By

Andrea Dautant

Michael S. Okun, M.D., Receives Honor for Leadership and Lasting Impact in Neurology

Michael S. Okun, M.D., has been named a University of Florida Distinguished Professor. This is the highest faculty honor awarded at UF and represents Okun's dedication to leadership and his lasting impact on the field of neurology. Okun joins seven other faculty across campus selected for the designation this year. He is only the fifth faculty member from the College of Medicine to receive this honor.

University of Florida To Strengthen Its Sports Program Through AI-Powered Athletics

A partnership between the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and the University Athletic Association is undertaking a groundbreaking AI-Powered Athletics project at the University of Florida. The project is one of five components of the newly funded UF & Sport Collaborative that was announced in December. This multi-faceted initiative aims to make UF a global leader in sports performance, healthcare, and communication, while highlighting world-class sports facilities and partnerships.

Pheronym Inc. Is Making Advancements in Pheromone-Based Nematode Research

Pheronym Inc., a company started by former UF researcher Fatma Kaplan, Ph.D., has developed technology to create pheromones that can control the actions of nematodes, one of the most abundant creatures on Earth. Over 20 years ago, Kaplan began researching ways to use pheromones, which are external chemical triggers that influence mating and other behaviors. According to Kaplan, there are both good and bad nematodes, with the good ones attacking other insect pests in the soil to kill them or keep them from mating.

UF Uses Artificial Intelligence To Detect Poison Ivy

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research Center are using AI to identify poison ivy, which causes rashes on up to 50 million people each year. Nathan Boyd, researcher and professor of horticultural sciences, led the research alongside post-doctoral researcher Renato Herrig, who designed the mobile app. Designed as a tool for hikers and those working outdoors, the app uses a camera to identify poison ivy in real time and works without an internet connection.

Check Out These Catchy New Caladium Cultivars, Courtesy of UF/IFAS

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have released three new caladium varieties called 'Pinky Swear', 'Wonderland' and 'Salsa'. 'Pinky Swear' and 'Salsa' are now available, with 'Wonderland' ready for purchase next year. Zhanao Deng, a plant breeder and professor of environmental horticulture with the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC), works with caladium growers in Florida to develop new cultivars like this on commercial farms in the area. He recently published his research findings on these three new types, exploring their characteristics and yield potential.

UF To Play Key Role in Groundbreaking Laser Interferometer Space Antenna Mission

The University of Florida's Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering has partnered with NASA to develop hardware that will fly on the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission being led by the European Space Agency (ESA). UF is the only academic institution in the United States to be awarded a contract to develop hardware to fly on the LISA mission, which is set to launch in the mid-2030s. The mission will see three spacecraft orbit the sun with the goal of advancing the understanding of the universe and explore the origin and evolution of black holes. UF's Precision Space Systems Laboratory will develop the Charge Management Device for the mission.

UF/IFAS Plants Grown in Space Flown Home

Researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences were glad to see their plants returned to Earth last month following an experiment aboard the International Space Station. The plants were launched as seeds aboard the International Space Station in May as part of a multi-phase experiment being conducted by the UF/IFAS Space Plants Lab. Astronauts aboard the ISS grew the plants in July, harvested them in the Fall, sent them back to Earth in December, and the researchers had them by January. This experiment focused on genetic strategies to make plants hardier and better able to adapt to the spaceflight environment. Over time, as more plants are given the opportunity to grow during spaceflight, researchers hope to "train" the plants to adapt to this environment.

Stopping Shoplifting? Researchers at UF Lab Think Like a Shoplifter To Deter, Detect Costly Crime

Dr. Read Hayes, a criminologist and research scientist at the University of Florida's Wertheim College of Engineering FLEX (Florida Engineering Experiment Station), is finding new ways to deter shoplifters. Dr. Hayes directs the Loss Prevention Research Council, an active community of researchers, retailers, law enforcement and more working towards a safer world for shoppers and businesses.