News & Updates

Tilapia explosion at Silver Springs State Park

The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute (FSI) has found an alarming invasion of Blue tilapia that has replaced the native fish population in Silver Springs State Park based on a recent survey. In 2019, Blue tilapia made up 25% of the fish biomass in Silver Springs but as of July this year numbers jumped to 86%. According to Dr. Knight, “Native fish species are…

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Citrus black spot: Expansion of quarantine areas in south Florida

Recently, USDA-APHIS added 195 sections across Florida in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties to the citrus black spot (CBS) quarantine list. Citrus black spot is a disease is caused by the fungal pathogen, Guignardia cirtricarpa (Anamorph: Phyllosticta citricarpa). Thriving in subtropical climates, it’s current distribution is fairly widespread with observations reported across several continents. Hard spot…

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Giant African Land Snail Eradicated in Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry and the USDA have officially announced the eradication of giant African land snails (GALS) from the state of Florida. Giant African land snail. Photo courtesy of Bugwood.org.Of interest to note, this is the second time giant African land snails have been eradicated from…

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New hope in the fight against tick-borne diseases

You’ve embarked upon a hike to decompress, spend some much needed time outdoors, and get away from your multiple blue light emitting screens. Low and behold, you return home to later find one of the most infamous pests on the planet—a tick, burrowed into your skin, lapping up it’s bloodmeal for who knows how long.…

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FDACS-DPI 2021 employee of the year: Dr. Nicole Casuso

Dr. Nicole Casuso was recently named the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry’s 2021 Employee of the Year! Graduating from the UF Doctor of Plant Medicine program in May of 2017, she began working at FDACS-DPI in April of 2019. As a Biological Scientist IV, she additionally serves as Co-Chair…

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2022 George Agrios Scholarship Endowment Recipient: Shannon McAmis

The George Agrios Scholarship was originally founded in the spring of 2020, with the goal of supporting graduate students enrolled in the University of Florida’s Doctor of Plant Medicine Program in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences department. Please join us in congratulating this year’s recipient, Shannon McAmis. Born and raised in the Tampa…

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The sweetgum inscriber: A potential new pest of American sweetgum trees

One of the most abundant hardwood trees in the southeastern United States, American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) has a wide distribution ranging from southwestern Connecticut to central Florida. The origin of it’s botanical nomenclature can be further broken down from the Latin liquidus, meaning fluid, the Arabic ambar, a reference to the terebinthine liquid that…

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