Dr. Luke Flory
Assistant Professor, Department of Agronomy, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Dr. Flory is an ecologist with a research focus on the mechanisms and impacts of non-native plant invasions. The movement of species to novel ranges around the world is fundamentally a global process, thus he engages in international research and teaching activities to advance understanding of the problem, develop solutions, educate students, inform land managers, and contribute to the internationalization of UF. His primary research objectives are to identify non-native species that are likely to become invasive, determine how invaders will interact with other global change factors, and quantify the immediate and long-term consequences of invasions. His research has been funded by NSF, the USDA, and the US DoD, and involves international collaborators from China, France, England, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. Dr. Flory has delivered international seminars at Fudan University in Shanghai, Wuhan Botanic Garden, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and at the Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions conference in Lisbon, Portugal. He has consulted for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, the German Research Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Czech Academy of Science, and the Global Species Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Dr. Flory’s interest in international work began when he traveled abroad as an undergraduate to the Brazilian Amazon, so he is passionate about inspiring international awareness in UF students. He developed a study abroad course in Cuba on tropical marine and island ecology in collaboration with Don Behringer of UF/IFAS SFRC, which has been praised by students for integration of ecological concepts with ongoing issues in Cuba, and the inclusion of Cuban scientists and local people in the program. Graduate students in the Flory Lab have worked internationally on silvopasture restoration in the Colombian Andes, land use change in Panama, impacts of tree invasions in the Galápagos, and climate change and agroecology of coffee in Costa Rica. The goal is to address global ecological problems and internationalize UF student research experiences. Dr. Flory was part of the first cohort of UFIC Global Fellows, received the UF/IFAS International Achievement Award, and was awarded a UF/IFAS Mid-Career International Travel Award to continue his work with the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galápagos.