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Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

Entomology and Nematology

Members of the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department conduct highly acclaimed research that spans several disciplines. We generate new knowledge to answer basic scientific questions and solve real-world challenges at our research labs in Gainesville, Florida, and at UF/IFAS Research and Education Centers around the state. 

At the GCREC, we are represented by a team of two entomologists and one nematologist, who provide unique training opportunities for a diverse group of students and conduct innovative research on small fruit, vegetable, ornamental and alternative crops for the benefit of Florida farmers and people.

Extension and outreach activities of the GCREC team are focused on providing local growers with effective and sustainable tools to better manage insect and nematode pests in their crops. Together we explore integrated pest management techniques such as use of biocontrol agents, biorational pesticides, banker crops, cover crops, solarization, ultraviolet light, host plant resistance, and chemical control with better pesticide resistance management programs.

Our research deals with the management of several invasive and naturalized pests of agricultural crops and is not limited to Florida. We have researchers and students working around the world in partnership with other institutions and organizations to help provide solutions to global entomological and nematological problems.

Explore Our Labs for More Info!


Student Information 

Join our department to complete your M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Entomology and Nematology. 

Your research can be conducted either with faculty on the main campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville or with faculty located at any of the 13 Research and Education Centers across the state, such as the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center here.

Our courses are available both in-person and online, providing flexibility for students.

Additionally, scholarships are available to eligible candidates, offering further opportunities for academic advancement.

You will learn at the side of faculty who conduct world-class research and engage in impactful teaching and Extension activities.

Possible Careers

  • Academia: Engage in extension, research, education, and innovation within entomology and nematology fields
  • USDA Researcher: Conduct research on nationally significant pests 
  • Regulatory: Provide guidance and enforce regulations concerning actionable arthropods 
  • Industry: Develop and evaluate new pest management technologies for the private sector

Have Questions? 

Ms. Elena Alyanaya, Academic Advisor | 352-273-3903 or

Dr. Marc Branham, Graduate Coordinator | 352-273-3915 or


Entomology and Nematology Faculty Members

Dr. Johan Desaeger
Associate Professor
Entomology and Nematology
Plant Nematology
813-419-6592 | Rm. 135

Dr. Sriyanka Lahiri
Assistant Professor
Entomology and Nematology
Strawberries and Small Fruits
813-419-6585 | Rm. 128

Dr. Hugh Smith
Associate Professor
Entomology and Nematology
813-419-6588 | Rm. 131