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January 2017 CFAES Monthly
College hires Discovery Themes faculty
The college is benefitting from the increase in Discovery Themes faculty. By August 2017, the college will have 28 new faculty serving in five of the areas of focus. To date, 15 faculty have joined the college with nine units having one or more of the new Discovery Themes faculty. Of those new hires, 53 percent are from underrepresented populations. The 15 new faculty along with a description of their work are highlighted below.
PhD: Iowa State University, Ames Iowa.
I am an Extension Specialist in Food, Health, and Human Behavior with a dual appointment in the Department of Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Division of Medical Dietetics in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
My research interests include the development of evidence-based, critical thinking programs and practices related to food security and health of individuals and communities; and understanding and decreasing health disparities among underserved and minority populations (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders).
PhD: Cornell University (Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management) in the spring of 2016.
My research focuses on linkages between human welfare and biophysical systems in poor countries --- for instance, I'm examining the role of soil fertility in shaping smallholder farmer productivity, and how soil minerals drive crop minerals and human micronutrient malnutrition. I also examine intergenerational income, education, and health transmission, a subject key to understanding socio-economic mobility in the US and abroad. I plan to continue work in both of these areas in the near future, perhaps expanding to new work regarding poverty in the US, and collaborating with nutritionists and crop scientists at OSU as I continue research on food systems and development.
PhD: Computational and Mathematical Engineering in 2010 from Stanford University. Prior to joining Ohio State, Senior Research Scientist at the Becker Friedman Institute, University of Chicago, and a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
I am an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. My current research focuses on dynamic stochastic integration of climate and the economy, as well as decision making under uncertainty in environmental and resource economics.
PhD: University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany in 2013. I continued to work there as a post doc before coming to OSU.
I will be starting at OSU as an assistant professor in the area of soil and environmental mineralogy with a focus on carbon permanence. I intend to pursue research in the areas of soil organic matter and mineral stabilization mechanisms, inorganic carbon dynamics, and ex situ mineral carbonation as a sequestration method.
PhD: University of Kentucky; on faculty at Auburn University for 10.5 years before joining the Ohio State faculty ranks.
Research focuses on machinery automation and digital agriculture with efforts around collecting field level data and synthesizing to drive farm decisions.
Emmanuel Hatzakis (Emmanouil Chatzakis in Ohio State directory)
PhD: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy/food analysis in 2007 at the University of Crete in Greece and before coming to Ohio State was the NMR Director in Pennsylvania State University.
Assistant Professor at the department of Food Science and Technology at The Ohio State University. Research interests include applications of liquid and solid state NMR Spectroscopy in Food Science and Nutrition. Developing novel analytical tools for food evaluation and applying NMR spectroscopy for the discovery and characterization of compounds with high commercial and nutritional value that can be produced from low cost sources, such as food industry waste.
PhD: University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995, worked as a faculty member at the UW until 2001, then spent the last 15 years at Utah State University.
I am trained as a sociologist, and will be working to integrate social science perspectives into interdisciplinary research on complex Ag-Food-Water puzzles. Among other topics, I will be exploring social, economic, and policy drivers of behaviors by farmers and other actors that shape water quality outcomes in Ohio and the Great Lakes Region. I am keen to draw attention to the social dimensions of sustainability when assessing food and agricultural systems. I will continue to promote more participatory and collaborative models that engage key actors and stakeholders in designing, implementing, and interpreting scientific research.
PhD: Purdue University in 2013, in Ecological Sciences and Engineering, and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Most recently I completed a 3-year postdoc at the University of Michigan, in the Graham Sustainability Institute (2013-2016).
New assistant professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Research is in the area of watershed hydrology with a particular focus on water quality in agricultural regions. One main goal is to provide producers in the western Lake Erie watersheds, as well as their advisors, information that encourages adoption of appropriate conservation measures to tackle Lake Erie’s nutrient goals. This involves not only scientific and modeling challenges, but engaging stakeholders and working across disciplines in the social sciences, economics, and policy domains.
PhD: Microbiology & Immunology from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Comes to Ohio State after completing postdoctoral research in the laboratory of XJ Meng at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech).
The Kenney lab focuses on the molecular virology of positive stranded RNA viruses, setting up reverse genetics systems to manipulate the viral genome, creating targeted mutations and observing the effects of mutations on the virus lifecycle in cell culture and on pathogenesis within the host. The lab is currently focusing on mechanisms of cross species transmission of hepatitis E virus (HEV) along with factors contributing to enhanced mortality of HEV and Zika virus during pregnancy.
PhD: Duke University (NC) in 2013. Prior to coming to Ohio State, was a postdoctoral associate at the Nature Conservancy.
I am an environmental economist working on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries. Combining a microeconomic framework with theory and tools from ecology and biogeography, my research focuses on understanding the drivers of landscape change, quantifying the impacts on ecosystems and human welfare, and evaluating policies like protected areas and Forest Sustainability Council (FSC) certification. In terms of my research, my most high-profile one currently is a multi-country effort I am leading; the goal is to provide consistent evidence of the effectiveness of common native forest conservation interventions in the Tropics.
PhD: James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. I was employed at James Cook University’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Science before coming to Ohio State.
The position that I have been employed to undertake is in Sustainable Animal Agriculture. My research interests cover a broad range of animal species but have largely focused on ruminant animals in extensive and intensive production systems. Many factors can impact the sustainability of animal agriculture. An initial approach I have taken is to investigate the health and welfare of grazing ruminants in Ohio.
PhD: University of Minnesota, I was also a Professor at the University of Minnesota prior to coming to Ohio State.
My research efforts focus on food flavor and related chemistry, with emphasis on identification of flavor stimuli (taste, aroma, chemesthetic, mouthfeel), characterization of flavor formation/degradation pathways, and mechanisms of flavor delivery. In general, my research program strives to understand, on a molecular level, drivers that influence food acceptability and govern food choice, ultimately to support health and wellness initiatives. As part of our research platform, we use metabolomic-based analytical methods (flavoromics) to advance our understanding of the complex chemical sensation, flavor perception.
Jonathan Fresnedo Ramirez
PhD: University of California, Davis in 2014. Prior to joining Ohio State, I worked in the Institute of Biotechnology at Cornell University.
I have been hired to pursue research on plant domestication and germplasm improvement of outcrossing species. I am interested in the use of genetics, omics and engineering for the domestication and optimal genetic improvement of new and neglected crops, which may be used for the sustainable and resilient production of biomaterials.
PhD: University of Southern California, Dept. of Psychology. Before joining Ohio State, worked as assistant professor of research at USC Price School of Public Policy.
Now Assistant Professor of Behavior, Decision-Making, and Sustainability in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. As an environmental psychologist, research focuses on intervening with human behavior and understanding the processes of behavior change, particularly with respect to the human interface in smart energy systems and wildlife crime.
DVM: Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology, Moscow, Russia, 2000, Biotechnology/Biochemistry; Ivanovsky Institute for Virology, RAMS, Moscow, Russia, Ph.D., 2004, Virology, Molecular Epidemiology; 2009, Postdoctoral researcher, Virology, Immunology, The Ohio State University, OARDC, FAHRP, Wooster, OH.
My research is focused on the pathogenesis, epidemiology and immunity to enteric viruses including corona- (CoVs) and rotaviruses (RVs). Rotavirus is the leading cause of childhood diarrhea and mortality worldwide and an important pathogen in young animals; while CoVs represent a continuous public health threat evidenced by recent transboundary spread and pandemics of animal (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, deltacoronavirus) and human (severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV, SARS-CoV, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome CoV, MERS-CoV) CoVs.
Kristina Boone new director for ATI
Access, affordability and excellence are three major reasons the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute’s incoming director sought the position.
Kristina M. Boone, Communications and Agricultural Education department head in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, will start her new role with ATI April 1, 2017.
“The radical concept of a land-grant university is that of accessibility, and ATI reflects this like no other institution,” Boone said. First-generation college students make up 62 percent of ATI’s student population, and 35 percent are identified as low income. As with other regional Ohio State campuses, ATI’s tuition is lower than that on the Columbus campus, making it more affordable.
The measures of student success, the access to internships and the hands-on learning opportunities all point to excellence, Boone said.
Boone received her MS and PhD from Ohio State in agricultural communication and extension education, respectively, and her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech. She served as a watershed extension agent with Ohio State University Extension and co-led a water education program during her graduate program.
“I’m excited about returning to Ohio State University in this new and different capacity. The campus is well positioned because of the strategic planning initiatives,” she said.
As ATI director, Boone will be responsible for managing administrative, human and financial resources. She will provide leadership for all programmatic and administrative functions, including on-campus teaching, emerging e-learning instruction, research, service, engagement, marketing, student services and student recruitment.
Guo-Liang Wang named 2016 AAAS Fellow
Guo-Liang Wang, professor of plant pathology, was one of four Ohio State University faculty elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in late 2016.
Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. New Fellows will be welcomed in a ceremony at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston in February.
Wang was elected for distinguished contributions to the field of plant pathology, particularly dissecting the molecular basis of plant resistance to pathogens.
Other new Fellows from Ohio State include:
James W. Cogdell, professor of mathematics, for distinguished contributions to number theory and representation theory, specifically to the Langlands program and the solution of Hilbert's 11th problem.
Barbara Sue Ryden, professor of astronomy, for distinguished contributions to the theory of galaxy formation and to astronomy education, especially through her superb astrophysics and cosmology textbooks for advanced students.
Shari R. Speer, professor of linguistics, for distinguished contributions to our understanding of speech processing and language prosody, and for introducing the public at large to language science in museum settings.
“These four faculty members exemplify our missions of research, scholarship and teaching,” said President Michael V. Drake. “Their recognition is significant because it highlights the breadth of Ohio State’s contributions to society, in disciplines as diverse as theoretical mathematics, astronomy, language and plant pathology.”
In all, 391 members have received the honor this year in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society. The tradition of electing AAAS Fellows began in 1874.
This honor represents the Fellows’ tangible impact on the university community and beyond, said Caroline Whitacre, senior vice president for research, who was elected to the 2004 class of AAAS Fellows.
“Because Fellows are elected by their peers, the honor is especially indicative of their scholarship as well as service to their disciplines and to society,” Whitacre said.
With the addition of these new honorees, Ohio State boasts more than 100 AAAS Fellows.
Saif named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors
Linda Saif has been awarded the title of Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors. She was one of 175 academic inventors to receive the honor this year.
The award is given to academic inventors and innovators who have “demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.”
“Dr. Saif has made landmark discoveries and performed innovative research that has benefited agriculture as well as human health,” said Caroline Whitacre, senior vice president for research at Ohio State. “This award demonstrates the ground-breaking research that our faculty conduct at Ohio State.”
A Distinguished University professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Saif is an internationally recognized virologist and immunologist. Her work on viral diseases is of critical importance to farm animals, food safety and human health. Her research has led to a framework for understanding how the immune system defends itself against viruses that cause intestinal infections in humans and non-human animals, leading to innovative approaches to vaccines and diagnostics.
The 2016 Fellows will be inducted on April 6, 2017, as part of the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors in Boston. In honor of her outstanding accomplishments, Saif will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin.
Richard Dick elected president of Soil Science Society
An Ohio State University scientist who led the discovery of the biophysical processes behind a native shrub intercropping system that could transform agricultural practices in parts of sub-Saharan Africa has been elected to lead one of the nation’s premier natural science organizations.
Richard Dick, professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, was elected the 2018 president of the Soil Science Society of America, which includes a three-year commitment on the SSSA Executive Council, starting January 2017. The school is in the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for more than 6,300 members and more than 1,000 certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It is one of the most prestigious and influential natural science organizations in the world. SSSA works to enhance the sustainability of soils, the environment and food production by integrating diverse scientific disciplines and principles in soil science.
“Richard is one of the leading soil scientists in the world, having advanced our knowledge on soil as a resource to deliver environmental services and promote food production,” said SSSA President Harold van Es. “Because of extensive international experience, his leadership promises to elevate the science and applications of soils globally.”
Dick is an Ohio Eminent Scholar working in the field of soil microbial ecology. His internationally recognized research seeks to understand microbial communities and processes that drive soil functions and deliver ecosystem services. His work has applications for the environment and agriculture.
He is perhaps best known for his 15 years of research in the Sahel region in West Africa, investigating rhizosphere biology and hydrology of interplanted crops and shrubs. Under his leadership, a team of African, French and U.S. scientists discovered that local shrubs perform hydraulic lift of water from subsoil to surface soil. The research showed this phenomenon has profound impacts on soil hydrology, microbiology and biogeochemical processes that dramatically increase crop production and enable rainfed crops such as millet to resist in-season drought periods in the semi-arid Sahel. Millet and other crops affected by the research are major sustenance crops for the populations of these regions.
Dick’s work in this area has changed the paradigm of how semi-arid ecosystems function and has major implications for the region’s agriculture by utilizing intercropped shrubs as local nutrient and water reservoirs and to remediate degraded landscapes.
His research has been supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Dick has been an invited speaker worldwide for conferences and workshops and has been professionally recognized as a Gordon Conference Lecturer and Fulbright Scholar. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and American Society of Agronomy and was executive director of 2016’s international Enzymes in the Environment conference.
Dick previously has served in appointed and elected positions in SSSA, including as chair of the Soil Biology and Biochemistry Division, as a two-term member of the board of directors, and as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. For six years, he served as associate editor of the SSSA Journal and is currently editor-in-chief of the journal Applied Soil Ecology.
Bala Balasubramaniam honored by Asian Institute of Technology
Bala Balasubramaniam was awarded the 2016 Asian Institute of Technology Alumni Association (AITAA) Distinguished Alumni award in the category of Academic and Research Excellence.
He was nominated by the AITAA United States Chapter.
This award follows an honor he received in August when he was elected a fellow in the International Union of Food Science and Technology.
Balasubramaniam received his Master's degree in post-harvest technology from AIT. AIT is located in Bangkok, Thailand.
Faculty, staff honored at Extension's annual conference
The awards lunch represents a highlight of Ohio State University Extension’s annual conference, which took place in early December.
“The faculty and staff recognized this year exemplify the ongoing efforts of OSU Extension to provide relevant, high-quality programming to the people of Ohio,” said Roger Rennekamp, director. “Each of these individuals displays a commitment to continuous quality improvement and innovation much needed in a rapidly changing world. The high quality of their work helps to create a standard of excellence to which others in the organization aspire.”
The list of winners:
ESP Friend of Extension Award
Hugh Earnhart – Mahoning County
Shelen Stevens – Wood County
Ashtabula County Farm Bureau
ESP Retiree Service Award
Extension Support Staff Excellence Award
Charles W. Lifer Excellence in 4-H Award
Steve D. Ruhl Outstanding Agriculture and Natural Resources County Extension Educator Award
Raymond A. Schindler Excellence in Community Development Extension Award
ESP Excellence in Extension Award
National Academies of Science Forum includes SENR prof
Douglas Jackson-Smith, faculty member in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, participated in a Forum of Scientific Society Leaders held at the National Academies of Sciences in Washington DC on December 7, 2016. The meeting was designed to gather leaders of a wide range of scientific societies to respond to a recently released Study on Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects.
Jackson-Smith is a Professor of Water Security and joined OSU in August 2016 as part of the InFACT Discovery Theme hiring initiative. He is incoming president of the Rural Sociological Society and represented the RSS at the forum.
The study was written by an interdisciplinary committee of prominent scientists and reviews the extensive scientific literature on health, environmental, and social/economic impacts from the use of genetically engineered crops. The committee found no substantiated evidence of differences in health or environmental risks between currently commercialized GE crops and conventionally bred crops. They also review the rapidly evolving genetic engineering technologies and processes and predict that the next generation of GE crops may include a much wider range of traits.
The committee found that GE crops have generally had favorable outcomes for most farmers, but that these social and economic benefits depend on access to credit, technical support, and markets. Empirical studies by rural sociologists figure prominently in the discussion of the importance of governance and regulatory systems in shaping the trajectory of technological development and highlight the role of values in shaping public policy in this arena.
In his prepared comments, Jackson-Smith highlighted the committee’s findings that broad generalizations about the social and economic impacts of GE crops are difficult to make since they vary depending on (a) the type of traits contained in the plant, (b) the degree of competition and infrastructure development in the food supply chain, and (c) the nature of the market, regulatory and governance institutions that have influenced the specific forms of GE crops brought to market thus far.
He also challenged the scientific community to deliver on promises to develop GE crops with traits that are more likely to increase social and economic benefits, particularly for small and limited resource farmers and consumers. These could include crops with reduced reliance on purchased inputs, increased genetic diversity and resilience, and that allow farmers to save and replant seeds.
The forum included extensive discussion of widespread consumer opposition to food products made with GE crops, and ways to raise the visibility of scientific research in public debates over genetic engineering. In the discussion, Jackson-Smith emphasized that public opposition does not always come from ignorance of the science, but can also reflect the different values and weights associated with risks and benefits by consumers compared to the scientific or regulatory community.
Released to the public in May, the report has been one of the most widely downloaded reports in the NAS library and has generated significant attention from traditional and social media outlets. Free electronic copies of the report and supporting materials can be found at: https://nas-sites.org/ge-crops/.
Six Ukrainian professors observe college teaching, Extension efforts
Six professors from Ukraine observed classes in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics in 2016 through the Faculty Exchange Program, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).Through the collaboration of CFAES’ Office of International Programs in Agriculture and AEDE, Ohio State has participated in the program intermittently since the early 2000’s by training agricultural economics instructors from Ukraine and other Eastern European countries to improve their practical understanding of curriculum development, teaching methodologies, and agricultural technical knowledge.Since August, FEP participants have had the opportunity to visit AEDE undergraduate classes that pertain to their own academic interests and observe first-hand how classroom instruction in America, which they describe as more dynamic and "student-centered", differs from higher education instruction in Ukraine, where courses are typically more lecture-based and rigid.“Overall, the Ukrainian higher education sector is in need of reform,” explains Mariia Mykhailova, a lecturer at Kharkiv State University of Food Technology and Trade. “This program will have a positive impact by helping us improve our institutions' curricula so that they better reflect the practical needs of Ukrainians seeking problem-based, agricultural economic and business training.”Understanding Western Agricultural and Food SystemsIn order to effectively understand the differences between agricultural systems in the United States and Ukraine, the fellows visited numerous public, private, and non-profit organizations to learn how all work in an integrated and strategic fashion to support producers and agribusinesses in a market-based economy. Of course this approach differs considerably from Ukraine, though while considered an emerging free market country, has an agricultural system that is largely state-controlled, outdated, and organizationally “siloed”. Realizing these differences coming into the program, the fellows were eager to learn firsthand about the partnership framework between farms and agribusinesses that form the foundation of the U.S. food system.Read more about the visitors here.
Scientists and facilities rank high in turkey research
Ohio State University turkey researchers and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) rank at the top of an international online resource for finding experts.
Expertscape.com ranks Sandra Velleman, a college turkey researcher based in Wooster, as number one internationally in turkey research. The Ohio State University and OARDC rank second and third, respectfully, in facilities and Columbus and Wooster rank second and fourth, respectively, in cities. A number of other college researchers are also ranked.
Expertscape connects people, experts and facilities, and provides the information by region as well. Most of the site focuses on healthcare, but other life sciences also are included.
Farm to School program brings local produce to cafeterias
In today's culture, people are more likely to be vegan and gluten-free and to choose organic foods. But what about choosing local? That is where the local foods movement steps in, and Farm to School is part of that.
The Farm to School program in Ohio began in 2007 and Ohio State University Extension took over as the state lead organization in 2011. Farm to School is a nationwide effort to get more locally grown foods into what Ohio State Assistant Professor and Director of Farm to School Carol Smathers calls, "the three C's: community, cafeteria and classroom."
"The program encourages procurement of locally produced and processed foods in the community, works on serving local foods in the cafeteria and boosts hands-on activity that gets children excited about school gardens, greenhouses and things like aquaponics in the classroom," Smathers explained. "Some of these concepts are even stretching to include Farm to Preschool, College and even Hospital." Smathers engages in Extension teaching outside of the university and throughout local health departments. She also works on coordinating and connecting people to the different resources Farm to School has to offer in their partnerships with organizations like the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association Mideast.
Smathers is not alone in her daily teaching efforts. She finds a Farm to School partner and supporter in Program Coordinator Amy Fovargue. Fovargue helps plan events and manages the Farm to School website and social media pages, but her favorite involvement is developing success stories about what is working related to Farm to School throughout Ohio.
"I love talking with people throughout the state and hearing how they incorporate Farm to School activities in their own community," Fovargue explained. "These efforts show the range of what is possible for schools and producers."
The story that impacts Fovargue most is that of Arps Dairy and the dairy farmers in Defiance, Ohio that provide the milk for their community. The farmers are very connected to local schools and support teaching activities by offering activities like field trips.
For more on this story, click here.
ATI turf professors highlighted in publication
Zane Raudenbush and Ed Nangle, turf science professors at Ohio State Agricultural and Technical Institute, were featured on Turfnet.com recently. Raudenbush, who started with ATI in January 2016, and Nangle who joined ATI in August 2016, share their perspectives on the importance of preparing students to work at golf courses and athletic fields.
The beginning of the story is excerpted here:
There are a lot of new faces at tradition-rich Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute.
Located in Wooster in northeastern Ohio, ATI has been serving students for decades. Today, that heritage is being ushered into the future by Ed Nangle, Ph.D., and Zane Raudenbush, Ph.D. Both are faced with the challenge of providing students with a two-year crash course that prepares them to work at any golf course or athletic field complex in the country.
Nangle joined ATI in August after three years as the agronomist for the Chicago District Golf Association and its 400 member courses that span five Midwestern States.
"I came here to ATI because I saw a lot of potential in it," Nangle said. "It's one of the few two-year programs in turf, and there is a huge potential to create something that offers value.
Survey says: eTeam wants to know how you use Canvas
In the move to the new Carmen (Canvas), the CFAES eTeam is hoping to gather insight about how Canvas is being used to deliver courses. This information will enable eTeam members and the Office of Distance Education and eLearning's help desk to offer better support and training for faculty and staff.
Additionally, your comments will help us suggest future improvements to ODEE and Canvas for more efficient course delivery.
Please use the link below to fill out the survey. The eTeam thanks you for your participation.