Horticultural Sciences

Horticultural Sciences

Extension Faculty


Fruit Production Specialists

Peter Andersen

Dr. Andersen is located at the UF-IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy. He has an 80 % Research and 20% Extension appointment with emphasis on deciduous fruit and nut crops and cold hardy citrus. His research program entails variety improvement, culture and management, and plant physiology of pecans, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, persimmons, chestnuts, satsumas, cold hardy citrus. Interdisciplinary research has been a major focus. His specialty has been plant/insect vector interactions of diseases caused by Xylella fastidiosa such as Pierce’s disease, plum leaf scald and phony peach disease. Dr. Andersen's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a67516210.

Alan Chambers

Dr. Chambers has an 80% research 20% extension split appointment at the UF-IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, FL. His extension program includes short and long-term research support for local growers. Short-term research includes trialing existing tropical fruit species for yield and fruit quality to empower growers during the cultivar selection process. Dr. Chambers' long-term research includes the creation of new tropical fruit cultivars through traditional and cutting-edge breeding technologies.

Jonathan Crane

Dr. Crane is an extension specialist for tropical fruit crop production and is located at the UF-IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, FL. His research interests include tree size control strategies, nutrient and irrigation management, cultivar evaluation and development, and cultural practices to avoid and/or mitigate environmental stresses. Dr. Crane, along with Dr. Jeff Williamson, hosts FruitScapes, a website on growing fruit trees in the home landscape. Dr. Crane's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a18400840.

Ali Sarkhosh

Dr. Sarkhosh is an extension specialist for tree fruit and viticulture with emphasis on stone fruit and grape production. He is located at the Horticultural Sciences Department in Gainesville. His research program focuses on optimizing production systems including; crop load, canopy management, tree size control, application of PGRs, irrigation and nutrition management. Dr. Sarkhosh also authors and maintains the Stone Fruit website. Dr. Sarkhosh's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a-sarkhosha.

Tripti Vashisth

Dr. Vashisth is an extension specialist for citrus production and is located at UF-IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. Her research focuses on optimizing citrus production with horticultural strategies such as canopy and crop load management, nutrition, and plant growth regulators. She is an editor for Citrus Production Guide and organizes extension events for growers to ensure timely and continuous dissemination of new information to citrus growers. Dr. Vashisth maintains the Citrus Nutrition website.

Christopher Vincent

Dr. Vincent's extension program focuses on management of citrus plant physiology, focusing on areas where horticultural management meets pest and disease management. This leads him to collaborate constantly with pathologists and entomologist. Practices under evaluation include the use of kaolin clays, shade, and plant growth regulators to coordinate plant and pest management. He also manages the review and editing of citrus-related extension writing for EDIS.

Jeffrey Williamson

Dr. Williamson provides leadership for deciduous fruit production with emphasis on blueberry culture and management and is located in the Horticultural Sciences Department in Gainesville. His program focuses on soil management, irrigation and fertilization practices, cultivar evaluation, and use of plant growth regulators. He serves as newsletter editor and educational program director for the Florida Blueberry Grower's Association. He also provides leadership for Florida 4-H in the area of fruit culture. Dr. Williamson's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a94065290.

Postharvest Technology Specialists

Jeffrey Brecht

Dr. Brecht conducts statewide and international extension programming involving the harvest, handling, transportation, and storage of fresh vegetables and fruits for the maintenance of product quality and is located in the Horticultural Sciences Department in Gainesville. Dr. Brecht interacts with commodity associations, packers, shippers, distributors, importers, exporters, processors, and retailers to extend information regarding advances in perishables distribution and handling. Dr. Brecht's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a63290820.

Mark Ritenour

Dr. Ritenour has statewide responsibility for postharvest handling and storage of fresh citrus and is located at the UF-IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce, FL. His program focuses on improving fruit quality through improved preharvest management and postharvest handling practices, and providing instruction in good sanitation and food safety practices. Dr. Ritenour maintains the UF-IFAS Postharvest Resources website and monitors changes in citrus pesticide maximum allowable residue limits for domestic and selected export markets. Dr. Ritenour's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a29247700.

Steve Sargent

Dr. Sargent is an extension specialist with statewide responsibility in postharvest physiology and technology for fresh vegetables and fruits. He is located in the Horticultural Sciences Department in Gainesville. His extension program focuses on training for methods and technologies to improve harvest and handling efficiency, and to make cooling operations more effective for maintaining crop quality. Dr. Sargent coordinates the annual Florida Postharvest Horticulture Industry Tour and the Tomato Packinghouse Managers Workshop. Dr. Sargent's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a49601500.

Vegetable Production Specialists

Ute Albrecht

Dr. Albrecht is located at the UF-IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, FL with statewide extension responsibility for citrus and vegetable production. Her program focuses on the characterization and use of citrus rootstocks for improved citrus production in the Huanglongbing (HLB) era and other methods to increase citrus tree health. She also investigates the effects of alternative crop production materials, such as beneficial soil bacteria and fungi on citrus and vegetable crops and the use of PGRs to address physiological problems that are of concern to growers. Dr. Albrecht interacts closely with the industry and has many ongoing collaborative field trials. Dr. Albrecht's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a-albrechtu.

Guodong "David" Liu

Dr. Liu is a state extension specialist in plant nutrition and is based in the Horticultural Sciences Department in Gainesville. Serving county faculty and crop producers is his top priority. His extension program focuses on improving nutrient and water use efficiency of vegetable and fruit crops including water and nutrient management, fertilization practices and new fertilizer development. He participates in planning and conducting statewide and regional seminars, workshops, conferences, and field demonstrations for county extension agents and vegetable and fruit producers. Dr. Liu's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a-liug.

Josh Freeman

Dr. Freeman’s program focuses on vegetable and melon cropping systems important to the state and region. Much of his research and extension efforts are focused in the area of soil fumigants and fumigant alternatives for soil-borne pest and weed management. Many of the vegetable crops in Florida are produced using the plasticulture production system. For decades growers have relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide for pest management. This chemistry is no longer available and Dr. Freeman’s program is addressing this issue. Dr. Freeman's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a70482620.

Tong Geon Lee

Dr. Lee has statewide responsibility for tomato production and is located at the UF-IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, FL. His program focuses on the study of tomato genetics and on its application in solving challenging problems in tomato production. Dr. Lee coordinates an extension program that assists with the training of extension agents, growers, and breeders and industry representatives through participation in extension programs, informal outreach, and the development of extension materials. Dr. Lee's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a-leetonggeon.

Germán Sandoya-Miranda

Dr. Sandoya-Miranda is a state extension specialist on breeding lettuce and other leafy vegetables; his program includes interaction with stakeholders of the leafy vegetables in the state of Florida to determine breeding objectives. He is located at the UF-IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, FL. His program main goal is to develop cos, crisphead, leaf and other type of lettuce cultivars adapted to Florida environmental conditions and with resistances to pest and diseases that are a threat to the lettuce industry in the state; in addition he will be improving postharvest quality of lettuce cultivars for a longer shelf-life; identifying nutrient efficiency cultivars. He is also working with growers in non-traditional settings and how Florida lettuce improved in the state can be used in hydroponics, greenhouses and other structures. He actively interacts with stakeholders of the lettuce industry: grower's associations, Lettuce Advisory Committee and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.

Danielle Treadwell

Dr. Treadwell has been conducting research and extension programs on vegetable and cover crop management in organic systems for over 25 years. She provides statewide extension leadership for food systems, food safety, farm to school, small farms, and alternative enterprises. She supports state and county faculty, farmers, and consumers by developing training, educational materials, and information networks. Her research is focused on the improvement of farming practices that conserve natural resources including cover crop, nutrient and soil management practices, and this work contributes to her extension program. Dr. Treadwell's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a44334486.

Lincoln Zotarelli

Dr. Zotarelli is an extension specialist for vegetable production with emphasis on production, irrigation and nutrient management of potato, crucifers, and other vegetables and is located in the Horticultural Sciences Department in Gainesville. His program focuses on improvement of irrigation and fertilization techniques to increase irrigation water savings and nutrient efficiency. He also participates in the eastern U.S. Potato breeding and variety development program by testing, evaluating and selecting new potato varieties with outstanding performance for Florida conditions.

Weed Science Specialists

Peter Dittmar

Dr. Dittmar is an extension specialist for weed management programs in deciduous fruit, vegetable, and nut crops and is located in the Horticultural Sciences Department in Gainesville. His program focuses on weed/crop relationships, weed ecology, and weed management strategies. He participates in The IR4 Project for registration of pesticides in minor use crops. Dr. Dittmar's extension publications are located here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a-dittmarpj.

Ramdas Kanissery

Dr. Kanissery is a state specialist for weed management in citrus and vegetables and is located at the UF-IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, FL. His program covers different aspects of weed management including herbicide efficacy, herbicide residue analysis, and phytotoxicity diagnosis. His extension program provides educational information on weed management in citrus and vegetable crops and includes field demonstrations and evaluation of integrated management strategies for dealing with weed problems. Dr. Kanissery also provides a statewide service for weed identification and diagnosis of herbicide phytotoxicity in conjunction with the SWFREC Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic.

Extension Resources