Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Grants New Innovator Award to Nine Early Career Scientists Pursuing Research with Transformative Potential

$4.8 Million in Awards will Support Innovative Research in Nutrition, Plant Efficiency, Soil Health, Water Use and Sustainable Farm Animal Productivity, Resilience and Health

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit organization that supports innovative science addressing food and agriculture challenges, today announced the first New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award recipients.

The nine New Innovators will receive a total of $4.8 million over five years. Matching funds from each awardee’s respective institution will leverage the Foundation’s investment of up to $300,000 per recipient.

Meeting and sustaining the growing global demand for food will require a scientific workforce committed to innovating the way food is grown, processed, and distributed. The Foundation’s New Innovator program invests in new university faculty, their creative and potentially transformative research projects, and the students and post-doctoral scholars who work on those projects.

The following individuals, who are assistant professors at the universities listed below, are the inaugural recipients of the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award. Awardees will investigate important research questions in five of the Foundation’s seven research target areas:

Nutrition and Healthy Food Choices

  • Geoffrey Fisher, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Mary Anne Roshni Amalaradjou, Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Plant Efficiency

  • Anjali Iyer-Pascuzzi, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Mary Jamieson, Ph.D., Oakland University

Soil Health

  • Amelie Gaudin, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
  • Lisa Tiemann, Ph.D., Michigan State University

Sustainable Farm Animal Productivity, Resilience, and Health

  • Crystal Levesque, Ph.D., South Dakota State University
  • Benjamin Reading, Ph.D., North Carolina State University

Water Use

  • Isaya Kisekka, Ph.D., Kansas State University

Awardee research projects include harnessing technology and data to improve water management strategies on farm, advancing understanding of gut health benefits from dairy consumption, and improving urban agricultural production by exploring the effects of beneficial insects, pest control and pollination on crop yields in urban environments.

“Awarding our first research grants is a landmark occasion for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and it is a particular honor to invest in the bold ideas of nine scientists who show such extraordinary promise so early in their careers,” said Sally Rockey, Ph.D., executive director of the Foundation. “I am confident that these awards will propel the inaugural New Innovators in Food and Agriculture Research down the fast track to success in their respective fields and I look forward to following their progress toward transformative food and agriculture discoveries.”

A public request for nominations for the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award was limited to researchers within the first three years of their faculty careers, a period in which securing funding can be challenging enough to lead aspiring food and agriculture scientists to direct their research toward other fields with more funding available.

The New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award is designed to provide the early investment needed to launch new faculty members into successful scientific careers in food and agriculture. Applicants were required to demonstrate a commitment to mentoring, supporting the Foundation’s interest in inspiring future generations of agricultural and food scientists.

Learn more about the 2016 New Innovators and their research directions.

Comments(2)

  1. Dave Kurt says

    I make the suggestion to further categorize an aquaculture category delineation, within farm animal production. This for Dr. Ben Readings work in fish stock sustainability in assuring continued and increasing food sources for man kind. Thank you. Dave Kurt. B. S. Marine Biology. Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI. Class of 1980. Keep up the good work Ben. And see you at the pool dude. And a whole hearty Congratulations! I don’t know anyone as focused and dedicated as Dr. Ben.

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