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Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

Innovative solutions for a healthy and productive world

Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

Innovative solutions for a healthy and productive world

The Sustainable Food Systems experts are an integral part of UF/IFAS Research to improve the quality of life in Florida and throughout the world.


RESEARCH SCIENTISTS AND STAFF


Robin Choudhury

Robin Choudhury is a post-doctoral scientist working in the Plant Pathology Department, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, and the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida working in the Garrett Lab. He is interested in the ecology of emerging pathogens, understanding how they disrupt native systems and propagate. He is currently researching the epidemiology of laurel wilt disease, an invasive beetle-vectored disease that has destroyed both native and agricultural hosts. Using network analysis, he will model how human behavior at local and regional scales will affect the outcome of the disease progress.


Taryn Garlock

Post-Doctoral Associate, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida

Taryn conducts multi-disciplinary research in support of sustainable fisheries and the communities that depend on them. A major aspect of her work uses the Fishery Performance Indicators to analyze performance of fishery management systems around the world in achieving goals of environmental conservation and community sustainability. Other aspects of her research involves studying trends in seafood markets and consumption, growth in aquaculture and aquaculture policy. Taryn earned her Ph.D. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida.


Min Li

Research Assistant, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida

Professor, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida

Min Li is working with Arie Havelaar. Her research focuses on microbial food safety, particularly on quantitative microbial risk assessment, predictive food microbiology, evaluating the effectiveness of intervention strategies, and analyzing foodborne outbreaks and illnesses in the global food supply chain.


Mark Musumba

Research Associate, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida

Mark Musumba comes to us with over 4 years of experience working as an agricultural economist on issues examining the linkages between agricultural production, environment, and livelihoods within agricultural systems.  Mark is an agricultural economist and received both his MS and PhD from Texas A&M University.  Mark was previously an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute working as an agricultural economist on the Vital Signs project, where he focused on the process and drivers of agricultural intensification among smallholder farming populations in Africa.  Currently, Mark is working on the sustainable intensification (SI) indicator assessment framework – which provides guidance in selecting and applying indicators across five domains (productivity, economic, environmental, human condition and social domain) to ensure a holistic and unbiased assessment of technologies and project impacts.


Vakhtang Shelia

Research Assistant Scientist, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida

Research Assistant Scientist, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida

Vakhtang Shelia has over 20 years of experience in the development and application of mathematical models and information technology in agriculture and agro meteorology. His expertise ranges from modeling energy and mass transfer processes in agricultural systems, simulation of plant growth and crop production, to software design and database management systems. He currently participates in the development of DSSAT (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer), a crop modeling system that is being used worldwide for agricultural systems analysis and decision support.

Prior to joining UF, Vakhtang Shelia was a Research Associate with the AgWeatherNet Program at Washington State University. His work mainly focused on providing programming support for agricultural decision support systems, including DSSAT with new module implementation, and the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Regional Agricultural Forecasting Toolbox (CRAFT) with the implementation of new crop models.

He received his Ph.D. from the Agrophysical Research Institute, Saint-Petersburg, The Russian Federation, and graduated from the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics of the Tbilisi State University (TSU), Georgia.


Nitya Singh

Post-Doctoral Associate, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida

Post-Doctoral Associate, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida

Dr. Singh completed her M.Tech. and Ph.D. in Bioinformatics at the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Allahabad, India. Dr. Singh currently works with Arie Havelaar on infectious disease modelling, quantitative microbial risk analysis, and genomic data analysis.