Joseph Albano is the new director of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (REC) in Apopka, Fla. Albano, a research horticulturist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture brings more than 25 years of experience to his new role.
The position entails helping faculty, meeting with colleagues and faculty at other research and education centers around the state, handling administrative matters from UF’s main campus, solving problems and representing the Mid-Florida region of UF/IFAS to customers and stakeholders.
“For me, the job itself was one that I felt I was ready for,” Albano says. “I am excited to lead a team of great faculty and to be able to implement my own ideas and goals and build this center into a place that can better serve our valued customers and stakeholders. We have some really good people here at the center, and I think that one of the joys I look forward to is developing young faculty to be productive and get through the tenure and promotion process.”
Albano has been on the job since January and has engaged in outreach work with the American Floral Endowment (AFE) and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA).
“My goal is to serve industry and urban environments through excellence in teaching, Extension and research,” Albano says. “They all have a part to play in teaching the next horticulturists, who will serve our industry through Extension and research.”
Before accepting this position, Albano worked as the research programs director at the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and as a research horticulturist at the USDA Agricultural Research Services’ Horticulture Research Laboratory, focusing on plant nutrition and water quality in ornamental crops and citrus.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University-Fresno in agricultural science. He also earned a master’s degree in horticulture and a doctorate in plant physiology, both from Clemson University. Albano is from Tampa, where he began his work in horticulture on a vineyard and winery located in Pasco County. He then attended UF for a year, where he completed an internship at the Leesburg Research Center, studying nutrient deficiencies in grapes.
Visit the MidFlorida Research and Education Center website to learn more.