Andre da Silva named national winner of Professional Early Career Award

Assistant Professor Andre da Silva poses in front of Comer Hall at Auburn University.

Andre da Silva, assistant professor and extension vegetable specialist in the Auburn University Department of Horticulture, was recently named the national winner of the 2023 Professional Early Career Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) at the annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The ASHS Professional Early Career Award recognizes the outstanding contributions members make to horticultural science through their professional activities within seven years of completing their terminal degree.

“Receiving this award is very important to my career since it recognizes my dedication, expertise, and contributions to the horticulture world, particularly to the vegetable industry,” da Silva said. “The award recognizes my efforts in the triplet of a land-grant university, where I run my program aligning teaching, research and extension, while focusing this program on advancing best management practices in vegetable production.”

The conference included a session of oral presentations in which each finalist had 30 minutes to present their program impacts and answer questions. da Silva’s presentation was titled “Supporting a Vegetable Industry with Research and Extension but without Forgetting Teaching.” After screening the finalists, judges announced the top three participants, and da Silva was named the winner.

Before coming to Auburn University, da Silva earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from State University of Maringa (Brazil), master’s in agronomy/vegetable production from State University of Maringa (Brazil) and doctorate in horticulture studies/agricultural and biological engineering from University of Florida.

The primary focus of da Silva’s research program involves basic and applied research on best management practices on vegetable production, including cultivar evaluation, irrigation scheduling, and fertilizer application.

“The second front of my program is focused on the development of strategies that overcome the challenges of vegetable organic production in the state, in which we conduct research and extension in the organic unit at the E.V. Smith Research and Extension Center,” he said. “Finally, the third front of my program is the development of integrated pest management practices for vegetable production, where I work in collaboration with Dr. Edward Sikora, a plant pathologist, and Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, an entomologist, to minimize yield and quality loss in vegetable crops across the state.”

“Dr. da Silva is an exceptional young faculty member in the Department of Horticulture,” said Desmond Layne, head of the Department of Horticulture. “His recognition by peers as the first-place winner in the 2023 Early Career Competition by the American Society for Horticultural Science is a terrific professional milestone. I am eager to see and support his continued advancement and increasing impact serving the Alabama vegetable industry and our department.”


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Aug 30, 2023 | Feature, Horticulture

<p><a href="" target="_self">Taylor Edwards</a></p>

Taylor Edwards

Taylor Edwards is a junior majoring in Agricultural Communications with a minor in Animal Science. In her free time, she participates in many extracurriculars within the College of Agriculture and enjoys reading, going to the gym and listening to true crime podcasts.

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