9 Billion and Counting: Abolishing Hunger Speakers

Keynote speaker

Jan LowJan Low
Assuring Diet Quality and Quantity Using Biofortified Sweetpotato as part of an Integrated Approach
Jan Low is the Regional Leader for Africa of the International Potato Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Low attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, afterwards joining the Peace Corps and working for four years in Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) in fisheries and aquaculture. She then entered Cornell University and was inspired by the chairperson of her doctoral committee to “undertake research that will make a difference in the world.” She certainly has done so: after receiving her Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Cornell in 1994, she joined the International Potato Center and was assigned to study the sustainability of potato and sweet potato production systems in a major growing area in Southwest Uganda. She has led several research studies into the effectiveness and implementation of the biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potato in combating Vitamin A deficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa. In recognition of her dedication and work, she is one of four winners of the 2016 World Food Prize.

CFANS Global Security Impacts speakers

Kayla AltendorfKayla Altendorf
Intermediate Wheatgrass: A Perennial Grain Crop
Kayla Altendorf is a first year Ph.D. student in Applied Plant Science working with Drs. Jim Anderson and Don Wyse on the breeding and genetics of Intermediate Wheatgrass (IWG). Her research seeks to identify the progenitor species of IWG and map domestication traits using a nested association mapping population (NAM). She is interested in crop domestication and new crop development with the intent to improve the sustainability of agriculture.


Julie GrossmanJulie Grossman
The role of agroecology in increasing food sovereignty
Dr. Julie Grossman is an Associate Professor in Biological and Sustainable Horticulture in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota. She holds an M.S. in Soil Science and Ph.D. in Agronomy and Plant Genetics from the University of Minnesota, and was an NSF Post-doctoral Fellow at Cornell University. Julie’s research broadly explores the ways in which we can better manage plant-soil-microbe relationships in order to enhance soil fertility through microbial processes, with the ultimate goal of developing sustainable food production systems.

Candice HirschCandice Hirsch 
Translating Big Data Into Improved Crop Performance in Agricultural Systems
Dr. Candice Hirsch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics working in the area of maize translational genomics. She is using high throughput sequencing, phenotyping, and environmental measurements to understand maize diversity, heterosis, and the interaction of plants and the environment.



Ben LockhartBen Lockhart
Maize Lethal Necrosis in Eastern Africa: Plant Disease, Food Security, Public Health and Climate Change
Dr. Ben Lockhart is a Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and a world-renowned expert of plant viruses. Among other projects, Ben is currently working on etiology and epidemiology of Maize Lethal Necrosis, a disease causing significant food security concerns in Kenya and other east African nations.



Shantal PaiShantal Pai
Witnessing a Hunger Free World
Shantal Pai is an undergraduate studying Plant Science and Political Science. As CFANS Student Senator, Shantal is working on initiatives to end University of Minnesota student hunger. She conducts research on sustainable agriculture solutions under Dr. Jason Hill of the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering.



Phil PardeyPhil Pardey
Global Food and Agricultural R&D: From the 20th to 21st Centuries
Philip G. Pardey is Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. He is also the Director of Global Research Strategy for the College of Food Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station and directs the University’s International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) center. Previously he was a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D.C., and prior to 1994 at the International Service for National Agricultural Research in The Hague, Netherlands. His research deals with productivity measurement and assessment, the finance and conduct of R&D globally, methods for assessing the economic impacts of research, and the economic and policy (especially intellectual property) aspects of genetic resources and the biosciences. Pardey is author of more than 350 books, articles, and papers, a listing of which is at www.instepp.umn.edu/about-us/people/philip-pardey.


Michelle TrudeauMichaela Trudeau
Myth Busters: Animal Agriculture Edition
Mickie Trudeau is from Hastings, Minnesota and she has lived in Minnesota her entire life. Mickie received her BS in Animal Science with summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in Fall 2014. Upon graduation, she immediately started a masters program in swine nutrition with continued research in Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and other swine coronavirus survivability in feed and feed ingredients. In addition to the PEDV research, Mickie traveled to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences where she spent a few months assisting in a project evaluating the use of rapeseed in the Norwegian swine diet. She is currently transitioning into a PhD program at the University of Minnesota under Drs. Gerald Shurson and Pedro Urriola. Her project will focus on investigating the use of antibiotics in swine production systems. Upon graduation, Mickie looks forward to a career in the swine industry.


Paul VenturelliPaul Venturelli 
Inland fish as food: potential, questions, and threats
Dr. Paul Venturelli is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. He studies how fish populations are influenced by stressors such as fishing, climate, pollution, invasives; and how this knowledge informs management and conservation, and dove-tails with socio-economic priorities. Much of his work applies to inland commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries, which are a global priority because they are an important source of food, revenue, and culture that is poorly understood and increasingly threatened.


Ce YangCe Yang
Airborne Remote Sensing for Agricultural Production
Dr. Ce Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. Her research spans precision agriculture, remote sensing, machine vision, spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, machine learning and pattern recognition, big data in agriculture.