The new institute will bring together more than 120 UF/IFAS scientists currently working to detect, track and control nonnative and invasive wildlife and plant species. 

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Internationally acclaimed scientist named to lead new Invasion Science Research Institute 

close a Burmese python's head facing the camera

Invasive Burmese python. UF/IFAS

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has appointed internationally acclaimed entomologist and ecologist Matthew Thomas as director of the new Invasion Science Research Institute (ISRI).  

In this newly created role, Thomas will establish the framework for ISRI, which will bring together more than 120 UF/IFAS scientists from more than 20 departments currently dedicated to the detection, diversion, tracking and control of nonnative and invasive wildlife and plant species. This interdisciplinary group of scientists make up the Invasion Science Research Initiative. 

“There’s no richer environment than Florida for an invasion scientist, so our state and university have long attracted top experts in the field,” said J. Scott Angle, UF’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and head of UF/IFAS. “Under the leadership of Dr. Thomas, I expect the institute will channel this expertise even more effectively in defending our public health, agriculture and economy.” 

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