University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher Christopher Vincent was awarded an Early-Career Research Fellowship in the Environmental Protection and Stewardship track from the Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Vincent is an associate professor of citrus tree ecophysiology in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the Citrus Research and Education Center.
Vincent and his team work closely with growers to produce more resilient and profitable production systems. His work includes studying the impact of sunlight and shade, temperature fluctuations and hurricanes. Vincent also studies how plants move water, photosynthesize and move the sugars made in photosynthesis to grow and produce fruit. He hopes to establish long-running experiments addressing how planting different tree species together in planned multi-story canopies may result in better growth and more environmentally and economically sustainable production systems.
Vincent’s academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish and a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Arkansas, where he also worked in the Cooperative Extension Service. He earned his doctoral degree in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida.
The GRP’s Early-Career Research Fellowship helps researchers during the critical pre-tenure phase of their careers. Fellows receive a $76,000 financial award along with mentoring support as they take risks on untested research ideas, pursue unique collaborations and build a network of colleagues.
The fellows in this two-year program will undertake research to predict and prepare for ecosystem changes in the Gulf of Mexico region and its coastal zones in the face of climate change and sea-level rise. Climate change and rising sea levels have already impacted many coastal ecosystems throughout the world, including the Gulf of Mexico.
“These early-career researchers are taking innovative research approaches that take into consideration the unique characteristics of the Gulf region and will help inform ongoing restoration and stewardship efforts,” said Karena Mary Mothershed, senior program manager of the GRP’s Board on Gulf Education and Engagement.
Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
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