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West Florida Research and Education Center

West Florida Research and Education Center


The University of Florida is a land-grant university and an Association of American Universities member. Our faculty are committed to the UF/IFAS research mission while also assuming Extension and teaching responsibilities. Findings from their research are used as the basis for Extension programs taught statewide via publications, distance education, and field day events, and are the foundation for many of the classes taught by our faculty.

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Post-doctorial Associates


Graduate Students

Iza Barbados 6March2020 Profile Pic

Iza Barbosa dos Santos

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Silvana Paula-Moraes

Iza is pursuing her Ph.D. in entomology under the supervision of Dr. Paula Moraes. Her research integrates field trials, laboratory bioassay, and the use of molecular tools to study the ecology and toxicology of Lepidoptera pests in Florida. Her hobbies include crochet, hiking, painting, and reading.


Mahesh Bashyal

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Pratap Devkota

Mahesh is interested in understanding how agronomic management practices and underlying physiological mechanisms affect yield and yield components in row crops.  His research focuses on agronomic and physiological studies in Brassica carinata with a focus on nutrient management for improved crop production and profitability. 


Pablo Agustin Boeri

Faculty Advisor: Dr. J. Bryan Unruh

Agustin is pursuing a Ph.D. in Turfgrass Science with an emphasis on ecology, plant physiology, environmental stresses, fertilizers, and turfgrass management. His dissertation project focuses on better understanding the influence of anthropogenic ecosystems on factors such as groundwater recharge, nutrient fate, temperature abatement, and carbon dynamics


Barbara Cory

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Matthew Deitch

Barbara’s research examines hydrology, water chemistry, and land cover changes in the watersheds of northwest Florida’s coastal dune lakes. Coastal dune lakes are considered globally rare, biologically diverse, critically imperiled because of their rarity, and thereby, vulnerable to extinction. Her research examines hydrology and water chemistry through monitoring 120 groundwater wells and the blackwater streams across 3 coastal dune lake watersheds. Her research has important implications for land management and future research concerning these globally rare lakes.  


Joseph Iboyi

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michael Mulvaney

Joseph is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Agronomy with an emphasis on crop physiology, crop management, cropping systems, and fertility management. He is responsible for various field experiments within the Cropping Systems Program at the West Florida Research and Education Center. He has an excellent agronomy, nutrient management, breeding, and statistics background. Currently, he is leading research that investigates agronomic practices to maximize Brassica carinata yield in the Southeastern United States.


Sherri Kraeft

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Deborah L. Miller

Sherri is interested in native bee conservation and will be studying the Gulf Coast Solitary Bee, Hesperapis oraria. She will also be studying the ecology of pollinators that co-occur with the bee including interactions with it's host plant Balduina angustifolia. Hesperapis oraria is endemic to the dunes of the Northern Gulf coast of Florida, Alabama and a few locations in Mississippi and is believed to be monolectic with Balduina. In her free time, Sherri enjoys being a Master Beekeeper and Welsh Honey Judge while tending her own hive and educating others about the importance bees of all kinds.



Ashton Shell

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ajay Sharma 

Ashton is interested in the conservation, ecology and management of uneven-aged longleaf pine ecosystems. He’s research is focused on quantifying the effects of harvests and hurricane damage on residual longleaf pine stand growth and development. 



John Tracy

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ajay Sharma

John is interested in conservation and management of bottomland hardwood forests.  He aims to apply his professional experience to research associated with a multidiscipline effort in slough restoration of the Apalachicola River floodplain.


Yogendra Upadhyaya 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Pratap Devkota 

Yogendra is interested in the use of cover crops as a sustainable management practice to improve cropping systems. His research focuses on the study of short-term benefits of cover crops including nitrogen credit, soil moisture management and weed suppression. I am also working on the industrial hemp project to quantify hemp yield response to various nitrogen rates in Florida as a part of best management practices to promote industrial hemp production in the region.