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Dr. Zansler has 10 years of experience analyzing the economic impacts of pests and diseases on the citrus industry

BARTOW, Fla. – For more than a decade, Dr. Marisa Zansler studied the ways pests and diseases affect the economy of Florida’s largest agricultural industry.

As citrus greening continues to impact the industry, she brings that experience to the Florida Department of Citrus as director of economic and market research.

“As the industry battles the biggest crisis in perhaps all of citrus history, ultimate success will come down to the efforts and talents of the industry’s human capital to drive innovation in science, economics, and marketing,” said Dr. Matthew Salois, former FDOC director of economic and market research. “Zansler brings a valuable depth of experience and expertise that will no doubt well serve the FDOC, the grower, and the Florida citrus industry.”

Zansler, a Louisiana native, began her work in citrus as a doctoral student at the University of Florida where she researched the economic impacts of pests and diseases on the industry.

She continued that work during her 10 years at the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, where Zansler collaborated among a multidisciplinary team of scientists to analyze the economic impacts of policies designed to control the spread of pests and diseases that posed a threat to the Florida Citrus industry while preserving the integrity of the industry in the long run. Among her projects was an economic analysis in support of regulations to allow the interstate movement of Florida citrus nursery stock from areas quarantined for citrus greening and the Asian citrus psyllid under a systems approach.

Zansler earned a doctorate in Food and Resource Economics from UF in 2004.  She also holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Agricultural Business as well as a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Louisiana State University.

At the FDOC, Zansler is responsible for implementing and overseeing the collection, analysis and reporting of economic and market research data. She also manages activities and relationships between the FDOC and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The data collected by Zansler and her team is used to evaluate current market conditions, supply constraints and the effectiveness of marketing activities.

While economic research has always been a priority for the FDOC, it has become increasingly imperative each season as production continues to decline, leading to reduced availability and higher market prices.

The Florida Citrus industry generates significant economic activity to support the state and helps promote conservation activities. At the same time, the industry serves a major role in the world citrus market, particularly for 100% Orange Juice and fresh Grapefruit.

“I am proud to be part of a team working to ensure Floridians and people around the world can continue to enjoy Florida Citrus,” Zansler said. “I believe there is an intrinsic value to this industry that supports the economy and state in immeasurable ways.”

About the Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission is the governing board of the Florida Department of Citrus, an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. The commission is a nine-member board appointed by the governor to represent citrus growers, processors and packers. FDOC activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs nearly 76,000 people and provides an annual economic impact close to $9 billion to the state. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.