Dr. Robert Gilbert
Dean for Research
Director of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Robert Gilbert is the UF/IFAS Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of UF/IFAS. He became dean in January 2019 and is responsible for overseeing the research mission and administration. His office manages more than $9 million in resources that are used to strengthen the capacity and innovation of UF/IFAS research.
Dr. Gilbert holds a B.A. in biology from Carleton College, an M.S. in agronomy from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in soil science from Texas A&M University. After completing a postdoctoral research fellowship with The Rockefeller Foundation in Malawi, he joined the agronomy faculty at the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, FL in 2000. He then became the Center Director until 2014 when he was appointed as the Agronomy Department Chair on UF’s main campus.
He is extremely supportive of international research collaborations and the depth and breadth they bring to faculty programs but realizes that these collaborations often have logistical challenges. He oversees the UF/IFAS International Support Team, an office conceived in September 2018 and housed within the research suite in McCarty Hall D.
His past research experience has focused on breeding sugarcane varieties and working with stakeholders to improve one of South Florida’s signature crops. He has co-authored 88 refereed journal publications, developed 33 sugarcane cultivars, and presented at 17 international meetings.
In service to the profession, he has functioned in numerous roles within the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists and the Florida division of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. He has been honored with a USDA/ARS Sustained Effort Technology Transfer Award, a UF/IFAS International Achievement Award, and several Denver T. Loupe Best Presentation Awards from the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists.
His administrative philosophy has always been to hire the best faculty and staff possible and then facilitate their success by providing straightforward annual metrics, devoting resources to promising initiatives, and supporting training and mentorship opportunities.