August 17, 2016

Center for Global Food Security awards grants on U.S. student research projects in 13 countries over three continents

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University research center leading efforts to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers to help solve world hunger is awarding another round of grants totaling $440,000 to graduate students at 13 U.S. universities.

The Purdue Center for Global Food Security on Wednesday (Aug. 17) announced the 19 research grants for student projects in 13 countries as part of the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program. The funding comes from a five-year, $5 million grant to Purdue from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"Our goal is to help prepare the next generation of young scientists and engineers who can effectively tackle the growing complexity around the global food security agenda," said Gebisa Ejeta, a distinguished professor of agronomy at Purdue and director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security in Discovery Park.

Grants from this round range from $14,900 to $44,300 per student for projects lasting from six months to two years. They are intended to provide support for graduate students interested in conducting critical food security research toward a master's or doctoral degree. The recipients, their university and their research country are:

Africa: Margaret Busse, Ph.D., Purdue University, Kenya, $15,000; Sara Cavello, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Uganda, $22,013; Elisabeth Garner, Ph.D., Penn State, Ghana, $17,183; Ryan Highfill, M.S., University of Illinois, Malawi, $14,900; Aaron Hrozencik, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Morocco, $24,081; Emily Lloyd, MSPH, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Zambia, $15,262; Tim Sillberg, Ph.D., Michigan State University, Malawi, $14,878; and Cascade Tuholske, Ph.D., University of California-Santa Barbara, Ghana, $23,835.

Asia: Arica Crootof, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Nepal, $20,000; Sarah Huang, Ph.D., Purdue, Vietnam, $19,036; Janet Miller, Ph.D., South Dakota State University, Vietnam, $17,250; and Jeffrey Wall, Ph.D., Cornell University, Turkey, $21,367.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Vivian Bernau, Ph.D., Ohio State University, Guatemala and Mexico, $34,500; Taya Brown, Ph.D., Texas A&M, Guatemala, $17,200; Cora Carter, M.S., Ohio State, Nicaragua, $22,733; Fiona Gladstone, Ph.D., Arizona, Mexico, $39,970; Corbin Hodges, Ph.D., UC/Santa Barbara, Guatemala, $17,246; Margaret Krause, Ph.D., Cornell, Mexico, $44,300; and Samuel Peters, Ph.D., Emory University, Brazil, $18,729.

Borlaug, an agronomist and humanitarian who died in 2009, is called the father of the "green revolution." He is credited with saving millions of lives worldwide by developing high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat varieties. For his work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

Led by Ejeta, the Center for Global Food Security was launched in the university's Discovery Park in 2010 to take up one of the world's most pressing challenges: getting enough food to people who need it the most today and producing enough to meet even greater future demands.

Ejeta, a native of Ethiopia, received the 2009 World Food Prize for his work in developing sorghum varieties resistant to drought and the parasitic weed Striga. His research has dramatically increased the production and availability of sorghum for hundreds of millions of people in Africa, where it is a major crop.

Media Contact: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Sources: Gebisa Ejeta, 765-494-4320,

               Gary Burniske, 765-494-0941,

               Pamela McClure, 765-494-5442,

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