- Research Impacts
- Educational Impacts
- For Students
Jenna is a Master’s Student in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a Nutrition concentration. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Cornell University in 2019 with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences. After graduation, Jenna moved to Boston and worked as a Nutritionist at the Boston Living Center, an HIV resource center. She came to CSU to pursue her interests in the link between diet and planetary health. Jenna is currently working on several projects in Dr. Megan Mueller’s lab, which focus on the influence that the restaurant industry has on consumer ordering behavior. She plans to analyze restaurant nutrition and sustainability practices across the US and understand how that might impact menu offerings. In the future, Jenna hopes to contribute to the growing field of sustainable nutrition. Outside of the lab, she competes for the Fort Collins running team, Front Range Elite, in both the marathon and ultra distances.
Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University focusing on livestock behavior and welfare. Originally from the Northeast, with a Bachelor of Arts in French from Amherst College, Edwards-Callaway earned a Master of Science from the University of Rhode Island. She received her Ph.D. at Colorado State University under the advisement of Dr. Temple Grandin. Edwards-Callaway has held various roles in academia, the packing industry, and cattle production primarily focusing on improving animal welfare. She is involved in industry groups and associations including the NCBA BQA Advisory Board and the Darden Animal Welfare Advisory Council to promote and advance the beef industry.
Andrew Jones is a Senior Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at CSU. He holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from CSU. He works on measuring atmospheric and soil moisture properties using networks of weather satellites and, most recently, has created a new way to improve sensor performance despite 5G cellphone interference. His data fusion methods are used for National Weather Service operations. He specializes in the application of weather and climate data analytics to the integration needs of integrated food systems, wildfire impacts, phytobiome interactions, and infectious disease propagation. He serves as a ssenior editor of the Phytobiomes Journal and is a member of the CSU Soil Carbon Solutions Center. CIRA continues to serve as an environmental resource to understand issues impacting food systems production, transportation, and related complex supply chain issues.
India Luxton is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology. India received her BA in Sociology from Western New England University in 2015 and her Master’s degree in Sociology from Colorado State University in 2017. Her dissertation research investigates key factors that led to high rates of COVID-19 transmission in meat processing facilities. Her prior food system research experience has revolved around food justice, urban agriculture, meatpacking, and assessing conservation practice adoption among farmers. In these projects, she utilizes qualitative research methods and social network analysis. One of India’s key pursuits is translating science into practice and helping individuals and organizations work towards environmental and social justice.
Ana is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Systems Thinking for Obesity Prevention (STOP) lab in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. She received her MS in Nutrition at CSU in 2018 and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Her master’s thesis investigated the use of community-based participatory research among youth to promote food access in a low-income neighborhood. Ana’s current research focuses on food insecurity, primarily among households above poverty in high cost-of-living regions. Ana is enthusiastic about building food environments that make nutritious foods accessible for all. As a dietitian, Ana works with clients to promote a positive relationship with food and use it as fuel for daily activities and chronic disease prevention. She enjoys spending time outside for all 300 days of Colorado sunshine, cooking, and hanging out with her dogs.
Amanda Countryman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Her research examines the economic implications of international trade, focusing specifically on the impacts of trade reform on agriculture. Dr. Countryman investigates issues related to trade policy, bilateral and multilateral trade partnerships, nontariff barriers to trade, trade issues related to the livestock and meat sectors, as well as trade and the environment. She teaches undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses in international trade, agribusiness, and agricultural economics, and serves as the CSU Collegiate Farm Bureau advisor. Dr. Countryman completed her B.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics and B.A. in Spanish at the University of Arizona, M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Prior to joining the faculty at CSU, she was an Agricultural Economist at the USDA Economic Research Service. Dr. Countryman grew up on a cotton, cattle, and alfalfa farm in Buckeye, Arizona.
Rebecca Cleary is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at CSU. She holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin. Her work focuses on health economics, consumer behavior, and food policy. She is interested in understanding what drives consumers’ food-purchase decisions, why households do not fully adhere to nutrition recommendations, and how we can design effective policies to increase nutrition quality, particularly for households most at-risk for diet-related diseases. Dr. Cleary is also committed to undergraduate instruction and teaches the introductory course on agricultural and resource economics as well as a course on agricultural commodity marketing. As a proponent of undergraduate engagement, she has served as a judge for Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity, a contributor for Rams Read and the Signature Works program, and loves being (safely) back on campus in person.
Annika is a second-year Ph.D. student in Food Science and Human Nutrition. After graduating from California Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she went on to complete an MSc. in Human Nutrition from The University of Sheffield. Annika’s master’s research project explored potential toxic exposure through the consumption of crops grown on contaminated soils. Here at CSU, Annika currently is part of the NSF’s Interdisciplinary Training, Education, and Research in the Food-Energy-Water Systems Program working on the development of rice bran as a nutritious food ingredient. Annika is also part of Dr. Elizabeth Ryan’s research group where she is studying the gut microbiota and metabolome changes associated with rice bran in the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. Annika grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and in her free time, loves yoga, reading in the sun, and exploring the bike paths around Fort Collins.
Skyler is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He grew up in Oregon and completed his undergraduate studies at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA with a BA in Economics and BS in Computer Information Systems. Through Skyler’s studies and experience as an IT Technician at Cal Lutheran, he discovered his passion for using data systems to provide equitable solutions. At CSU he has been able to apply this passion to real-world problems as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI). His current research involves conducting impact analysis for the best utilization for equitable and inclusive outcomes of Colorado’s newest State Park, Fishers Peak State Park, in Trinidad, CO. He greatly enjoys his new life in Fort Collins exploring Old Town, hiking, mountain biking, and visiting extended family.
Karen has been with CSU Extension since 2006 and with Larimer County Extension since 2009 as the Extension Agent in Ag/Natural Resources. One of the main focuses of her position is working with the many new landowners in Larimer County on best management practices for their small acreages. This includes pasture and grazing management, weed identification and management, and native plant identification. Three major natural disasters have occurred in Larimer County in the past 8 years and Karen has provided educational programming and resources to homeowners affected by these disasters, and conducted programs on emergency preparedness. Karen coordinates the Native Plant Master Program and Colorado Building Farmer/Ranchers program and brings radon awareness to homeowners by providing valuable information on radon and its health effects and distributing free radon test kits.
Darrin Parmenter is the County Extension Director and Horticulture Agent with CSU Extension in La Plata County. He is a Durango native and moved back in 2007 to work with CSU, with previous Extension experience at the University of Florida and Cornell University. His interests and outreach lie in gardening, food production, farming, and local food awareness and food insecurity issues. On any given day, you could probably find him at a school garden, walking a farm, or working with community members and organizations. One of his goals is to find pathways of success for beginning farmers in southwest Colorado.
Ming is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU. Ming obtained a BA in Agricultural and Forest Economics Management and an MA in Agricultural Economics and Management from China Agricultural University. Her previous research focused on the supply chain efficiency of the vegetable industry in China. Now she focuses on soil carbon sequestration in agricultural production under agricultural conservation policies. She also conducts research on hemp production. During her free time, she likes hiking, being outdoors, and enjoying the landscape in Colorado. She also likes practicing yoga and cooking. In the future, she hopes to continue to engage in environmental research at the university and help solve environmental and natural resource problems.
James is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology, who specializes in studying the socio-cultural, community, and governance dimensions of food, agriculture, and environmental improvement efforts. He has spent time in both practitioner and research settings including working as a Peace Corps agroforestry agent in Malawi, helping spearhead alternative food projects in Colorado, and leading related research projects at Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago where he studied social sustainability and governance in New Zealand agriculture. More recently, he has been contributing to the social dimensions of food system modeling, deploying social network analysis to study food and agriculture networks, and working on the conceptualization and operationalization of cultural capital in community development. In his free time, James enjoys hiking, cooking, camping, and music.
Matthew Wallenstein is a Professor and Department Head of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. He is a soil microbial ecologist who studies how microbes drive nutrient cycling, soil formation, and decomposition, and affect crop health and productivity. His group has elucidated novel mechanisms by which plants control the assembly of the microbiome in their rooting zone, and has shown how this affects plant fitness. After working primarily in natural systems for many years, he shifted his attention to agricultural systems with the aim of applying his expertise in soil microbiomes, nutrient cycling, and plant-microbe interactions to sustainable agriculture. He led the development and commercialization of microbial biostimulants that increase nutrient availability as the Chairman and co-founder of Growcentia, Inc.
Becca Jablonski is an Associate Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Dr. Jablonski’s research and extension program comprise two primary areas: 1) evaluating the farm and ranch profitability impacts of sales through non-commodity markets (e.g. local food markets, farm to school programs); and, 2) assessing the community economic impacts of food system policies, investments, and programs, including strategies focused on strengthening rural-urban linkages. As part of her position she co-leads CSU’s Food Systems Initiative and the CSU’s Food Systems Extension team. Dr. Jablonski holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Ben is a Master’s Student in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a Food Science Specialization. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Ben graduated from Colorado State University in 2017 with a B.S in Fermentation Science and Technology. Since graduating he has worked in the distilled spirits industry as an operator, product developer, and packaging manager for various distilleries in Colorado and as far as Western Australia. He is returning to CSU to assist Dr. Charlene Van Buiten on her research into gliadin sequestration and its potential as a therapy for those with Celiac Disease. In the future, he hopes to work on food product development focused on plant-based and sustainable foods. In his spare time, Ben is an avid mountaineer, skier, and river runner.
Laney is a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology program at CSU. Laney obtained a BA in Environmental Sustainability and Studies and an MA in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University. Her previous research focused on plant-based school lunch programs throughout the U.S. and how systematic changes can help reduce the barriers to provide plant-based and plant-forward meal options to all school districts. She is very passionate about food systems, sustainability, plant-based lifestyles, and systems change. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, climbing, kayaking, hammocking, and practicing yoga. She also hopes to visit all the national parks one day. Laney hopes to become a professor in the future and help educate people about environmental issues and various solutions.
Adrian Card serves as the CSU Extension Agent for Agriculture in Boulder County since 2004. He has worked in local foods in Colorado for the past 28 years as a vegetable farmer in Larimer County and as a student, instructor, and researcher at CSU. He continues that work in his current position directly with farmers, NGOs, ag value chain businesses, researchers, and public sector agencies. His Extension work focuses on cropping systems, food systems, specialty crop production, and marketing, public ag education, beginning farmer development through the Colorado Building Farmers program, ag community development, economic development, and organizational support for the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. He builds bridges to facilitate the health of farms, businesses, people, and the planet.
Martha is an Extension Specialist and affiliate in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Her work focuses on developing tools and information to help livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers throughout the state identify and reduce business risks. She develops and teaches business management classes, evaluates classroom and field-based educational programs targeted at beginning farmers and ranchers, and works with ag and food producers navigating food safety and business regulations, as well as those starting value-added agricultural enterprises and building new markets for their products. From policy to practices, her goal is to ensure that Colorado food and farm businesses have the ingredients to be successful!
Francesco is a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University. He has his PhD in Environmental Engineering from University of Trento. His work is focused on extending cloud computing platforms with surrogate modeling capabilities, and complex networks for hydrological modeling. He is currently conducting this research at OMSLab. During his free time he enjoys all that the Colorado outdoors have to offer and spending time catching up with his friends.
Shuiqin is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Her research interests include industrial organization, information economics, and agricultural policies. In particular, she uses econometrics tools such as difference-in-difference and regression discontinuity design to evaluate the causal effect of public policy programs. She has also participated in the design, distribution, and analysis of research surveys. She is working on a choice experiment to design a water nutrient management policy to better serve farmers and agriculture in Colorado. Shuiqin likes to read economics papers, conduct economic analyses, and write research papers. In Shuiqin’s spare time, she likes hiking, mountain biking, playing tennis, and cooking healthy and delicious food.
Dr. Michael Carolan is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development for the College of Liberal Arts. He is also a Visiting Professor at Ruralis Research Institute in Trondheim, Norway, and Research Affiliate at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He has been studying food systems since the late 1990s. In addition to having published over 200 articles and more than a dozen books, Michael regularly writes pieces for public audiences, which have appeared in outlets such as The Conversation, Bloomberg, Mental Floss, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post, Popular Science, The Smithsonian Magazine, Salon, and New Food Economy. His current research projects include mapping household food mobilities, studying links between digital agriculture and rural livelihoods, understanding the rural-urban divide, examining farmer perceptions of climate change, and tracking the impacts of COVID-19 on daily household food practices.
Dr. Rhoades is an Associate Professor and Beef Extension Specialist at Colorado State University. Previously, Ryan spent six years as a faculty member at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management in Kingsville, TX. Ryan received a Ph.D. in Beef Cattle Production at Texas A&M University. In his current position, Ryan is responsible for developing, prioritizing, and implementing innovative statewide beef extension programs based on Colorado beef industry needs. He also works closely with several state and national beef industry organizations to assist with strategic planning and the development of producer training tools. Ryan, his wife Jacqueline, and three children (Ryder, Raegan, and Roxie) live in Wellington, CO where they own/operate a small direct-to-consumer beef business, Elevation Beef.
Javier Antonanzas is a postdoctoral researcher focused on sustainability studies of food and energy production systems. He applies life cycle assessment techniques to understand the carbon footprint of diverse areas such as cereal farming, poultry and dairy industries, natural gas production and transmission systems, and solar energy. He is very passionate about sustainability and tries to transmit this passion to students in the sustainable energy courses that he teaches at CSU. Outside of work, he spends his free time climbing and running in the mountains.
Agustín’s current research focus is soil quality changes during the transition from irrigated to dryland cropping systems in the Ogallala Aquifer Region. Due to declining levels of available water, conversion from irrigated to dryland cropping systems is increasing in some areas of the Ogallala Aquifer Region, one of the most important aquifers in the world. In general, irrigated cropping systems yield more and have more soil organic carbon than dryland cropping systems. However, little is known about the evolution of soil quality after conversion from irrigation to dryland and the effect of soil quality on crop production during this transition. Results will help to understand the interaction between water management, soil health and crop production and identify the best cropping system management practices to improve water use efficiency.
Lorann is an epidemiologist who has studied the health and safety of farmers, their families, and farm workers for over three decades. She has studied acute traumatic injuries and risk factors associated with those injuries, the role of pesticide exposures in mental disorders and suicide, stress among farming populations, and worked on designing prevention programs to reduce injury risk among youth working on farms. She has worked with colleagues in China, Costa Rica, Iran, New Zealand, and South Africa on agricultural safety and health issues. Recently, she worked with an interdisciplinary team addressing the role of euthanasia as a stressor for workers in dairy and swine production. She recently became a grandmother for the first time to a beautiful baby boy named Cedar. When she is not working at CSU, she is a member of the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, and loves weaving and reading.
Kevin Jablonski is a Range Ecologist and Extension Research Coordinator in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship. He has an Extension appointment and is an affiliate in the Center for Collaborative Conservation. As a Range Ecologist, Kevin studies the ecology of grazing livestock—how domestic herbivores interact with their environment, how humans influence this, and the good and bad things that arise from these relationships. His research has focused on grazing management in larkspur habitat, ecological health on western rangelands, and livestock-carnivore interactions in East Africa, among others. In his new role as Extension Research Coordinator, he is working statewide to build bridges across disciplines, departments, and institutions to improve research and extension in Colorado’s rangelands.
Nathan’s research interests intersect food policy, marketing, and industrial organization. His current research assesses the impact of liberalizing alcohol retail on producers and retailers, as well as on consumer behavior. Since moving to Colorado, he has been engaged with the state’s robust brewing industry. Nathan helped facilitate the Liquid Arts Research Forum, which brought together academics and industry personnel to promote collaborative research. He recently produced an industry report designed to help Colorado craft breweries navigate full-strength beer sales in grocery and convenience stores. Nathan is currently using consumer foot traffic data to investigate how allowing grocery and convenience stores to obtain alcohol retail licenses changes consumer behavior and impacts the liquor store sector. When he is not busy being a student he enjoys biking, fishing, and brewery hopping.
Beth is a PhD candidate in Animal Science – Beef Systems Management where her research has focused on mitigating financial stress for beef operators in Colorado using benchmarking tactics and Systems Dynamics methodology that investigate various drought strategies. Beth obtained an MS in Animal Science – Breeding and Genetics at Colorado State University while working at the USDA-National Animal Germplasm Program. She is very passionate about the beef industry and the people working in it – a reflection of her upbringing on a registered Angus and commercial cattle operation in Kansas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and toddler, and visiting the farm back home when time allows.
Mark Uchanski was born and raised in the far western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois – where the suburbs meet rural America, corn, and soybeans. He fell in love with vegetable farming systems and food systems in his backyard and grandfather’s garden in Chicago. His graduate project involved testing and removing pathogens from horseradish propagation stock to provide pathogen-free planting materials. Shortly after graduation in 2008, Uchanski moved to New Mexico to serve the chile pepper and onion industries as Assistant Professor of Horticulture at New Mexico State University. That work soon expanded to include small farm, diversified, and organic operations. In 2015, Uchanski moved to Fort Collins to serve as the Colorado State University Specialty Crops Program Coordinator. There he continues his work with vegetable and other specialty crop producers, including conducting research on sustainable and organic practices and inputs that are applicable to Colorado. He continues to blend his background, research and teaching interests in horticulture, ecology, and sustainable cropping systems.
Libby has over 10 years of experience working in food systems with a focus on the interconnectivity of rural and urban places through food and agriculture. She is passionate about identifying, expanding, and leveraging demand for agricultural and food products to improve the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of farmers and ranchers. Her experiences include establishing a local food label with Sacramento County Farm Bureau, working on a small scale pig farm in North Carolina, running a produce distribution company in the Salinas Valley, and teaching nutrition courses at Colorado State University. In Libby’s current position she manages all things food related including food safety training, value-added food business development, food preservation, and local food system efforts. When not working with Extension, she enjoys skiing, hiking and cooking with her husband and young son and daughter.
Becca is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at CSU. She also got her M.A. at CSU in Sociology. During her undergraduate degree, Becca worked at a non-profit farm in Seattle, WA that partnered with the county to provide horticulture training as an alternative to incarceration. Following this experience, Becca’s work has focused on food systems and carceral systems, as well as discourse and social movements. Through these foci, she has studied migrant farmworker labor organizing and hunger strikes in immigrant detention. Currently she is a part of a research lab conducting a nation-wide study on horticulture and agriculture programs in prisons. She is also collaborating with Dr. Josh Sbicca in the Department of Sociology on a study of news coverage of hunger strikes in prisons.
Following his Master’s in Development Economics and work experience in rural agricultural development in India, Pratyoosh is motivated to work towards small-farm and rural agricultural development, supporting policies and programs, and in understanding the regional economics of the same. His Ph.D. work will focus on the impact of Farm to School legislation on farmers, supply chain businesses, rural communities, and the economics of the policy changes. Prior to starting his Ph.D. at CSU, Pratyoosh focused on the development of community-based livestock farming and marketing with small, marginal, and landless women farmers in India, agricultural extension, and value chain development. He is looking to substantiate his learning from a developing country context with a developed country context in rural development. In Pratyoosh’s free time he is also a photographer and he feels that visuals can strongly complement research findings.
Dawn Thilmany is a Professor of Agribusiness and Extension Economist with Colorado State University and became the Associate Director for CSU’s Office of Community and Economic Development in 2019. She specializes in rural economic development and focuses on opportunities related to value-added food market supply chains, as well as applied research on food market analysis and consumer behavior. Her work on agricultural diversification also includes work with agritourism in Colorado and the Western US. She has held several leadership positions with national Ag, Applied and Regional Economic associations and collaborated with several USDA agencies. Dawn was recently named CSU Nutrien Distinguished Scholar of Agricultural Sciences.
Cristy is the Produce Safety Specialist for CSU Extension. She helps farmers understand the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule and how it impacts their farms. As part of her role, Cristy visits farms during the growing season to observe and evaluate farm food safety practices, helps identify risks associated with growing, harvesting, packing and holding produce, and works with farmers to create strategies to reduce potential risks. The rest of the year Cristy focuses on delivering outreach and education to producers around the state and creating resources for farmers to help them comply with the Produce Safety Rule. She also works closely with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, CSU Extension colleagues, grower organizations, and other states to bring together a broader range of resources and tools to meet the needs of Colorado produce growers.
Carrie is a postdoctoral fellow and School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) Sustainability Leadership Fellow working with Dr. Joshua Sbicca in the Department of Sociology and Dr. Melissa McHale in the Department of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability. Carrie has her PhD in Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University, where she worked as a graduate researcher with ISU Extension’s Local Foods and SNAP-Education programs. In her research, Carrie is passionate about issues of food justice, anti-racism, and community engagement. Her postdoctoral food systems research includes a nationwide study of food and agriculture programs in US state prisons.
Mackenzie Gill’s primary research focuses are in agricultural marketing and consumer choice. At the University of Tennessee, her M.S. thesis investigated consumer preferences for eco-friendly attributes in single-use disposables. Going forward, she is interested in exploring the intersection of consumer choice and regional food system growth. Her long-term career objective is to investigate economic opportunities from which struggling communities and firms in developing industries can benefit. She’s so grateful to be a part of the CSU Food Systems team!
Joshua Sbicca is an Associate Professor of Sociology. He studies food as a lens into a broad range of sociological questions around social change, political economy, urban and rural development, ethnoracial and class hierarchies, culture, and power. His recent work studies food systems at intersections of carcerality, gentrification, and racial capitalism. Underlying these interests is an engagement with expanding articulations and practices of food justice that link an array of social movements and social problems. He is the author of Food Justice Now!: Deepening the Roots of Social Struggle and is co-editor of A Recipe for Gentrification: Food, Power, and Resistance in the City.
Ann Duncan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Family and Consumer Science Agent in Western Colorado. Ann grew up on the Western Slope and is passionate about teaching people where their food comes from and how to use it to live a healthy life. Her community outreach efforts include food safety, Cottage Foods, nutrition, food preservation and food systems. Ann is passionate about teaching cooking, nutrition skills and exposing community members, particularly youth, to new tastes and experiences.
Lindsey is a postdoc with Nathan Mueller at Colorado State University. Lindsey has her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. Her post-graduate work has focused primarily on climate impacts to global agriculture. She is interested in understanding how increasing temperatures and changing precipitation regimes impact both crop and grazing systems. Her work examines climate trends and large-scale geographic patterns in agriculture, leveraging agricultural census data, climate and soil records, hydrological modeling output, and new remote sensing data. Some of her current interests include climate adaptation through crop migration, the use of remotely sensed Solar Induced Fluorescence in crop productivity forecasting, and how changes in snowmelt runoff have impacted crop irrigation.
Food and agriculture systems have been my primary point of interest along each step of my professional path. After completing my degree in plant genetics at Purdue University, I explored a different side of food and agriculture while working at a food access nonprofit in the D.C. metro area, supporting community kitchen and farmers market programming. I am excited to be continuing my exploration at CSU, and contributing to a growing body of knowledge that strengthens food systems. In my spare time I enjoy music, cooking, spending time in the company of friends and family, and enjoying all there is to do in Colorado.
Marisa Bunning is a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, a Food Safety Specialist with CSU Extension, and an Adjunct Professor with the Colorado School of Public Health. Her efforts, in the classroom and through outreach, are focused on a systems approach to food safety advocacy. Current areas of research include consumer food handling practices, high elevation impacts on food preparation, produce safety, and reduction of consumer food waste. Marisa finds working in the area of food safety and health very rewarding because everyone benefits when our food chain is protected.
Alexandra Hill is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Her primary research and teaching areas include economic productivity, agricultural labor economics, agricultural business management, and econometrics. Her current research revolves around understanding the factors that affect worker productivity and labor supply, including wage contracts and peer effects, welfare program participation, non-pecuniary benefits, pollution and weather, and specialty certifications; measuring effects from agricultural policy changes, in particular how agricultural sales tax exemptions affect producer spending, profits, and productivity; and modeling producer and retailer behavior under contracts written for quantity and quality.
India Luxton is currently a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University. India graduated from Western New England University in 2015 with her bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She received her Master’s degree from Colorado State University in 2017. Broadly, India is interested in community-based research with an emphasis on social change, the environment, and industrialized animal agriculture. India’s dissertation will examine COVID-19’s impact on industrialized animal agriculture, with a focus on emergent policies, regulatory decisions, and outcomes. India’s published works include “Collaborative Concession in Food Movement Networks: The Uneven Relations of Resource Mobilization,” an article that examines how organizations navigate differences in power and influence through resource exchange, and “Mapping Movements: A Call for Qualitative Social Network Analysis,” a methodological article that highlights the advantages of qualitative social network analysis in food system and social movement research.
Currently, Hailey is researching worker perspectives in livestock operations in order to better working environments, training methods, and animal welfare. While she doesn’t have a farming background, she received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, where she engaged in community agriculture outreach and worked at 4-H events in the area. Previously, Hailey spent time teaching children about livestock handling and animal agriculture systems across the US. At CSU she is assisting on a variety of projects in the Department of Animal Sciences, ranging from equine behavior to animal handling. She is very excited to reach out to communities to help them grow fresh produce and raise livestock in order to attain a nutritious and balanced food supply.
Miranda began working for Extension in June 2019 where she pioneered CSU’s very first Viticulture Extension program based out of Grand Junction. Viticulture is the science of grape growing. Her interest in viticulture comes from her love of food (& wine) and her passion for the environment. Miranda recently graduated from Oregon State University where she studied different pruning techniques for Pinot noir wine grapes and their effect on grapevine bud fruitfulness. She looks forward to addressing the challenges faced by grape growers across the state of Colorado, namely cold hardiness and phylloxera, an aphid-like insect that feeds on grapevine roots. You can find Miranda conducting site visits for beginning and experienced growers in vineyards of all sizes. Another important aspect of her work involves relaying research-based information, such as which varieties grow best in Colorado and which management practices are most suited to our conditions. She looks forward to getting more involved with the Food Systems team!
Erin loves being part of the CSU food systems team! Her interest in food systems and agriculture began in college when she worked on a ranch in Arkansas for a summer. She continued to learn about various food systems after college, living on a small fishing island in Maine for two years and studying seaweed aquaculture as an income diversification strategy for lobstermen. Then she worked for the YMCA Nutrition Department running their after-school and summer meal programs in the mountains of western North Carolina before moving to Fort Collins. Her research interests include food systems as a mechanism for economic development, particularly in rural areas, supply chains, and, of course, potatoes! In her free time, Erin enjoys cooking adventurously, going to bluegrass shows, brewing beer, playing frisbee, snuggling her (very unimpressed) cat, and hiking and running the local trails.
Azmal’s research interest is the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus and its climate change implications. As a national research trainee of InTERFEWS at CSU, he is particularly interested in how climate change affects food security amidst the growing scarcity of irrigation water in the Global South. His interest in food security comes from his MA thesis where he examined how the underlying connections between climate change and household characteristics influence women’s nutritional status in Bangladesh. Currently Azmal is engaged with different multidisciplinary research groups covering food justice in the US prison system, implications of the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) for Colorado’s food system, the COVID-19 pandemic and food security, climate change resilience of indigenous, rural and vulnerable communities in the South-central region of the USA, and climate gentrification and socio-environmental justice.
Chelsea has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UC San Diego and a Master’s degree in Biology from Seoul National University. She is adopting a translational, interdisciplinary approach for her PhD research on beans, using laboratory work to answer key questions that will inform the development of outreach materials. She thinks it is critical to integrate dissemination into research plans, and she is preparing for a career with Extension. Chelsea also helps coordinate the Food Systems webinars.
Nathan Mueller is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. Nathan’s research analyzes agricultural sustainability and the impacts of climate change using geospatial data and models. Current projects are examining the impacts of changing snowmelt water resources on irrigation and mechanisms of climate change adaptation. Nathan received his B.A. from St. Olaf College and his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.