Headshot of Maria Gallo

Maria Gallo

Maria Gallo will lead the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as its new dean effective July 16, 2012. Her appointment is for three years.

Gallo is currently professor and chair of the agronomy department at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

“We were blessed and grateful to have received a very high caliber of candidates for this tremendously important position,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. “Dr. Gallo’s exemplary background and experience in academic leadership and in promoting and sustaining programs within higher education make her the best match to take the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to the next level.”

The formal search process for the CTAHR dean position was initiated in September 2011. Sylvia Yuen has served as interim dean for the past two years.

“I also want to thank Sylvia Yuen for her impressive contributions as interim dean since 2010,” said Hinshaw.

Bioenergy and agronomics specialist

In Florida, Gallo leads a research program aimed at improving the performance and quality of tropical energy and agronomic crops. She is the founder of the world’s pioneering programs for sugarcane biotechnology. The enhancement of sugarcane as a bioenergy crop is currently the main thrust of her multi-disciplinary research team.

In addition to being author of numerous publications, Gallo is immediate past president of the Crop Science Society of America and the American Peanut Research and Education Society. Both are prestigious societies in the field of agriculture.

Gallo is also the co-founder and co-director of the University of Florida’s Scientific Thinking and Educational Partnership Program, whose main objective is to establish a nexus for life science researchers and social scientists. The program catalyzes and provides logistical support for the development of quality education and outreach components of grant proposals, enhancing faculty competitiveness in obtaining extramural funding.

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Cornell University, and her master’s degree in crop science and PhD in genetics from North Carolina State University.

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