October 2017 Bulletin

October  Seminars


Oct. 3              Bryony Bonning, UF, Entomology/Nematology.  Plant virus – aphid vector molecular interactions and associated technologies.


Oct. 10            Ryan Stephens, Univ. of New Hampshire.  Title to be announced.


Oct. 17            Ke Zhangc UF, Plant Pathology.   The population structure of Phyllosticta citricarpa and seasonal dynamics of Phyllosticta spp. In Florida citrus groves.


Oct. 24            Bing Yang, Iowa State Univ.  Genome editing enables engineering resistance to bacterial blight of rice.


Oct. 31            Mustafa Ojonuba Jibrin, UF, Plant Pathology .  Recombination mediated evolution in bacterial spot xanthomonads.


Departmental Coffee Break

The October 13th coffee break will be hosted by the Goss, Song, and Folimonova groups in conference rooms 1308, 1306 at 10:00 a.m.



Dr. Gary Vallad (GCREC-Wimauma) was awarded Researcher of the Year at the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s (FFVA) annual convention earlier this week. 


From the Chair’s Desk

I am very pleased to announce that we will be gaining another administrative assistant in the department, Treva Damron.  I know that everyone agrees that Lauretta Rahmes is an essential part of plant pathology – I can assure you that she will be staying.  However, the workload in the main office, and for me as Chair, has grown as the department has grown.  In addition, we have had to take on new HR and financial responsibilities, which have been shed by Shared Services.  I have worked with Treva for the last 18 months, as Interim Chair of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, and have come to appreciate her organizational and financial skills.  Importantly, Treva has a great sense of humor – so watch out.  Her start date in the department is October 2nd


Greenhouse Updates

For all personnel new to the department (and again annually for everyone) the Worker Protection Standard video must be viewed before gaining access to any greenhouse.  Please contact Mike Stilwell for the next scheduled viewing session if you need to view this training video. 


Reminder: Wednesday is “Spray Day”.  If special arrangements are needed, you must send your request via e-mail to by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.


Disposal of your Biohazard Waste: Please be aware that there is a designated EH&S approved protocol for using the departmental lab refuse service.  Many lab programs are not following this procedure.  Here are the steps to follow if you will be leaving your biohazard waste in the pick-up containers.

  • Clear autoclave bags only. Do not overfill. Secure bag with autoclave tape. Do not include items that will puncture bags.
  • Use a permanent marker to identify each bag with lab room number and P.I.
  • Containers will be in Rm. 1311F after 1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  Containers will be removed at 9:00 a.m. Fridays.  DO NOT LEAVE BAGS ON THE FLOOR, as this will result in a citation from EH&S.

If you have questions, or need assistance, please call Mike Stilwell at 392-4478.


Announcements and Other Interesting Items

The new material for our presentation board will be provided by Dr. Brantlee Spakes-Richter.  Please stop by and take a look at some of the projects done by her students.


With the new semester underway, the Human Resources office would like to remind everyone that they can provide resources and support to answer questions or provide information to anyone with concerns or anxieties, especially in light of current events.  Contact information – (352) 392-2477 or .


Here are a couple of sites that may be helpful.

  • UF’s information line, which serves to dispel rumors and provide the latest information and UF news, may be reached by calling 1-866-UF-FACTS.
  • UF’s Emergency Management office is another great resource for information.  The scenarios on its “Take Action” page address a variety of emergencies about which all UF faculty, staff, and students should be informed.  Visit .


The updated Graduate Students/Research Scientists poster has been put up in the display case outside Dr. Loria’s office.  Please stop by and see what a great group we have.


There is quite a nice line up of Fall Festivals in the Gainesville area this year.

Oct. 1-3           High Springs Riverfest, Main Street, High Springs

Oct. 2              22nd Annual Central Florida Harvest & Peanut Festival, Williston

Oct. 2-3           Thornebrook Art Festival, Thornebrook Village, Gainesville

Oct. 17                        8th Annual Harvest Festival, Downtown Alachua

Oct. 23                        McIntosh 1890’s Festival

Oct. 23-24       Butterfly Fest, FL Museum of Natural History, Gainesville

Oct. 30-31       The 36th Annual Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival, Micanopy


Positions in Plant Pathology*

During the month of September there were two position announcements posted.


Assistant/Associate Professor at LSU, Baton Rouge, LA

Assistant Professor at Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN


*Jobs are now posted online – see the JOBS button on the front page of the Department of Plant Pathology Web site.



Upcoming Holidays and Events

Oct. 6              UF Homecoming – UF closed

Oct. 7              Art, Garden and Farm Family Festival – Quincy REC

Oct. 16                        First day of (Benefits) Open Enrollment at UF, ending 11/3/17

Oct. 19                        White nationalist Richard Spencer speaking event, UF Campus

Oct. 23-25       2017 Tomato Disease Workshop – GCREC, Wimauma

Nov. 6-7          The 29th Annual Downtown Arts Show & Festival, Gainesville

Nov. 10           Veterans Day – UF closed

Nov. 16           IRREC 70th Anniversary Celebration – Ft. Pierce

Nov. 23-24      Thanksgiving holidays – UF Closed

Dec. 8              PLP Holiday Breakfast Celebration – Fifield Hall