Samira Daroub, an internationally acclaimed soil and water scientist and professor, has been named director of the UF/IFAS Everglades Research & Education Center (EREC).
Daroub is the second woman in the history of the 100-year-old center to take the helm. The center’s campus includes offices, laboratories, greenhouses, a 700-acre research farm, and residential dormitories and housing for graduate students and visiting scientists, all in in the heart of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA).
Daroub now leads a team of nine faculty members and 80 graduate students, post-doctoral associates and staff at UF/IFAS EREC. Together they provide support for the EAA’s agriculturally diverse region, which includes sugarcane, rice, commercial sod, and winter vegetables like sweet corn and leafy greens.
Research at EREC covers agronomy, entomology and nematology, horticultural sciences, plant pathology, and soil and water sciences.
Among her first set of priorities are to:
• Identify areas of growth in research, Extension and teaching for the center through collaboration among different disciplines, departments and other research centers.
• Facilitate professional development of faculty, students and interns. Focus on student education, wellbeing and mentoring.
• Engage stakeholders and foster strong linkages with growers and community at large.
“It goes back to my first semester in college when I took a soil science class,” said Daroub. “The instructor showed how it had practical application, and it was through his mentorship and others that I gained a love for this applied science.”