Published on 08/08/18

First student earns UGA-University of Padova dual master's degrees in sustainable agriculture

By Merritt Melancon

Time flies, especially when you’re studying a subject you love in the heart of Italy.

For University of Georgia graduate student Logan Moore, who has spent the last 18 months conducting research and pursuing his master’s degree in sustainable agriculture, his time at the University of Padova, or Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD), has come to an end and his degrees are complete.

As of Thursday, July 19, Moore became the first graduate of a new dual master’s degree program in sustainable agriculture from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and UNIPD in Italy. He now holds master’s degrees from both universities.

The dual master’s degree program was the first of its kind for CAES and for UGA, both of which have long supported international study but didn’t have a dual master’s degree program until 2016.

“The dual masters degree in Sustainable Agriculture is the first of its kind for UGA and will be a model for other programs to come,” said Suzanne Barbour, the dean of the graduate school at UGA. “During our visit to UNIPD, we met with department heads and other administrators to discuss additional avenues for collaboration. I envision that we will have many such programs available in the future thank to this pioneering effort in the department of Crop and Soil Sciences.”

UGA administrators and faculty joined Moore in Italy to celebrate his graduation.

The UGA delegation included Barbour; Brian Watkins, director of international partnerships with the UGA Office of International Education; Paul Klute, director of the Office of Institutional Research; Miguel Cabrera, professor and graduate coordinator in the CAES Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; Gerald Henry, professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; Dorcas Franklin, professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; and Jennifer Klute, graduate studies program coordinator for the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

The program was based on a longtime precision agriculture collaboration between Georgia agricultural scientists and European scientists called the “TransAtlantic Precision Agriculture Consortium.” Spearheaded by George Vellidis, UGA Tifton campus academic director and professor of crop and soil sciences, the consortium supported joint research projects and provided an exchange program for undergraduate students.

In 2015, those partnerships led to a memorandum of understanding between UGA and UNIPD, both leaders in precision and sustainable agriculture research.

“Logan’s experience at University of Padova has set an example for countless students who are interested in developing both their global competencies and their understanding of precision and sustainable agriculture,” Vellidis said. “Scientists who are able to work across borders will be crucial to solving the problem of feeding the world’s growing population.”

Moore, who graduated with his bachelor’s degree in agriscience and environmental systems from UGA-Tifton in spring 2016, studied control methods for the invasive crop pest, the brown marmorated stink bug. He began his coursework at UGA and moved to Italy in May 2017 with his wife, Casey.

Two Italian students who pursued their first year of coursework at UNIPD came to UGA around the same time. Stefano Gobbo and Saumuele Lamon, are working with CAES Professor of Horticulture Peggy Ozias-Akin and will graduate in December 2018.

As Moore, Gobbo and Di Genova plan for life after grad school, a second class of dual degree program students starts their training.

UGA graduates Aaron Bruce and Brendan Fatzinger are currently studying at UNIPD and will graduate in December 2018 and June 2019, respectively. A fourth UGA graduate, Carson Dann, will join them in September.

Italian graduate student Samuele Ceolin, who is working at the UGA Athens campus with Professor David Radcliffe of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, plans to graduate in May 2019. As does Dario Di Genova, who is working with Assistant Professor Jonathan Oliver in the Department of Plant Pathology.

For more information about the opportunities for international study provided by CAES, visit



Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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