Ronald Gonzáles is a Ph.D. candidate in Soil and Water Science at the University of Florida, where he is studying the phosphorus nutrition of two varieties of warm-season turf grasses and the environmental impacts of phosphorus fertilization. Plants cannot live without an adequate supply of phosphorus. In some types of soils, however, phosphorus may leach down to the ground water; this element may then be returned to surface waters, triggering increased growth of sunlight-blocking algae in a process known as eutrophication. The consequent depletion of oxygen can kill fish and other aquatic life. Ronald’s research is aimed at determining the levels of phosphorus required for optimal turf growth and quality, beyond which ecosystems are at risk from phosphorus leaching and eutrophication.
A native of Costa Rica, Ronald received a Licenciate in Tropical Agriculture from EARTH University in Guácimo, and a Master’s degree in Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Before coming to the University of Florida, he was Research Coordinator and Assistant Scientist at the Standard Fruit Company of Costa Rica, and Agricultural Farm Manager at Gape, S.A., both in San Carlos. Upon returning to his home country, Ronald hopes to develop improved nutrient management practices for agriculture in Latin America.
Born in Piacenza, Italy, Filippo received a Bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the Politecnico of Milan where he graduated summa cum laude. During his Bachelor’s level studies, Filippo’s interests focused primarily on energy production and global energy problems. These interests led him to pursue a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering at the Politecnico of Milan. After winning a Monbukagakusho scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Filippo spent two years at the University of Tokyo doing thesis research on laser aided low temperature plasma diagnostics. These opporunities allowed him complete a double Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering at the Politecnico of Milan and in Quantum engineering at the University of Tokyo.