Lab Members

S. Luke Flory, Ph.D. (PI)

Professor and Associate Chair

  • Fulbright U.S. Scholar (2022-2023)
  • Florida Climate Institute Distinguished Faculty Fellow (2021)
  • Research Foundation Professor (2019-2022)
  • UF/CALS Undergraduate Teacher of the Year (2020)
  • UF International Educator of the Year (2017)

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Flory full CV (updated 2023)

Agronomy Department
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611

UF SNRE Interdisciplinary Ecology
UF Tropical Conservation and Development Program
UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
UF Latin American Studies
UF Environmental Horticulture

Office: 3127A McCarty Hall B
Lab: 3128 McCarty Hall B

Deah Lieurance, Ph.D.

Coordinator, IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas
I am responsible for the implementation of the IFAS Assessment including 1) the Status Assessment, used to evaluate the invasiveness of non­‐native species that currently occur in Florida’s natural areas, 2) the Infraspecific Taxon Protocol, used to evaluate the invasive potential of horticultural selections and cultivars, and 3) the Predictive Tool, used to determine the potential invasiveness of species that are not currently found in Florida but are proposed for introduction (e.g., biomass crops and ornamental plants).

My dissertation research addressed many aspects of mechanisms contributing to the success of non-native Lonicera species and included plant-herbivore interactions, chemical ecology, enemy release, tolerance and resistance to herbivory. I also have experience in the areas of ecosystem ecology, plant allometry, ecophysiology, and the testing and development of biocontrols for prominent invasive plant species in Florida.


Drew Hiatt, M.Sc.

Ph. D. Student
I’m interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying plant invasions, with an emphasis on how phenotypic plasticity as well as post introduction evolution / hybridization can impact spread and range expansion.

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Yukti Taneja, M.Sc.

Ph. D. Student
I have been fascinated with the persistence of highly abundant local populations and the species interactions that enable it. Through my PhD, I look forward to studying this problem in the context of biological invasions. I will be exploring the role played by the acquisition, maintenance, and reorganization of mutualisms in aiding the success of invasive plants and decline of natives.

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Christian Wanamaker, B.Sc.

M.Sc. Student
I’m broadly interested in botany and plant ecology, especially in understanding the distributions of invasive species and their impacts. My research looks at how native and invasive grasses are responding to heat and drought stress, and how those stressors may constrain their distributions. In addition to my Master’s research, I have worked for the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants since 2018.


Research Assistants

  • Katie Alcock
  • Owen McCool

Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Research Associates

  • Amy Kendig, Ph.D.
  • Susan Canavan, Ph.D.
  • Whalen Dillon, Ph.D.
  • Christina Alba, Ph.D.
  • Kerry Bohl Stricker, Ph.D.

Graduate Students

  • Emily Pappo, Ph.D.
  • Jesse Borden, Ph.D.
  • Gio Tomat-Kelly, M.Sc.
  • Sam Scherneck, M.Sc.
  • Tabitha Petri, M.Sc.
  • Cathy Fahey, Ph.D.
  • Jules NeSmith, M.Sc.
  • James Estrada, Ph.D.
  • Chris Wilson, Ph.D.
  • Bryan Tarbox, Ph.D.

Lab Managers

  • Drew Hiatt (2022-current)
  • Kristin Hinkson (2019)
  • Taylor Clark (2017 – 2019)
  • Jules NeSmith (2013 – 2017)
  • James Estrada (2011 – 2013)

Visiting Graduate Students

  • Dïnia Cartry, M.Sc. Student and International Graduate Student Intern (University of Rennes 1)

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Elise Williams (University Scholars)
  • Callie San Antonio (University Scholars)
  • Amaleah Mirti (University Scholar, Lombardi Scholar)
  • Stanley “Will” Dezern (University Scholar, Honors Thesis)
  • Katie Nickerson (University Scholar, Honors Thesis)

Undergraduate Research Assistants

  • Gianna Arcuri
  • Zobia Chanda
  • Laney Davidson
  • Zadok Jollie
  • Shannon Regan
  • Mariam Higginbotham
  • Trevor Green
  • Avery Schmmeur
  • Jacob van der Zee
  • Trisha Mutisya
  • Amanda Bishop
  • Gabrielle Seminara
  • David Notman
  • Ryan Truesdell
  • Penny Reif
  • Daniela Menendez
  • Lili Benitez (REU program)
  • Vida Svahnstrom (REU program)
  • Austin Young (Lombardi Scholar, IFAS Assessment)
  • Christina Wiley (Lombardi Scholar, IFAS Assessment)
  • Hannah Borchelt
  • Anbinh Ho
  • Alex Garcia (undergraduate research volunteer)
  • Hannah Moore
  • Zach Higginbotham
  • Nick Johnson (Lombardi Scholar)
  • Ethan Landrum (Lombardi Scholar)
  • Gabriel Smith (State University of New York, REU program)
  • Amy Conant (Post University, Connecticut, REU program)
  • Bruna Trentin (Brazil Scientific Mobility Program)
  • Ananda Van Doornik Christo (Brazil Scientific Mobility Program)
  • Wesley Lewis
  • Sheila Scolaro
  • Andrea Sakelson
  • Micah Weiss
  • Sarah Morris (IFAS Assessment)

High School Research Assistants

  • Mily Gandhi (Student Science Training Program)
  • May Zhou (Student Science Training Program)
  • Jasleen Kahlon (Student Science Training Program)
  • Joanne Zhao (Student Science Training Program)

IFAS Field Experiment Station Interns

  • Ashley Schuler (2022)
  • Kevin Scheiber (2017)
  • Matthew Akers (2015)
  • Ben Sperry (2014)
  • Jules NeSmith (2013)
  • Erin Hamilton (2012)