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Lab Members

Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo

Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo

Lab PI

In 2010, Dr. DiLorenzo joined the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor in Animal Sciences at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna.  His primary research and extension interests are in the area of beef cattle nutrition, with the objective of improving the efficiency of use of forages minimizing the environmental impact.  His research focuses on ruminal metabolism and fermentation, emissions of greenhouse gases, and nutrient excretion in cattle systems.


Tessa M. Schulmeister

Lab Manager; PhD Student

Tessa Marie Schulmeister was born at home, in the small town of Dothan, Alabama in 1983. When Tessa was five years old, she either wanted to become a teacher or a veterinarian due to her love of children and animals. Tessa began college courses at the local junior college in 2001, however the terrorist attack of 9-11 compelled Tessa to join the U.S. Navy, where she enlisted for five years. After an honorable discharge from the U. S. Navy, she obtained an AA with emphasis in psychology from Blackhawk Junior College, and a BS in biology from Northern Illinois University, where she was an undergraduate research assistant to Dr. Bethia King. After graduation in 2012, Tessa moved to Florida to be closer to family, and was employed by Dr. DiLorenzo. During employment, Tessa obtained a MS, and began the pursuit of a PhD from the University of Florida in Animal Sciences. Tessa’s research is focused on the novel crop, Brassica carinata, and its potential use as a protein supplement in beef cattle. Tessa is also a full-time mom to two wonderful, not-so-little boys.


Federico Podversich

PhD Student

Federico Podversich was born in General Ramírez, ER, Argentina, in 1990. From a very early age, he worked with cattle in the family operation and helped his father in his work as a veterinarian. Federico studied Veterinary Medicine at the at Universidad Nacional del Litoral (SF, Argentina) from which he graduated in 2015. During Vet school, Federico also completed one semester at the Universidad de Passo Fundo (RS, Brazil), where he became fluent in Portuguese. In his former University, he was part of the college council for two periods, collaborated as a teaching assistant in various courses, and completed an internship at the Comparative Medicine Center (CMC-UNL Conicet). In 2017, Federico was invited to complete an internship at the University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna. As a result, he was invited to pursue a MS with Dr. DiLorenzo in 2018, where Federico worked with alternative dietary strategies, focusing on sorghum silage processing techniques, local available byproducts, and feed additives, particularly probiotics, for backgrounding beef cattle. In 2020, Federico began a PhD program, in which the focus is expanding his previous work and evaluating the effect of feed additives on mineral metabolism and enteric methane emissions. Additionally, Federico is very interested in extension activities and learning about the beef cattle industry across Florida.


Federico Tarnonsky

PhD Student

Federico Tarnonsky was born in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina where he was always under the influence of the biological sciences as his father is a veterinarian and his mother a medical doctor. Federico studied Agricultural Engineering at Universidad Nacional de La Plata. In 2015, he began working as teaching assistant for the Department of Forage and Grassland Management and assisted with the University beef farms until graduation in 2018. Federico also collaborated on Extension Projects with small, local dairy producers which enabled him to join the Pro-secretary of Social Policies of Universidad Nacional, where he acted as a territorial coordinator at one of the extension centers. During his assistantship, Federico was introduced to Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo, with whom he began an internship in 2019 at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, resulting in an invitation to begin a master’s degree in 2020.

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Juan de Jesús Vargas Martínez

PhD Student

Juan de Jesús Vargas Martínez was born in Bogotá (Colombia) in 1986. He completed his undergraduate and MSc studies in Animal Science at the Nacional University of Colombia. In 2013, he was lecturer in the Environmental and Applied Science University. In 2015, he joined the Colombian National Agricultural Research Centre (Agrosavia), as part of the forages and ruminant nutrition research group. In 2019, he started his PhD program at UF Animal Science Department. His work has been related with the evaluation of feeding practices to increase animal efficiency and reduce enteric methane in grasslands systems.

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Araceli Maderal

MS Student

Araceli Maderal was born in Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994. As a child, Araceli wanted to be a veterinarian, but later became interested in being involved in all aspects of the cattle production system. This interest led to pursuing an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering at Universidad Nacional de La Plata, where she affirmed her interest in animals, and more precisely, ruminant nutrition. In 2020, upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Araceli was accepted for an internship with Dr. DiLorenzo at the University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna. As a result, Araceli was invited to pursue a MS under the advisement of Dr. DiLorenzo in 2021, with a focus in evaluating the potential of a Bacillus spp. probiotic feed additive to modify ruminal fermentation and enhance nutrient digestibility.

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Wilmer Cuervo

PhD Student

Wilmer was born in Bogotá (Colombia) in 1984. He attended the Animal Science program at Universidad Nacional de Colombia where he completed his undergraduate studies in 2006. Wilmer obtained a diploma in Animal Nutrition in 2009 and a MSc in 2011 at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. From 2011 – 2019, Wilmer was employed as a lecturer in the dairy nutrition and animal feeding areas in several Colombian universities including UFPSO, UCC, UDEC, and UNAD. In 2019, Wilmer entered into the Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology program at the Veterinary College of MSU on a scholarship and obtained a MSc (2021) in the field of dairy nutrition and immunology. In 2021, Wilmer began a PhD program at the University of Florida in Animal Sciences, focusing on the elucidation of the efficiency of ruminal microorganism growth to improve beef and dairy productivity in the US. Wilmer is a devoted husband and proud father of two.

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Ignacio Fernandez Marenchino

MS Student

Ignacio Fernandez Marenchino was born in Córdoba, Argentina. Ignacio is an agricultural engineer, he studied in the college of agricultural sciences at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. As a third-year undergraduate student he was awarded the position of teaching assistant in the ruminant nutrition department. During his assistantship, Ignacio was introduced to Dr. Diwakar Vyas, with whom he began a yearlong internship program at the University of Florida, after his graduation in 2018. During his internship, he met Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo, with whom he began an internship in 2020 at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida, resulting in an invitation to begin a master’s degree in 2022. Ignacio’s research focuses on the effects of pre- and probiotic additives in beef cattle diets.


Andres G. Fernandez Lehmann

MS Student

Andres G. Fernandez Lehmann was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela in 1996. Andres has been involved in his family’s cattle business since childhood, which led him to identify his interest in the performance of animals, specifically cattle. With the goal of ultimately working in the feed or meat industry, Andres completed his undergraduate degree in Animal Production Engineering at Rafael Urdaneta University (Venezuela) in 2019. After contacting Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo in 2021, Andres was invited to pursue a MS at the University of Florida, beginning in 2022. Andres’ research focuses on the use of additives in beef cattle diets.


Leandro O. Abdelhadi

PhD Student

Leandro O. Abdelhadi grew up in Coronel Brandsen, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked on his family’s beef cattle farm, which included cattle from cow-calf to stocker and feedlot production systems for internal and external market. In 1997, Leandro graduated from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and obtained a MS in Animal Production from the Universidad de Mar del Plata-INTA Balcarce in 2000. Currently, Leandro is enrolled in a PhD program at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata and the University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) in Marianna, Florida under the tutelage of Dr. Guillermo A. Mattioli and Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo, respectively, with his research focusing on grain sorghum silage, effects of processing and storage time on performance and digestion of backgrounding beef cattle. Leandro has more than 24 years of experience in the ruminant nutrition industry, and during this time he has given 335 conferences and/or technical dissertations and published 140 articles in journals and scientific meetings around the world. Leandro is currently employed as a forage and grain nutrition consultant for beef and dairy enterprises across 15 countries from North, Central, and Latin America, as well as Europe. He is also involved in research and extension for seeds companies (Advanta Seeds), machine companies (Claas Argentina), nutrition companies (Provimi, Cargill), and as an Associate investigator at the University of Florida-NFREC, since 2016. Leandro’s last position was a ST Consultant for the International Finance Corporation (IFC)-World Bank Group (MAS Advisory Services – LAC), which focused on livestock production systems integrated with agriculture.

Team: Our Team

Former DiLorenzo Lab Members


Dr. Juan Pablo Russi


Dr. Darren D. Henry


Dr. Francine Henry


Dr. Carla J. Sanford


Dr. Mariana E. Garcia-Ascolani


Dr. Gleise Medeiros


Luara Ladner, MS


Lautaro Rostoll, MS

Team: Team Members
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