Horticultural Sciences

Dr. Robert J. Ferl

Professor and Assistant Director

Mailing Address:
Fifield Hall
2550 Hull Road
PO Box 110690
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Office: 2109 Fifield Hall
Phone: (352) 273-4822
E-mail: robferl@ufl.edu

  • Areas of Research
    • Space biology
    • Examination of 14-3-3 proteins
    • Examination of chromatin structure
  • Educational Background
    • Ph.D., M.A., Genetics and Biochemistry, Indiana University (1980)
    • B.A., Hiram College (1976)
  • Work Experience
    • Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department (1990-present)
    • Director Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (2006-present)
    • Director of UF ICBR DNA Sequencing Laboratory (1988-present)
    • Assistant Director, UF Biotechnology Program (1994-2006)
    • Director of UF ICBR BEECS Genetics Laboratory (1992-1995)
    • Chairman, Institutional Biosafety Committee (1998-1995)
    • Administrative Council, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research at UF (1990-1991)
    • Biological Sciences Teaching Program, University of Florida (1985-1987)
    • Acting Chairman, Department of Botany, University of Florida (1986-1987)
    • Associate Professor, Department of Vegetable Crops (1987-1990)
    • Associate Professor, Department of Botany, University of Florida (1986-1987)
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, University of Florida (1980-1986)
  • Honors and Awards
    • Visiting Research Scientist: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Division of Plant Industry, Canberra, Australia 3/81 to 8/81
    • Teacher of the Year, Lambda Gamma Phi Honorary Society, University of Florida, 1984
    • Distinguished Teaching Award, 1984 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida
    • Faculty Research Achievement Award 1987, 1989, 1992
    • Harper Collins Biology Texts
    • Board of Examiners for GRE Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1989 – 1996
    • Award of Excellence for Graduate Research, IFAS, University of Florida, 1994
    • US Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award for Excellence 1997
    • CREES Recognition Award 1997
    • UFRF Professorship 1999, 2005
    • Chair- Science Council –Division of Space Life Sciences for USRA 2010-2013
    • Member- National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council NASA Decadal Study, 2010
  • Program Personnel
    • Natasha Sng, graduate student
    • Eric Schultz, graduate student
    • Matt Bamsey, postdoc
    • Thomas Graham, postdoc
    • Fiona Denison, postdoc
    • Agata Zupanska, postdoc
    • Lawrence Rasmussen, biologist
    • Anna-Lisa Paul, Research Associate Professor

Selected Publications

AuthorsYearTitle / DescriptionPublication
Zupanska AK, Ferl RJ, Denison FC, Paul A‐L 2013 Spaceflight engages heat shock protein and other molecular chaperone genes in Arabidopsis tissue culture cells. Am. Journal of Botany 100:235-248.
Paul A-L, Wheeler R, Levine H, Ferl RJ 2013 Fundamental plant biology enabled by the space shuttle. Am. Journal of Botany 100:226-234.
Paul A‐L, Amalfitano CE, Ferl RJ 2012 Plant growth strategies are remodeled by spaceflight. BMC Plant Biology. 12:232 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-232.
Paul A-L, Denison FC, Schultz ER, Zupanska AK, Ferl RJ 2012 14-3-3 phosphoprotein interaction networks - does isoform diversity present functional interaction specification? Front Plant Sci 3: 190.
Schultz E, Zupanska A, Manning-Roach S, Camacho J, Levine H, Paul A-L and Ferl RJ 2012 Testing the Bio-compatibility of Aluminum PDFU BRIC Hardware. Gravitational and Space Biology 26(2): 48-63.
Mayfield JD, Paul A-L, Ferl RJ 2012 The 14-3-3 proteins of Arabidopsis regulate root growth and chloroplast development as components of the photosensory system. J. Exp.Botany.
Paul A-L, Zupanska A, Ostrow DT, Zhang Y, Sun Y, Li J-L, Shanker S, Farmerie WG, Amalfitano CE, Ferl RJ 2012 Spaceflight transcriptomes: unique responses to a novel environment. Astrobiology 12: 40-56.
Paul A-L and Ferl RJ 2011 Using green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter genes in RNAlater™ fixed tissue. Gravitational and Space Biology 25(1): 40-43.
Paul A-L, Manak MS, Mayfield JD, Reyes MF, Gurley WB, and Ferl RJ  2011  Parabolic flight induces changes in gene expression patterns in Arabidopsis thaliana. Astrobiology 2011 Oct;11(8):743-58.
Ferl RJ, Zupanska A, Spinale A, Reed D, Manning-Roach S, Guerra G, Cox D, Paul A-L  2011  Performance of KSC Fixation Tubes with RNALater for orbital experiments: a case study in ISS operations for molecular biology. Advances in Space Research 48: 199-206.
Visscher AM, A-L Paul, M Kirst, CL. Guy, AC. Schuerger, and RJ. Ferl  2010  Responses of wildtype arabidopsis and ion transporter mutants to high levels of magnesium sulfate; consequences for (extra)terrestrial plant growth. PLoS One 5(8): e12348.
Ferl RJ, Paul A-L  2010  Lunar Plant Biology – A Review the Apollo Era. Astrobiology 10: 261-74.