Christopher Barbey, a UF doctoral student, researches strawberry genetics at UF with his research partner in a lab with no name on its door.
His partner, Kevin Folta, used to display his name, but he took it down years ago when he began receiving death threats because of some of his more controversial research.
In a Facebook post Tuesday night, Folta, a professor and the former chairman of the horticultural sciences department at UF, said damaging attacks from activist groups caused him to resign from his chairman position.
In his resignation email … he said his decision is also for personal reasons, which he later explained as a difficult divorce.
[H]is colleagues hail him as a worldwide influence. Barbey said Folta is the reason he came to UF from Idaho for graduate school.
“I followed Kevin online because he is a huge champion for people who have a pro-science attitude toward genetic engineering and what it can do,” Barbey said.
Folta said [activist group GMWatch] has targeted him for years because he is a scientist, calling them a hate group that harrasses him, his mother and his ex-wife. The group has also targeted scientists working on vaccines and climate change, he said.
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