Each month we interview a new scientist to bring a spotlight on some of the most interesting, cutting-edge work that is being done in the organic field.
Dr. Ellen Cooper is an environmental chemist at Duke University. She manages the Duke Superfund Analytical Chemistry Core, and is also part of the Duke Foam Project. Her work focuses on analyzing environmentally important organic compounds found in substrates such as sediment, water, and polyurethane foam. In this interview, she tells us about her work investigating flame retardants in the foam commonly used in household furniture, and how we can reduce our exposure to these ubiquitous and potentially hazardous chemicals.Read More
Dr. Mark Sorrells is a professor in the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His work focuses on using a variety of plant breeding techniques to develop superior crop varieties for cultivation. In this interview, he tells us about how he uses plant breeding to develop and assess small grains for organic cultivation, and why small grains are becoming popular for farmers and consumers alike.Read More
Dr. William Snyder is a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Washington. His work focuses on understanding how biodiversity can improve agricultural systems by providing services such as pest and pathogen control. In this interview, he describes why biodiversity is important for healthy farms, and how poop-eating insects can protect us from crops contaminated with human pathogens.
Citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing (HLB), threatens the citrus industry on a massive scale. It is spread by the invasive Asian citrus psyllid, and has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Hoddle has been using biological controls to combat this disease. He has headed his laboratory at UC Riverside since 1997, and is the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research. In this interview he discusses his adventures in discovering predatory insects to help control Asian citrus psyllids.
Kim Harley, Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Harley is an adjunct assistant professor of Maternal and Child Health in the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley and the associate director for Health Effects Research at the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH). She is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist, and her work focuses on the association between exposure to common endocrine disrupting chemicals (including pesticides, flame retardants, and bisphenol A) and fertility, birth outcome, child development and timing of puberty. In this interview she discusses one of her ongoing projects named the Hermosa Study, which is a youth-led, community-based study looking at chemical exposure to Latina teenage girls from personal care products.Read More
Amy Charkowski is a professor at the University of Wisconsin in the Department of Plant Pathology. Her work focuses on controlling potato diseases and developing potatoes for organic production. Her lab investigates organically-approved control methods for pests and pathogens important in seed potato production on organic farmers. They also work to identify varieties that are robust on organic farms and resistant to or tolerant of pests and pathogens common on organic farms.Read More
Jim Galloway is a professor at the University of Virginia in the Department of Environmental Studies. His work focuses on maximizing the use of nitrogen for food production while minimizing its negative impacts on people and ecosystems. He is currently working on a project with The Organic Center examining the effects farming systems have on nitrogen pollution. We interviewed him about his Nitrogen Footprint model, and why nitrogen pollution is such a big environmental concern.Read More
David Granatstein is a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at Washington State University. We interviewed him to learn more about his history, the studies he is most excited about, and why the fire blight project he is collaborating with The Organic Center is so important.Read More