Symposium: Food Systems & Poverty Reduction IGERT

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 1:30pm to 7:00pm

Statler Hotel, Yale/ Princeton Room
130 Statler Dr, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Oral and poster presentations by PhD students from Cornell's NSF-IGERT Food System and Poverty Reduction Program. The symposium will be a mix of  TEDx-style  presentations on the broader impacts of students' Africa-based dissertation research, as well as poster papers on group and individual research projects.

Event Type

Special Event


CIIFAD, Sustainability





Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Beth Medvecky

Contact Phone



Recent Activity

Sumita Mitra

Sumita Mitra left a positive review 9/17/2013

Really wonderful presentations, I definitely learned a lot. My favorite portion was probably looking at the poster presentations because I could spend a lot of time talking to the researcher about their project.

Beth Medvecky

Beth Medvecky 9/9/2013

Symposium Program

Schedule of Oral Presentations
1:30 Welcome: Chris Barrett
Session 1
1.:40- 1:55 Demand for index-based livestock insurance: evidence from Northern Kenya. Nathaniel Jensen, PhD candidate, Applied Economics & Management
1:55-2:10 Hands or water? Sources of contamination: A field study in a town in the Ethiopian Highlands. Matthew Hurst, PhD, Civil & Environmental Engineering.
2:10-2:25 Expanding the options for--and objectives of--food assistance: Evidence from pioneering policies in Burkina Faso and Niger. Joanna Upton, PhD candidate, Applied Economics and Management
2:25- 2:40 Biochar systems to improve resource use, energy management and enhance soil fertility in Kenya. Dorisel Torres, PhD candidate. Soil and Crop Science
2:40-2:55 Q & A for session 1 presenters
2:55-3:10 Coffee/bio break
Session 2
3:10– 3:25 Contributions of plant diversity to local food systems: a case study for Gonder Ethiopia. Morgan Ruelle, PhD candidate, Natural Resources
3:25-3:40 Aflatoxin exposure during pregnancy: a potential cause of maternal anemia and adverse birth outcomes in Zimbabwe. Laura Smith, PhD Candidate, Nutritional Science.
3:40-3:55 The effects of genotype and nitrogen management on natural fumonisin contamination of maize. Laura Morales, PhD student, Plant Breeding
3:55-4:10 Market participation in developing countries: implications for the distributional welfare impacts of food price changes. Ellen McCullough, Cohort 3, PhD student, Applied Economics & Mgmt
4:10-4:25 Q & A for session 2 presenters
4:25-4:45 Break

4:45--5:15 Group project posters (oral presentation of 6 posters x 5 minutes each)
Cohort 1
i. Modeling and mapping determinants of teff production in Ethiopia. Morgan Ruelle (Natural Resources); Christian Guzman (Biological and Environmental Engineering); Dorisel Torres (Soil and Crop Sciences)

ii. Adaptation strategies of Boran pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. Matthew Hurst (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Nathan Jensen (Applied Economics and Management), Sarah Pedersen (Nutritional Science), Asha Sharma (Biological and Environmental Engineering), Jenni Zambiski (Animal Science).
Cohort 2
iii. Environmental drivers of spatial variability in mycotoxin accumulation in Kenya. Matt Stasiewicz (Food Science), Laura Morales (Plant Breeding), Laura Smith (Nutritional Science) and Rachel Hestrin (Soils and Crops)

iv. Assessment of environmental, economic and social impacts of the World Vision Ethiopia Humbo Community-Based Forest Management project. Tigist Tebebu (Biological and Environmental Engineering), Jessica Bliss (Nutritional Science), Soumya Gupta and Leah Bevis (Applied Economics and Management)
Cohort 3
v. Targeting soils interventions in Ethiopia: A research agenda based on improved soil resource and fertility data. Holly Buck (Development Sociology), David Flannelly (Environmental Toxicology), Ellen McCullough (Applied Economics and Management), Julie Quinn (Civil and Environmental Engineering), and Andrew Simons (Applied Economics and Management)

vi. Maize lethal necrosis in Kenya: An opportunity for crop diversification? Leilah Krounbi, Soil and Crop Science, Lauren Snyder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Djeinam Toure, Nutritional Science

5:30-7:00 Informal poster session

i. Alternative fertilizers for Ethiopian smallholders.
Rachel Hestrin, PhD student, Soil and Crop Science and Andrew Simons, PhD student, Applied Economics and Management.
ii. Pyrolytic cook stoves and biochar production in Kenya: A whole systems approach to sustainable energy, environmental health, and human prosperity
Rachel Hestrin, PhD student, and Dori Torres, PhD candidate, Soil and Crop Science
iii. Market survey of mycotoxin prevalence in maize from Eastern Kenya to support development of single-kernel sorting technologies.
Matthew Stasiewicz , PhD candidate, Food Science
iv. Environmental shocks and social inequality within rural Ethiopian communities.
Brian Thiede, PhD candidate, Development Sociology
v. Agricultural land leases in Ethiopia: a case study in narrative spread.
Holly Buck, PhD student, Development Sociology.
vi. Mitigating climate-related risk to agricultural production.
Julianne Quinn, PhD student, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
vii. In preparation for a molecular future: predicting microbial carbon cycling rates.
David Flannelly, PhD student, Environmental Toxicology.
viii. Technologies old and new for improving soil fertility in smallholder maize systems in Western Kenya: Modeling variability in nitrogen-use efficiency and the potential of processed human waste as a soil amendment.
Leilah Krounbi, PhD student, Soil and Crop Science
ix. Realigning Agriculture for Improved Nutrition: The Role of Women's Self-Efficacy.
Djeinam Toure, PhD student, Nutritional Science.
x. Finding eroding areas and patterns with GIS and community knowledge in the Ethiopian highlands.
Christian Guzman, PhD candidate, Biological and Environmental Engineering.