WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University research center
committed to helping the next generation strengthen international development
and solve the global food insecurity problem is awarding $608,341 in grants to
graduate students at 19 U.S. universities.
As part of the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security
program, the Purdue Center for Global Food Security announced 31 research grants
to graduate and doctoral student projects in 17 countries.
The U.S. Agency for International Development funds the
program. The grants are intended to give exceptional students the opportunity to
conduct field research overseas in developing countries.
The 2014 Borlaug Fellows come from 19 universities,
including Purdue, and were awarded grants ranging from $15,000 to
“From examining grain market price stabilization in Nigeria
to investigating soil nitrogen depletion in Africa, this year’s recipients are
using their cross-cultural, interdisciplinary knowledge and their personal
leadership skills to finding solutions for achieving global food security,” said
distinguished agronomy professor Gebisa Ejeta, director of the Purdue Center for
Global Food Security in Discovery Park.
“We are impressed with the quality of the students and their
research problems. We look forward to helping these bright leaders of tomorrow
establish long-term research collaborations and preparing them to take on this
most fundamental global agenda.”
The four funded projects led by Purdue graduate students
* Patrick Hatzenbuehler — Grain market prize stabilization and household
response: Food security and Nigerian grain markets in Nigeria.
* Heather Pasley — Investigation of possible soil nitrogen depletion when
maize hybrids with superior NUE are grown in African soils in Kenya, Zimbabwe
and South Africa.
* Elizabeth Trybula — Crop water productivity response to conservation
agriculture in South Africa.
* Caitlin Grady — Evaluation of program effectiveness: The case of “research
for development” and food security in the Mekong River Basin in Laos.
The other 27 funded student-led projects, their universities
and the country are:
* Patrick Bell, Ohio State University — Sustainable intensification for
improving soil quality and adaption to climate change for smallholder farmers in
the Uluguru Mountain of Tanzania.
* Anne-Elizabeth Cafer, University of Missouri — Sowing and reaping: A
socio-cultural investigation of farmers’ adoption of improved management
practices in South Wollo, Ethiopia.
* Lance Goettsch, Iowa State University — Practical methods to alleviate
edaphic constraints to common bean production in Masaka, Uganda.
* Chesney McOmber, University of Florida — Gendering the impacts of climate
change: Comparative analysis of migration and empowerment in agricultural
communities in Morocco and Kenya.
* Rachel Miller, Cornell University — Working toward development of an
improved vaccine for CBPP: Enhancing livestock’s role in achieving food security
* Amy Quandt, University of Colorado, Boulder — Building livelihood
resilience in semiarid Kenya: What role does agroforestry play in Kenya?
* Kathleen Tavenner, Pennsylvania State University — Co-management regimes
in protected areas of South Africa: Implications of gender equity in the
forest-food security nexus in South Africa.
* Anna Testen, Ohio State University — Establishing a village-based soil and
plant health-monitoring program for tomato in Tanzania.
* Sarah Stefanos, University of Wisconsin, Madison — Bioslurry as fertilizer
* Stephen Wood, Columbia University — Understanding the role of agricultural
biodiversity in promoting human nutrition and ecological sustainability in
* Kayla Yurco, Pennsylvania State University — When the cows come home:
Pastoral livelihoods, nutrition, and food security in southern Kenya.
* David Brynes, Rutgers University — Selection of vegetable amaranth for
high-yield, multiple harvests, high-nutrition and minimal anti-nutritive
components in Tanzania.
* Nathan Clay, Pennsylvania State University - Transitioning agrarian
livelihoods and ecologies in Rwanda.
* John Connors, Arizona State University - Agricultural intensification and
sustainable livelihoods in Tanzania.
* Emma Flemming, Virginia Tech University — Characterization of genetic
resources and food security status of smallholder farms in post-conflict South
* Christian Guzman, Cornell University — Collaborative soil and water
management for enhanced agricultural productivity in the Ethiopian
* Nicolas Jelinski, University of Minnesota — Capturing dynamic soil
properties across global agricultural systems to support sustainable
intensification and food security initiatives in Kenya.
* Andrew Margenot, University of California, Davis — Integrating soil
quality as a function of smallholder management strategies to secure food
production of East Africa in Kenya and Tanzania.
* Tyler Rundel, University of Florida — Smallholder adoption of indigenous
fruit trees in Cameroon.
* Erin Biehl, Johns Hopkins University — Using cost of diet analysis to link
agricultural interventions and nutritional status in rural Nepal.
* Margaret Rose Douglas, Pennsylvania State University — Reversing the
pesticide treadmill: Safe and effective management of key insect pests of lablab
bean (Lablab purpureus) using biopesticides and natural enemies in
* Claire Fitch, Johns Hopkins University — Farming for health: Leveraging
small-scale agriculture for nutrition and food security in Nepal.
* John Laborde, University of Nebraska, Lincoln — Crop-livestock integration
in a conservation agriculture system: Intercropped forages to meet crop residue
demands and reduce weed pressure in Nepal.
* Jenkins Macedo, Clark University — Enhancing soil nutrients and water
conservation through sustainable farming techniques in Laos.
* Levi Keesecker, University of Idaho — Sustaining bee pollinators in
agricultural landscapes to enhance food security: Pollination services provided
by wild bees originating from remnant forests in Costa Rica.
* Hector Tavarez Vargas, University of Idaho — Alleviating water scarcity in
seasonally dry rural Costa Rica: The value of ecosystem service co-benefits from
reforestation in Costa Rica.
* Libby Rens, University of Florida — Increasing sustainability of potato
production with restricted water and nutrient resources in Peru.
The program is dedicated to Norman E. Borlaug, the 1970
Nobel Peace Prize winner and prominent figure in the “green revolution.” Borlaug
developed a disease-resistant wheat variety and is credited for his work saving
lives and preventing hunger.
Along with the fellowship grant, the center also hosts the
Summer Institute on Global Food Security.
Through discussions with cross-disciplined experts, this
two-week learning program provides the working knowledge need to solve world
problems. Sixty-six students from 33 universities have participated in the 2012
and 2013 summer institutes.
The center was launched Purdue’s Discovery Park in 2010 to
address an increasing challenge: to make sure there is enough food, feed and
fuel for a growing world population.