Meet the inaugural winners of the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award.

Geoffrey Fisher, Ph.D.
Cornell University
New Innovator in Nutrition and Healthy Food Choices
Dr. Fisher's research will include a series of laboratory and field experiments that use a variety of eye tracking techniques to further our understanding of how attention to food attributes such as healthiness, tastiness, calories and packaging, might affect food purchasing decisions. The results of this project will inform new ways to promote healthier food choices by highlighting certain attributes of food choices.
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Amélie Gaudin, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
New Innovator in Soil Health
Dr. Gaudin’s research will explore the relationship between root systems, soil health promoting practices, and crop productivity in order to shed light on how breeders and producers can grow more productive and resilient crops using sustainable practices at a large scale.
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Anjali Iyer-Pascuzzi, Ph.D.
Purdue University
New Innovator in Plant Efficiency
Dr. Iyer-Pascuzzi seeks to improve plant disease mitigation by investigating which genes are associated with root-mediated resistance, how diseases changes root architecture, and whether roots and shoots signal each other to suppress disease symptoms
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Mary Jamieson, Ph.D.
Oakland University
New Innovator in Plant Efficiency
Dr. Jamieson will investigate beneficial insects and the ecosystem services they provide, such as pollination and pest control, in urban agriculture. She will explore the composition of the insect community, evaluate strategies for enhancing ecosystem services provided by beneficial insects, and characterize the role that plant chemical compounds play in defending against insect pests and in attracting plant pollinators.  
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Isaya Kisekka, Ph.D.
Kansas State University
New Innovator in Water Use
Dr. Kisekka's research will integrate data related to agricultural water use from a number of sources including soils, weather, and plant-based measurements to develop methods and tools for optimizing water use in agriculture. If successful, this research will lead to more farmers adopting proven irrigation techniques and provide tools for optimizing water use in agriculture across a variety of crops.
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Crystal Levesque, Ph.D.
South Dakota State University
New Innovator in Sustainable Farm Animal Productivity, Resilience, and Health
Dr. Levesque aims to increase protein production from pigs, while reducing inputs and environmental impacts. Focusing on dietary requirements during sow pregnancy, Dr. Levesque’s research will provide a basis for precision feeding formulations for sows to optimize reproductive performance.
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Benjamin Reading, Ph.D.
North Carolina State University
New Innovator in Sustainable Farm Animal Productivity, Resilience, and Health
Dr. Reading will use artificial intelligence to determine the genetic factors responsible for heterosis, or instances of offspring performing better than their parents, in hybrid striped bass. If successful, this research will not only help transform fish production/breeding, but could also impact agriculture more broadly.
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Mary Anne Roshni Amalaradjou, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut
New Innovator in Nutrition and Healthy Food Choices
Dr. Amalaradjou will investigate the effect of dairy foods on gut health using a mouse model. This research will provide a comprehensive and deeper understanding of the molecular interactions that promote the health benefits associated with dairy consumption. Advancing this nutritional knowledge will empower consumers to make science-based healthful food choices.
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Lisa Tiemann, Ph.D.
Michigan State University
New Innovator in Soil Health
Dr. Tiemann’s research will focus on the interactions between crop diversity, soil microorganisms and soil organic matter, and how they may be managed to enhance soil services and sustainably increase crop yields.
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