It is my privilege to welcome you to the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department website. In 2015, our site underwent significant changes that we hope have made it easier to navigate and provide you with a wealth of information regarding our department and the incredibly interesting and important organisms that we study. The investment that our university and specifically the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has made in providing personnel, resources and facilities make this department one of the best places in the world to study entomology and nematology.

Florida is home to a unique, diverse set of both natural and threatened ecosystems that occurs nowhere else on the planet. Understanding biodiversity of insects and nematodes offers unparalleled opportunities to measure the impact of human activities on these fragile ecosystems. Our state is also a gateway to invasive species. The ever-increasing movement of goods and people to our state from around the world makes Florida an important point of entry for invasive pests requiring constant vigilance and novel methods of detection and mitigation once they arrive.

Insect and nematode pests cause significant losses to agricultural and horticultural crops and livestock, and are important vectors of pathogens that cause diseases in plants, livestock and humans. Urban pests can affect quality of life and cause significant loss to property. However, these organisms also provide important services through decomposition, pollination of fruits and vegetables, and as natural enemies of other pest species. It is therefore imperative that we develop novel approaches to pest management that are sustainable and that minimize negative environmental impacts.

Our department is uniquely positioned to address these fundamental and applied biological questions because of our strong interdisciplinary research and education programs, from molecular to whole organism and population ecology studies, and an enduring commitment to serve the needs of our citizens with our outreach and Extension programs. 

It is my sincere hope that as you navigate through our website you will quickly learn what makes our department a great place to learn and to discover. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like additional information. We look forward to hearing from you.

Blair Siegfried

Entomology and Nematology Department Chair