S. Luke Flory, Ph.D. (PI)
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Deah Lieurance, Ph.D.
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.
Amy Kendig, Ph.D.
I am broadly interested in the community ecology of disease systems, including how disease mediates communities and what factors shape pathogen communities. My current research focuses on fungal pathogens of the invasive grass, Microstegium vimineum. I am investigating how they affect and are affected by ecological interactions between M. vimineum and native grass species. For more information on my research, visit: https://amykendig.rbind.io
Susan Canavan, Ph.D.
Julia Maki, M.S.
My research interests focus on the structure and function of grazing land ecosystems in Florida. Broadly I am interested in the understanding the mechanisms responsible for spatial and temporal variability in pasture plant communities, how pasture composition and productivity are linked to soil characteristics, and how the interactions between plants and soil influence ecosystem-scale responses.
Gio Tomat-Kelly, B.S.
I investigate the interactions between invasive plants and fire. Currently, I am studying the impacts of fire on communities under drought and/or invasion stress, the below-ground impacts of altered fire regimes, and management strategies of an invasive grass. I am also interested in environmental policy and advocacy.
Jesse Borden, M.S.
I am fascinated by the interconnectedness of living things. I am broadly interested in how ecosystems function as whole communities and specifically how they respond to specific changes and disturbances, particularly those that are anthropogenic in nature. My most recent research has focused on forests degradation from urbanization and habitat loss and how arboreal herpetofauna species are responding to such degradation in both Florida and Kenya.
Emily Pappo, M.S.
I am a coffee roaster and master’s student living in Portland, Maine. Broadly, my research interests focus on the impact of climate change on coffee agriculture at ecological and community levels. Through my master’s research, I seek to identify within commercially available Coffea arabica cultivars, a gradient of resilience in response to projected changes in climate. I hope to use my studies and research to enhance the sustainability of coffee agriculture, in order to defend the livelihoods of coffee producers and those who depend on the coffee industry and to protect the health of the environments where coffee is grown.
Kristin Hinkson, M.S.
Prior to beginning the role of lab manager within the Flory Lab, my research mostly focused on amphibian reproductive biology, specifically sperm cryopreservation, assisted reproduction, and population genetics. Broadly, I explored new ways to help endangered amphibians by optimizing breeding in captivity. Currently, in addition to helping facilitate lab research, I will study hemp seed biology to better understand how variability in seed characteristics might influence invasion risk.
Drew Hiatt, M.S.
I’m broadly interested in understanding the mechanisms causing plant invasions, with an emphasis on the role of phenotypic plasticity and how plasticity varies among invasive plant populations. Specifically, I am evaluating variation in competitive ability and response to shade among 12 Florida populations of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica). I am also working on a project to examine the economic costs of non-native plant invasions in Florida, looking at both monitoring/treatment costs and the value of lost economic productivity on agricultural and natural areas.
Sam Scherneck, B.S.
I study the ecology of invasive plant species. I’m specifically interested in the biogeography and spread of invasive species, and the factors that contribute to their establishment. My Masters research pertains to how the storm surge and canopy defoliation associated with extreme storm events increase (or decrease) the likelihood of plant invasions.
- Callie San Antonio (Undergraduate research intern)
- Zobia Chanda (Undergraduate research intern)
- Laney Davidson (Undergraduate research intern)
- Zadok Jollie (Undergraduate research intern)
- Shannon Regan (Undergraduate research intern)
- Mariam Higginbotham (Undergraduate research intern)
- Trevor Green (Undergraduate research intern)
- Avery Schmmeur (Undergraduate)
- Jacob van der Zee (Undergraduate)
- Trisha Mutisya (Undergraduate)
- Amanda Bishop (Undergraduate)
- Gabrielle Seminara (Undergraduate)
Postdoctoral Research Associates
- Whalen Dillon, Ph.D.
- Christina Alba, Ph.D.
- Kerry Bohl Stricker, Ph.D.
- Tabitha Petri, M.S.
- Taylor Clark, M.S. and lab manager (2017 – 2019)
- Cathy Fahey, Ph.D.
- Jules NeSmith, M.S. and lab manager (2013 – 2017)
- James Estrada, Ph.D. and lab manager (2011 – 2013)
- Chris Wilson, Ph.D.
- Bryan Tarbox, Ph.D.
- Dïnia Cartry, M.S. Student and International Graduate Student Intern (University of Rennes 1)
- Amaleah Mirti (University Scholar, Lombardi Scholar)
- Stanley “Will” Dezern (University Scholar, Honors Thesis)
- Katie Nickerson (University Scholar, Honors Thesis)
Undergraduate Research Assistants
- 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
- Kevin Scheiber (2017)
- Matthew Akers (2015)
- Ben Sperry (2014)
- Jules NeSmith (2013)
- Erin Hamilton (2012)