Skip to main content

Tropical Research & Education Center

Tropical Research & Education Center

Ana I. Vargas

Biological Scientist III – Eco-physiology Laboratory

Ana Vargas is a biologist at the Tropical Research and Educational Center, University of Florida. She has two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Agronomy from the University of Pinar del Rio, Cuba and a second in Biological Science from Florida International University, Miami. She also has a Masters of Engineering degree from Florida International University, Miami. She worked as an extension agent in agronomy and a research technician in entomology prior to her current position as a biological scientist in ecophysiology of subtropical and tropical plants.


18905 SW 280 St.
Homestead, FL 33031-3314
(786) 217-9266

  • Education
    • M.S. Engineering Management, Florida International University, 2012
    • B.S. Biology, Florida International University, 2011
    • A.A. Miami Dade College, 2006
    • B.S. Agronomy, University of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, 1998
  • Publications

    Refereed (Peer-Reviewed) Journal Articles  

    1. Castillo-Argaez, R., A. Vazques, J.L. Konkol, A.I. Vargas, E. Exteberria, R.C. Ploetz and Schaffer. 2020. Sap flow, xylem anatomy and photosynthetic variables of three Persea species in response to laurel wilt. Tree Physiology 41, 1004-1018,
    2. Vargas, A.I., Schaffer, L.D.L. Sternberg. 2020. Water uptake through a vapor pathway. Physiological Plantarum 170:433-439,
    3. Baitsaid, A., Schaffer, A.I. Vargas, Y. Li, and D. Liu. 2018. Effect of plant age on in-soil decomposition and nitrogen content of sun hemp tissue. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 49(21):2680-2688.
    4. Bosco de Oliveira, D., W.A. Vendrami, A.I. Vargas, B. Schaffer. 2018. Effectiveness of a micronutrient delivery system fertilizer in Jatropha plants is related to enhanced photosynthesis, gas exchange and biomass allocation. BioScience Journal, Uberlandia, v. 34, supplement1, p. 97-107.
    5. Sarkhosh, A., B. Schaffer, A.I. Vargas, A.J. Palmateer, P. Lopez, A. Soleymani and M. Farzaneh. 2018. In-Vitro evaluation of eight plant Essential oils for controlling Colletotrichum, Botryosphaeria, Fusarium, and Phytophthora fruit rots of avocado, mango and papaya. Plant Protection Science 54:153-162.
    6. Sarkhosh, A., Schaffer, A.I. Vargas, A.J. Palmateer, P. Lopez, A. Soleymani, and M. Farzaneh. 2018. Chemical composition and antifungal activity (in vitro and in vivo) of five plant-extracted essential oils against anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Penz.) in papaya fruit. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 34:18-26.
    7. Vargas, A.I., B. Schaffer, Y. Li, and L.D.S. Sternberg. 2017. Testing plant use of mobile vs. immobile soil water sources using stable isotope experiments. New Phytologist 215:582-594.
    8. Sarkhosh, A., A.I. Vargas, Schaffer, A.J. Palmateer, P. Lopez, A. Soleymani and M. Farzaneh. 2017. Postharvest management of anthracnose affecting stored avocado (Persea americana Mill.) fruit with plant-extracted essential oils. Food Packaging and Shelf Life 12:16-22.
    9. Thani, Q.A., Schaffer, G. Liu, A.I. Vargas, and J.H. Crane. 2016. Chemical oxygen fertilization reduces stress and increases recovery and survival of flooded papaya (Carica papaya L.) plants.  Scientia Horticulturae 202:173-183.
    10. Ploetz, R.C., Schaffer, A.I. Vargas, J.L. Konkol, J. Salvatierra and R. Wideman. 2015. Impact of laurel wilt, caused by Raffaelea lauricola, on leaf gas exchange and xylem sap flow of avocado, Persea americana.  Phytopathology 105:433-440.
    11. Sanclemente, M.A., Schaffer, P.M. Gil, A.I. Vargas and F.S. Davies. 2014. Pruning after flooding hastens recovery of flood-stressed avocado (Persea americana Mill.) trees. Scientia Horticulturae 169:27-35.

    Proceedings, Technical Reports and Extension Publications

    1. Thani, Q.A., A.I. Vargas, B. Schaffer, G. Liu, and J.H. Crane. 2016. Responses of Papaya Plants in a Potting Medium in Containers to Flooding and Solid Oxygen Fertilization. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 129:27–34. 2016.

    Abstracts and Presentations

    1. Castillo-Argaez, R., A.I. Vargas, and Schaffer. 2020. Response of ‘Hass’ avocado trees on different clonal rootstocks to laurel wilt. HortScience 55(9):S320.
    2. Castillo-Argaez, R., J. Konkol, A. Vazquez, R. Fernandez, A.I. Vargas, R.C. Ploetz and Bruce Schaffer. 2019. Laurel wilt susceptibility related to physiology of grafted avocado trees.  IX World Avocado Congress, Medellin, Colombia, Sept. 24-28, 2019.
    3. Konkol, J.L., R. Castillo-Argaez, A. Vazquez, R. Fernandez, A.I. Vargas, Schaffer and R. C. Ploetz. 2019. Clonal and seedling rootstocks exhibit similar variability in their responses to laurel wilt. IX World Avocado Congress, Medellin, Colombia, Sept. 24-28, 2019.
    4. Castillo, R., Bruce Schaffer, Randy C. Ploetz, Ana I. Vargas, Joshua Konkol, Randy Fernandez and Aime Vazquez. 2018.   Susceptibility to laurel wilt related to physiology of three clonal avocado roots. HortScience 53(9):S58.
    5. Vargas, A.I., A. Sarkosh, Schaffer, A.J. Palmateer, Patricia Lopez and A. Soleymani. 2017. Chemical composition and antifungal activity of five plant essential oils against anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) in avocado and papaya fruit. HortScience 52(9):S378.
    6. Baitsaid, A., Schaffer, A.I. Vargas. 2017. Effect of age of a sunn hemp cover crop and soil amendment on leaf gas exchange and growth of papaya. HortScience 52(9):S436.
    7. Vargas, A.I., Schaffer, L. YuHong and L.O. Sternberg. 2016. Stable Isotope Analysis of Water Indicates that Mixing Occurs between Mobile and Tightly-Bound Soil Water.  Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union Annual Conference, San Francisco, Dec. 2016.
    8. Rodríguez, G., Schaffer, A.I. Vargas, and C. Basso. 2014.  Effect of flooding duration and portion of roots submerged on physiology, growth and survival of papaya (Carica papaya L.). HortScience 49: S293 (abstract).
    9. Schaffer, B., R.C. Ploetz, A.I. Vargas, J. Konkol and J. Salvatierra. 2013. Laurel wilt differentially affects xylem sap flow of three avocado cultivars. HortScience 48(9): S322 (abstract).
    10. Ploetz, R.C., Schaffer, A.I. Vargas, J.L. Konkol, J. Salvatierra, S.A. Inch, A. Campbell and R. Wideman. 2013. Physiological impacts of laurel wilt on avocado.  Phytophathology 103(6):Supplement 114 (abstract). 
  • Honors and Recognition

    Superior Accomplishment Awards, University of Florida, 2018