Gilly Evans is the new director of the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center. ( Courtesy University of Florida )

Edward “Gilly” Evans, who has been the interim director of the University of Florida’s IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center for two years, has officially been named to head the center.

The center is part of the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences network.

The Tropical center researches issues of interest to Florida growers, according to a news release, including climate change and related weather events, invasive pests and diseases, and foreign competition.

Evans has worked for UF/IFAS for almost three decades. He was associate director of UF/IFAS Global, the arm of the institute that implements international programs, and is a professor in the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department.

“In addition to being a solid scientist, Gilly has an international background consistent with the cosmopolitan culture of the Miami-Dade area,” Jack Payne, University of Florida senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said in the release.