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February 18, 2018

About Kevin Folta

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Dr. Kevin M. Folta has a background in both biology and communications.  He has studied biology and agricultural biotechnology for over thirty years, working exclusively in public academic institutions.  His research program examines the role of light in controlling plant traits, especially those relevant to agriculture.  His group is known for using innovative genomics approaches to identify genes associated with fruit quality, especially flavors and aromas.

He has been a professor at the University of Florida since 2002, and has been Chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department since 2012.

His laboratory has hosted over 100 undergraduate researchers, dozens of international scholars, and trained many postdocs.  He has mentored dozens of graduate students.  His team has authored over 80 peer-reviewed research articles, scholarly reviews, and book chapters.

He has been recognized with the prestigious CAST Borlaug Agricultural Communications Award (2016), the NSF CAREER Award (2008), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Outstanding Research Mentor Award (2007), the University of Florida Research Professor Award (2010), University of Florida Postdoctoral Mentoring Award (2012).

Throughout his career he has trained in communications, served as a instructor in these areas, and performed countless seminars and consultations on science communications.

Yes, it is true.  He was a waiter and busboy through college, he wrote and performed comedy, played guitar in a hair-metal/punk band in the 80’s, and was a bronze medalist in the Masters division of the USA National Karate Foundation championship in 2012.  Kevin also hates to refer to himself in the third person.