Skip to main content

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Dr. Ray Huffaker

Professor, Bioeconomic Modeling, Natural Resource and Environmental Law

Program Areas

  • Teaching
    • ABE 6933: Data Diagnostics
    • ABE 5643C: Biological Systems Modeling

Ray Huffaker is a natural resource economist (Ph.D., UC Davis) specializing in bioeconomic and hydrologic modeling, and a legal scholar (J.D., UC Davis) specializing in natural resource and environmental law.

Huffaker is interested in understanding feedback between economic activities and ecosystem resources, and investigating management policies that protect the long-term viability of both.

Huffaker has studied a wide variety of resource uses and human-ecosystem interactions. In water, he investigated agricultural water conservation policies subsidizing farmers to improve on-farm irrigation efficiency. He also studied optimal removal of reservoir sediments to restore valuable water-storage capacity for agricultural, industrial, and municipal uses; and the legal potential for various types of specialized water transactions to allocate more water to instream uses during critical flow periods. In invasive species management, Huffaker derived optimal animal stocking policies to control invasive weeds on grazing land by embedding plant competition dynamics into an economic grazing problem. In pest management, he collaborated with entomologists to develop a potato spraying schedule for green peach aphids vectoring potato leaf-roll virus to economize on the application of an environmentally damaging pesticide.

In all of this work, Huffaker has endeavored to expand the capabilities of bioeconomic models to incorporate more complex hydrologic and ecosystem dynamics by adopting cutting-edge mathematical modeling techniques. Huffaker firmly believes that model builders must become thoroughly acquainted with available data to construct informative models that successfully simulate complex real-world behavior. Huffaker’s current research focuses on applying data diagnostic techniques to detect low-dimensional nonlinear deterministic structure in economic and biophysical time-sequenced data that can be used to construct hydrologic and bioeconomic models whose simulated dynamics match real-world complexity.

Huffaker thoroughly enjoys working with students. His teaching experience includes doctoral courses in data diagnostics, mathematical optimization techniques, economic dynamics, and micro- and macroeconomic analysis; and undergraduate courses in natural resource economics and environmental law.

Contact Information


281 Frazier Rogers Hall

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 110570
Gainesville, FL 32611-0570

  • Education
    • Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, University of California, Davis, 1983
    • J.D. University of California, Davis, School of Law, 1986
    • A.B. Economics and Italian, University of California, Davis, 1978
  • Professional Experience
    • 2013-Present
      Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
    • 2008-2013
      Professor and Chair, Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida
    • 2000-2008
      Professor, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University
    • 2006-2008
      Participating Faculty, Interdisciplinary Training of Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences
    • 1993-2000
      Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Washington State University
    • 1990-1993
      Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Washington State University
    • 1990-2008
      Adjunct Professor, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman
    • 1990-2008
      Graduate Faculty, Environmental Science and Regional Planning Program, Washington State University
    • 1987-1990
      Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    • 1984-1986
      Lecturer and Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of California, Davis
    • 1975-1978
      Parole Aid and Northern California Drug Abuse Coordinator, California Youth Authority
  • Publications
  • Awards and Honors
    • Senior Visiting Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bologna, Summer 2011
    • Computational Science Award in Undergraduate Teaching, Ames Laboratory, United States Department of Energy, 1994
    • Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, University of California, Davis
  • Other Professional Activities
    • Editorial Board, Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, 2009 - Present
    • Editorial Board, Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, 2010 - Present