Horticultural Sciences Department

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Dr. Robert J. Ferl

Ferl_R-200x250.jpg
Office:2109 Fifield Hall
Phone:352-273-4822
E-mail:robferl@ufl.edu
For more information, visit Dr. Ferl's website. 

Professor and Director of ICBR

Areas of Research

  • Space biology
  • Examination of 14-3-3 proteins
  • Examination of chromatin structure

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., M.A., Genetics and Biochemistry, Indiana University (1980)
  • B.A., Hiram College (1976)

Work and International Experiences

  • Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department (1990-present)
  • Director Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (2006-present)
  • Director of UF ICBR DNA Sequencing Laboratory (1988-present)
  • Assistant Director, UF Biotechnology Program (1994-2006)
  • Director of UF ICBR BEECS Genetics Laboratory (1992-1995)
  • Chairman, Institutional Biosafety Committee (1998-1995)
  • Administrative Council, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research at UF (1990-1991)
  • Biological Sciences Teaching Program, University of Florida (1985-1987)
  • Acting Chairman, Department of Botany, University of Florida (1986-1987)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Vegetable Crops (1987-1990)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Botany, University of Florida (1986-1987)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, University of Florida (1980-1986)

Honors and Awards

  • Visiting Research Scientist: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Division of Plant Industry, Canberra, Australia 3/81 to 8/81
  • Teacher of the Year, Lambda Gamma Phi Honorary Society, University of Florida, 1984
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, 1984 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida
  • Faculty Research Achievement Award 1987, 1989, 1992
  • Harper Collins Biology Texts
  • Board of Examiners for GRE Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1989 – 1996
  • Award of Excellence for Graduate Research, IFAS, University of Florida, 1994
  • US Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award for Excellence 1997
  • CREES Recognition Award 1997
  • UFRF Professorship 1999, 2005
  • Chair- Science Council –Division of Space Life Sciences for USRA 2010-2013
  • Member- National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council NASA Decadal Study, 2010

Program Personnel

  • Natasha Sng, graduate student
  • Eric Schultz, graduate student
  • Matt Bamsey, postdoc
  • Thomas Graham, postdoc
  • Fiona Denison, postdoc
  • Agata Zupanska, postdoc
  • Lawrence Rasmussen, biologist
  • Anna-Lisa Paul, Research Associate Professor

Selected Publications 

  • Zupanska AK, Ferl RJ, Denison FC, Paul A‐L. (2013) Spaceflight engages heat shock protein and other molecular chaperone genes in Arabidopsis tissue culture cells Am. Journal of Botany 100:235-248.
  • Paul A-L, Wheeler R, Levine H, Ferl RJ. (2013) Fundamental plant biology enabled by the space shuttleAm. Journal of Botany 100:226-234
  • Paul A‐L, Amalfitano CE, Ferl RJ. (2012) Plant growth strategies are remodeled by spaceflight. BMC Plant Biology. 12:232 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-232
  • Paul A-L, Denison FC, Schultz ER, Zupanska AK, Ferl RJ (2012) 14-3-3 phosphoprotein interaction networks - does isoform diversity present functional interaction specification? Front Plant Sci 3: 190
  • Schultz E, Zupanska A, Manning-Roach S, Camacho J, Levine H, Paul A-L and Ferl RJ (2012) Testing the Bio-compatibility of Aluminum PDFU BRIC Hardware. Gravitational and Space Biology 26(2): 48-63.
  • Mayfield JD, Paul A-L, Ferl RJ (2012) The 14-3-3 proteins The 14-3-3 proteins of Arabidopsis regulate root growth and chloroplast development as components of the photosensory system.  J. Exp.Botany
  • Paul A-L, Zupanska A, Ostrow DT, Zhang Y, Sun Y, Li J-L, Shanker S, Farmerie WG, Amalfitano CE, Ferl RJ. Spaceflight transcriptomes: unique responses to a novel environment (2012) Astrobiology 12: 40-56
  • Paul A-L and Ferl RJ (2011) Using green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter genes in RNAlater™ fixed tissue  Gravitational and Space Biology 25(1): 40-43
  • Paul A-L, Manak MS, Mayfield JD, Reyes MF, Gurley WB, and Ferl RJ. (2011) Parabolic flight induces changes in gene expression patterns in Arabidopsis thaliana. Astrobiology  2011 Oct;11(8):743-58
  • Ferl RJ,  Zupanska A, Spinale  A, Reed  D,  Manning-Roach S, Guerra  G, Cox D, Paul A-L (2011) Performance of KSC Fixation Tubes with RNALater for orbital experiments: a case study in ISS operations for molecular biology. Advances in Space Research 48: 199-206
  • Visscher AM, A-L Paul, M Kirst, CL. Guy, AC. Schuerger, and RJ. Ferl (2010) Responses of wildtype arabidopsis and ion transporter mutants to high levels of magnesium sulfate; consequences for (extra)terrestrial plant growth. PLoS One 5(8): e12348
  • Ferl RJ, Paul A-L (2010) Lunar Plant Biology – A Review the Apollo Era. Astrobiology 10: 261-74. 

Academic History:

Hiram College B.A. 1972 to 1976
Major: Biology
Minors: Chemistry, Computer Science

Indiana University M.A., Ph.D. 1976 to 1980
Major: Biology / Genetics
Minors: Biochemistry

Appointments:

1980 - 1986, Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, University of Florida
1986 - 1987, Associate Professor, Department of Botany, University of Florida
1987 - 1990, Associate Professor, Department of Vegetable Crops
1990 - Present Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department
1986 - 1987, Acting Chairman, Department of Botany, University of Florida
1985 - 1987, Director, Biological Sciences Teaching Program, University of Florida
1994 - 2006, Assistant Director, UF Biotechnology Program
2006- Present, Director Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research