PIs. Funding for the project, titled "Protecting Pollinators with Economically Feasible and Environmentally Sound Ornamental Horticulture," will support 21 scientists and extension experts at 12 different institutions. The lead facilitator of the project is the IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program at Rutgers University. Dr. Khachatryan is also part of the grant awarded to IR-4 for $50,000 for "Identifying Knowledge Gaps and Novel Management Strategies for Downy Mildews Impacting Environmental Horticulture Crops". Read the full press release from Rutgers.


Michael Dukes receives John Deere Gold Medal award

Michael Dukes, director of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been honored with the 2016 John Deere Gold Medal award. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers gives the award to recognize distinguished achievement in the application of science and art to the soil. "It is a great honor to be selected by my peers for this prestigious award," Dukes said. "I look forward to continuing my work in helping create sustainable landscape practices that will impact not only Florida, but the world." Read the full article at UF/IFAS News.


Laura Warner leads study on targeting water conservation campaigns

CLCE faculty member Laura Warner, assistant professor of agricultural education and communication, recently published the results of a study examining audience segmentation as an approach to encouraging water conservation change using current residential landscape practices. The researchers identified three meaningful subgroups among residential landscape irrigation users: the "water considerate" majority, "water savvy" conservationists, and "unconcerned" water users. Their findings suggest that "water considerate" users might be the most appropriate people to target for water conservation campaigns. The paper, titled "Classifying Residents who use Landscape Irrigation: Implications for Encouraging Water Conservation Behavior," was authored by Laura A. Warner, Alexa J. Lamm, Joy N. Rumble, Emmett T. Martin, and Randall Cantrell. It was published in Environmental Management, July 2016. You can read the full story on UF/IFAS News.


Hayk Khachatryan using new technology to study consumer behavior

CLCE faculty member Hayk Khachatryan, assistant professor and extension economist, was recently featured in the Orlando Sentinel for his work with new eye-tracking glasses in studying consumer behavior. The opinion piece was written by Dr. Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at UF/IFAS. "Tracking eye movements helps us get past what consumers say they want and closer to what they actually do," writes Dr Payne. "In his experimental economics lab at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka, Khachatryan teases out what information on a label is most compelling to the beholder, for example." You can read the full piece online at orlandosentinel.com.


Return to Top