IRREC Student and Researcher Honored

Ernie NeffAwards

Lukas Hallman

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) doctoral student and the researcher who oversees his work have received awards from the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). Student Lukas Hallman won the first Graduate Student Scholars Award. Researcher Lorenzo Rossi received the Professional Early Career Award. Both are at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce.  

Hallman’s award supports his exceptional achievement at the graduate level and encourages his career development. He commenced doctoral work in horticultural sciences in August, after earning his master’s degree from UF in June.

“What sets Lukas Hallman apart from his peers is his strong passion for his area of study,” Rossi said. “Lukas wrote a proposal and successfully secured a U.S. Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant to explore a research topic in which he holds a strong interest.”

Hallman’s Ph.D. research will expand his master’s studies with citrus trees affected by HLB. Rossi said Hallman’s work involves the application of natural and synthetic therapeutical molecules, such as oak tree compounds. “Lukas Hallman is on a mission to sustain Florida’s heritage cash crop,” Rossi said.  

Rossi, an expert in root plant biology, was recognized for digitizing ASHS conference competitions and his tireless efforts to mentor students. He develops and instructs award-winning courses for high-performing undergraduate and graduate students.

He also serves as an annual judge for the St. Lucie County Regional Science and Engineering Fair at the Indian River State College. In that role, he attends middle and high school student presentations and evaluates which projects will advance to state and international competition events.   

Mark Ritenour, a UF/IFAS professor of horticulture and postharvest technology at IRREC, nominated Rossi for the award. “Dr. Rossi demonstrates extraordinary leadership promoting students in pursuit of careers in plant root biology,” said Ritenour, a past ASHS president.

Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

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