Building an Interdisciplinary Faculty
Ten new assistant professors join CFANS
Department of Horticultural Science
Before joining CFANS: Associate professor, Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University
Research and expertise: Grossman's research broadly explores the ways in which we can better manage plant-soil-microbe relationships in organic systems in order to enhance soil fertility, with the ultimate goal of developing sustainable food production systems. A central thread connecting much of her work is the examination of winter annual legume cover crops to help maintain landscape diversity and tighten nutrient cycling within both urban and rural agricultural systems. To do this, she applies microbiological and field approaches that measure both the specific functioning of microbes that mediate nutrient cycling in soils and general characteristics of soil health.
Teaching: Student Organic Farm Planning, Growing and Marketing; Holistic Approaches to Improving Food Systems Sustainability
Assistant professor/Extension specialist, Department of Forest Resources
Before joining CFANS: Research Associate, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota
Research and expertise: Russell's research interests focus on forest ecosystem health and how changing environmental conditions influence the structure and function of forests. His programming with Extension emphasizes strategies to sustain the health and productivity of Minnesota forests.
Ashok Kumar Chanda
Department of Plant Pathology; Northwest Research and Outreach Center
Before joining CFANS: Postdoctoral researcher, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
Research and expertise: Chanda's research focuses on understanding the biology and management of sugar beet diseases. He will develop new molecular tools to detect pathogens of sugar beet and quantify inoculum levels. His research also will focus on understanding the diversity of pathogen populations across the Red River Valley. The overall goal of his applied and basic research programs is to develop better disease management strategies and also deliver this information to the stakeholders and sugar beet industry using appropriate educational and outreach programs.
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
Before joining CFANS: Assistant professor, Division of Environmental Engineering, Hokkaido University, Japan
Research and expertise: Ishii's research focuses on environmental microbiology and biotechnology. His specific research interests are bioremediation of inorganic nutrients, removal and recovery of heavy metals and assessing the risks of environmental pathogens.
Teaching: He will likely teach a new course related to bioremediation of soil and water.
Department of Applied Economics
Before joining CFANS: Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
Research and expertise: Beddow's research interests are focused on the spatial aspects of agriculture, and how we might better use spatial data to understand agricultural systems. He has a particular focus on the ways in which research investment patterns and natural environments (including pests, diseases, climate and weather) affect agricultural production and productivity, the spatial dynamics of production, and bridging the divide between biology and economics (bio-economics).
Axel Garcia y Garcia
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics; Southwest Research and Outreach Center
Before joining CFANS: Assistant professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Wyoming
Research and expertise: Garcia's research will focus on crop rotations, integration of cover crop components or other crops into current cropping systems and cultural practices in cropping systems
to optimize yield, with an emphasis on multi-functional agriculture and the delivery of ecosystem services.
Nicolas A. Jelinski
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
Before joining CFANS: National Science Foundation graduate research fellow
Research and Expertise: Jelinski's research focuses on the application of soils information to problems in food security and soil genesis. He plans to develop an urban soils research program that increases engagement and awareness of issues related to soils, urban agriculture and public health in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Teaching: He will teach Basic Soil Science; Field Study of Soils; and Soil Judging.
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering; West Central Research and Outreach Center
Before joining CFANS: Postdoctoral research associate, Center for Biofilm Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Montana State University
Research and expertise: Gardner's research focuses on renewable energy and sustainability by utilizing microbes to convert sunlight, wastes and other low-cost nutrients into value-added products such as fuel, food and specialty chemicals. Gardner hopes to use microalgae as a biorefinery platform in both traditional open ponds and bioreactor cultivation, as well as in gradient mediated biofilms.
Teaching: Gardner will teach Renewable Energy and the Environment, an undergraduate online course through the bioproducts and biosystems engineering department.
Department of Entomology; North Central Research and Outreach Center
Before joining CFANS: Postdoctoral research associate, Department of Entomology, Washington State University
Research and expertise: Phillips' research focuses on sustainable integrated and organic management of arthropod pest, pollinator and beneficial species of fruit and vegetable crops. His studies are broadly based in integrated pest management, emphasizing an understanding of the impact of agricultural management on insect ecology and pest suppression. The overall goal of his program is to develop, evaluate, and help implement sound integrated and organic management practices of existing and emerging pests, to enhance the profitability and sustainability of fruit and vegetable production.
Teaching: Principles of Integrated Pest Management in Sustainable Agroecosystems, and an additional course.
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and the Department of Soil, Water and Climate
Before joining CFANS: Postdoctoral research associate, Department of Computer Information Science and Technology and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
Research and expertise: Yang is an expert on precision agriculture, remote sensing, machine vision, spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, machine learning and pattern recognition and big data in agriculture.
Teaching: Precision Agriculture, Process Control and Instrumentation