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Certificate in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Biosecurity Center For Infectious Disease Disease Ecology Research (CIDER)

Agricultural sustainability, biosecurity, and anthropogenic climate change are relatively new concepts and thus there has been little time to reach a critical mass of professionals trained in these fields.

This certificate prepares students to undertake multiple job opportunities in a variety of industries. A large number of employees in agencies like the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection are mid or late-career scientists; as emphasized by the new Biology for the 21st Century report, the USDA recognizes the need to ensure a competent, qualified, and diverse workforce to serve the food and agricultural sciences and improve the economic health and viability of rural communities.

The USDA has initiated a campaign to train undergraduate and graduate students in the agricultural sciences at non-land grant universities and the University of South Florida (USF) has participated in this training effort by developing an undergraduate certificate Program in Agricultural Sustainability and Biosecurity.

Mission Statement: The mission of the Center for Infectious Disease Ecology Research (CIDER) is to promote the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge on the ecology of infectious diseases and its impacts on humans, biodiversity, and the environment through research and the development of interdisciplinary scholars. We define infectious disease ecology as the study of biotic and abiotic factors that affect the abundance, spread, or pathology of pathogens or parasites of exclusively wildlife or of humans if the human pathogen or parasite also has a wild host or vector.


Goals: 1) To generate, translate, and disseminate knowledge on the ecology of infectious diseases

2) To promote collaborative interdisciplinary research on the ecology of infectious diseases

3) To train undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with an interdisciplinary perspective on infectious disease ecology work

4) To facilitate communication among USF stakeholders involved in infectious disease ecology research (e.g., College of Medicine, College of Public Health, Integrative Biology, CMMB, Anthropology, College of Marine Science, etc.)

If you have questions, please contact USF bioadvise, Dr. Earl McCoy (

Certificate Curriculum Details

CIDER's current home department is the Department of Integrative Biology within the College of Arts and Sciences, at USF, with members from across the entire USF campus (CIDER Research Team).

For further information visit CIDER