John Davis specializes in forest ecosystem health, tree-pathogen coevolution, forest genomics, and is tenured in the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences. He earned his Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics-forestry from Michigan State University in 1989 and has been a faculty member in UF/IFAS since 1992. Prior to serving in the Dean for Research Office, he maintained a 60 percent research, 20 percent teaching, and 20 percent administrative appointment since 2011. In March 2016, he transferred to the Dean for Research Office where he currently holds a 100 percent administrative appointment as the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Associate Director of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
His past research experience has focused on identifying the function of genes involved in ecologically important traits of Populus and Pinus. Since 2002, he has served as Co-Director of the Forest Biology Research Cooperative to support its mission of sustaining healthy forests through research in outdoor “living laboratories.” His expertise was leveraged in successful proposals to USDA, NSF and DOE resulting in $13 million in extramural and in-kind support to discover genes and their function.
In the profession, he has served on Scientific Advisory Boards for Genome Canada and for the Forest Health Initiative. He has served as graduate coordinator for two intercollegiate degree programs at UF – Genetics & Genomics, and Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology – co-authored 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and 45 technical reports, given dozens of presentations internationally, and received numerous awards and honors for his research and service.