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UF/IFAS Office of the Senior Vice President

UF/IFAS Office of the Senior Vice President

Meet the Team

Rob Gilbert headshot

Robert Gilbert

Interim Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources


Rob leads UF/IFAS, supporting faculty in Gainesville and at our research and education centers who address challenges facing agriculture, natural resources and human systems. He spent 7 years on cropping systems research in Africa before joining UF as a sugarcane agronomist in 2000.

Jeanna Mastrodicasa headshot

Jeanna Mastrodicasa

Senior Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources


Jeanna leads UF/IFAS Operations with Associate Director Amanda Burkett to improve operational systems and processes for IFAS. Jeanna also supervises Communications, Human Resources, Facilities Planning and Operations, Information Technology, and the Office of Conference and Institutes in UF/IFAS.

Man standing in front of cattle and a field

Adegbola Adesogan

Associate Vice President


Gbola is the Director of the Global Food Systems Institute, which supports transdisciplinary faculty engagement in areas related to food systems and natural resource conservation. He is a professor in the Animal Sciences department and the E.T and V.C. York professor of international agriculture.

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Meena Thiyagarajah

Associate Vice President of Finance and Administration


Meena leads financial management, fiscal and sponsored program administration for IFAS. The units ensure robust financial oversight, management of sponsored programs, and compliance with federal, state, and university regulations and policies, thereby safeguarding the integrity and effectiveness of IFAS’ financial and research operations.

Chris Vivian headshot

Chris Vivian

Associate Vice President of Communications


Chris leads the UF/IFAS Communications team, specializing in communications strategy. She is a graduate of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications and sings with the Gainesville Master Chorale.

John Davis

John Davis

Interim Dean of Research


John leads the research enterprise at UF/IFAS, supporting faculty in Gainesville and at our research and education centers who address challenges facing agriculture, natural resources, and human systems. He also oversees operations at the Plant Science Research and Education Unit and the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station.

Andra Johnson headshot

Andra Johnson

Dean of Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service


Andra leads the UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Cooperative Extension. He is responsible for advancing extension and ensuring that research-based information is made accessible to all Floridians.

Elaine Turner headshot

Elaine Turner

Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


Elaine has responsibility and oversight for anything related to students and teaching. She is a tenured Professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition and a handbell musician.

Dana Zimmel

Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine


Dr. Zimmel is the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a graduate of UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine and a specialist in Equine Internal Medicine.

Cody Helmer headshot

Cody Helmer

Executive Director of Development


Cody leads the UF/IFAS Office of Advancement, focusing on major and principal gifts. He is a graduate of UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and has worked for UF in the field of advancement since receiving his degree in 2000.

Portrait of Melissa Long

Melissa Long

Executive Director of Human Resources


Melissa has been employed with UF since 2003 and currently leads the UF/IFAS Human Resources team. She has served in similar roles beginning at UF HR, College of Dentistry and UF Advancement. Melissa is a Gator grad and avid sports fan, so you’ll find her at various Gator fields throughout the year.

Benita Bannis

Benita Bannis

Director of Workforce Development


Benita creates and leads strategies to widen access, deepen experiences and welcome all students, staff, and faculty to thrive within the UF/IFAS community. She is a triple gator devoted to developing people and the communities, competencies and connections that make them great.

Andrew Carey

Andrew Carey

Director of Information Technology


Andrew leads the IFAS Information Technology team, and focuses on ensuring that IFAS faculty, staff and students have access to the IT tools they need to fulfill the IFAS mission. Since starting at UF in 2004, Andrew has held various IT roles in Business Affairs, UFIT, and the IFAS Information Technology Server Administration and Helpdesk Teams. In his free time, Andrew enjoys traveling and being outdoors with his family.

Mary Ann Hooks headshot

Mary Ann Hooks

Director of Government Affairs


Mary Ann educates state and federal legislators about UF/IFAS while also monitoring and affecting legislation and liaising with IFAS stakeholders. She grew up in the cattle industry in Lorida, Florida.

Chris Moran

Chief of Staff


Chris is a communications strategist who helps the senior vice president find his voice as communicator-in-chief. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. He once spent a summer going to games in every Major League Baseball park.

Linda Smith

Linda Smith

Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President


Linda is the assistant to the Interim Senior Vice President for UF/IFAS. She has been with UF for 30 years and 29 of those years have been with UF/IFAS. Linda is a native Washingtonian, an avid reader of historical novels and loves to travel internationally.

Goldie King

Executive Assistant to the Senior Associate Vice President


Goldie is the assistant to the senior associate vice president for UF/IFAS. Goldie has had the pleasure of serving eight senior vice presidents in her over 30 years with UF/IFAS. Goldie loves the water and spends considerable time with her four grandsons in St. Petersburg.

Marie Thomas

Marie Thomas

Administrative Specialist


Marie is the assistant to the Director of IFAS Workforce Development and assists the Senior Vice President’s office.  Marie has been with UF/IFAS for 10 years.  She enjoys her enlarged family and genealogy.