I work on developing communication strategies for the SRI-Rice Center at Cornell University and on implementing knowledge-sharing efforts that serve global communities involved with the system of rice intensification (SRI) and conservation agriculture (CA). Specifically, I design and manage the SRI and CA websites and associated social media, facilitate links among international, national and topical SRI networks, and develop databases and platforms for sharing research related to SRI, CA and related systems of crop intensification.
It is well accepted that conservation efforts worldwide must involve a cross-section of stakeholders, including those most affected by changes in land use, to promote the long-term protection of biodiversity, critical habitats, and fragile landscapes. Conservation organizations and land trusts, both big and small, are searching for better ways to build functional alliances for the protection of nature.
Executive education programs provide strategic and financial benefits to both the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and CALS. Executive education programs have contributed in excess of $2.5 million to the operations of the Food Industry Management Program (FIMP) for the period 2001-2009. Moreover, the impact of these programs extends well beyond FIMP to help create the virtuous cycle of outreach, teaching, and research that exists in the undergraduate program in the Dyson School.
We are creating new materials and approaches for promoting collaborative instructional programs and research projects that will effectively address the growing worldwide challenge to develop new food and fiber production systems that also maintain healthy ecosystems and viable rural livelihoods. An Internet-based platform has been designed that efficiently and effectively connects students, researchers, and practitioners to examine case studies of "real-world" conservation and sustainable development issues.
Neotropical Birds Online (http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu) is an innovative collaboration of researchers, birders, and the conservation community that provides an authoritative online resource with life histories of neotropical birds. We cover the region from Mexico and the Caribbean through all of South America, including the 4,000 bird species that occur there. Neotropical Birds Online provides a survey of the life history of each species.
The Cornell Ecoagriculture Working Group (EWG) in concert with Ecoagriculture Partners, an international nongovernmental organization, and a steering committee of 20 science, conservation, and rural development organizations has created the Landscape Measures Resource Center (LMRC) with support from four donors.
To sustainably utilize natural plant defense for pest control in modern agriculture we need to understand the evolutionary mechanisms underlying the interactions between plants and their enemies. We can only reveal these mechanisms by exercising integrative research such as chemical and molecular ecology. Moreover, we primarily need to understand these mechanisms in their natural co-evolutionary context and only secondarily—when it comes to practical applications—in agricultural systems that have been under artificial human selection.
We are developing an online resource to help others evaluate the progress being made in an agricultural landscape. Progress is measured along three axes: productivity, livelihoods, and conservation of biological diversity.
We use the tools of molecular biology to document the biodiversity of birds and other animals and to explain their behaviors, ecologies and evolutionary histories. Our research program integrates studies of evolutionary trees (phylogenetics), speciation, hybridization, animal behavior, ecology, disease ecology and conservation genetics.
A new plant disease has, since 2005, threatened the profitability of coleus, which is currently a best-selling greenhouse crop for New York growers and other producers across the United States. We determined and reported, in collaboration with a Swiss laboratory and others, that the disease was caused by a species of a downy mildew that has been responsible for extensive losses in greenhouse basil crops in Italy and Switzerland.