Investigating the impacts (alone, and combined) of high temperature and drought on corn production. This includes identifying possible management and breeding strategies to reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of these climate stresses on corn production.
My work focuses on the ecological and social potential of urban rivers, and especially on integrating changing environmental conditions and cultural values through design. I am interested in how landscape architecture, with its history of constructing beloved outdoor places that are also ecologically resilient, can learn from and contribute to the critical issues and possibilities that come together in urban rivers. My geographic focus includes New York state and South America, in part because these two geographies share many characteristics and histories.
President Barak Obama’s creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provides a desperately needed opportunity to obtain employment authorization and protection against deportation for many people in our area. This effort centered on providing information to immigrant workers about DACA requirements and connecting them with high quality, free legal advice and representation offered through the Cornell DREAMer Pro Bono Project.
Ladybugs are important because they provide natural control of insect pests of plants, particularly aphids. Unfortunately, native ladybugs seem to be declining. Some seem to have declined to near extinction in the last decade, and these changes may interfere with our ability to produce the crops we rely on. We have developed the Lost Ladybug Project to teach non-specialists about ladybugs and the importance of biodiversity and to recruit them to participate in our search for ladybugs.
My research focuses on present-day challenges facing agriculture, such as climate change, environmental degradation, land grabbing, and conversion of crop land to fuel production.
The Polson Institute for Global Development is an endowed program based in the Department of Development Sociology. The Institute facilitates collaborative research by funding Research Working Groups and research seed grants. It also assists graduate student dissertation research; sponsors seminars and outreach programs, including documentaries and the Rural New York Initiative; and hosts visiting scholars from throughout the world.
Powdery mildew is one of the world's most destructive diseases of grapevines. We know that infection of grapevines occurs as soon as they begin to grow in spring, but epidemics seem to stall for about six weeks and go nowhere fast. We've found that it's our cold nights that are suppressing the disease. Two modes of action are suggested. First, cold nights stimulate a temporary defense response in the youngest, and ordinarily most-susceptible, leaves. Second, cold causes direct damage to the mildew colonies.
Effective waste management can turn unwanted waste products into resources and reduce disposal costs. Waste management is part of every industry, but a waste product produced by one business can be a resource to another. Residuals from animal, food and yard waste, as well as industrial and household waste, have the potential to be valuable in agriculture and horticulture production as erosion control and nutrient and carbon sources, and in energy production and other industrial processes.
Research in my lab examines the functional significance of animals in aquatic ecosystems. This includes examining the consequence of species loss as well the addition of novel organisms through invasion. In addition, we are interested in how organisms interact with their environment in an evolutionary context.
My program emphasizes research and extension on the biology and control of virus diseases of vegetable and fruit crops. A primary research goal is to understand how viruses cause diseases by studying the molecular and genetic basis of virus-host interaction and virus-vector relationship as well as genetic diversity of virus populations. Increasing our knowledge of the mechanisms of virus infection will facilitate the design of more effective and environmentally friendly control strategies.