The Organic Center Debuts Science Advisory Board

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The Organic Center Debuts Science Advisory Board


The Organic Center has revealed the names of 24 scientists who have agreed to serve on its newly formed Science Advisory Board. According to Jessica Shade, The center’s director of scientific programs, “All are distinguished researchers who are recognized for excellence in the field of organic research.”

The board will bolster the Washington, D.C.-based center’s internal scientific expertise and act as an outside evaluator voice on key issues in the organic field. It will also serve as a support system for internal scientific management, and provide oversight on the progress of the center’s scientific initiatives.

Specifically, board members, as experts in their respective fields, will inform the center on a wide variety of organic topics. They will also respond to emerging issues of importance to organic agriculture, help the center determine future scientific focus areas, and collaborate with the center on conducting research in crucial areas.

“These individuals will be critical in adding to the center’s knowledge base on specific issues, and will give it a broader level of expertise,” noted Shade.

Individual board members are already aiding the center’s work, offering insight and guidance on such issues as the link between agricultural antibiotic use and the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, speaking at events about their research, participating in roundtable discussions on current knowledge gaps in scientific literature about organic food and farming, and collaborating with the center on formulating new projects to fill those knowledge gaps.

The members of the Science Advisory Board are Catherine Badgley, University of Michigan, history of global biodiversity; Chuck Benbrook, Washington State University, pesticide use patterns; Jeffrey Blumberg, Tufts University, antioxidants research; Asa Bradman, University of California, Berkeley, health hazards of pesticide exposure; Andre Brito, University of New Hampshire, pasture-based dairy systems and organic dairy cattle nutrition; Patrick Carr, North Dakota State University, cropping systems and conservation tillage practices; Cindy Daley, California State University, Chico, organic dairy; Kathleen Delate, Iowa State, challenges of organic production; Eric Gallandt, University of Maine, weed management; Nguyen Hue, University of Hawaii, soil chemistry and heavy metal accumulation; Molly Jahn, University of Wisconsin, the role of agriculture and our choices within agricultural and food systems in humanity’s long-term sustainable provisioning; Carlo Leiffert, University of Newcastle, United Kingdom, agricultural production system evaluation/modeling, and integration of agronomic and breeding strategies to improve resource use efficiency in crops and livestock production; Alex Lu, Harvard University, assessing exposure to environmental chemicals; Bruce Maxwell, Montana State University, weed management; Charles Mohler, Cornell University, organic weed control; Joji Muramoto, University of California, Santa Cruz, fertility and soil-borne disease management; Warren Porter, University of Wisconsin, low-level contaminant/pesticide mixtures at environmentally relevant concentrations that affect/alter developmental processes, neurological function, immune function, and endocrine function; Alex Racelis, University of Texas Pan American, agroecology and sustainable agriculture in the subtropics; Chris Reberg-Horton, North Carolina State University, organic breeding for fertility management and organic no-till production; Jim Riddle, The Ceres Trust, organic requirements, genetic engineering, soil and water conservation, and organic research needs; Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin, organic no-till production, organic cover crop systems, participatory breeding and trialing in organic systems, and cost-of-production tools for diversified organic vegetable producers; Phil Stansly, University of Florida, integrated management of citrus and vegetable pests; Danielle Treadwell, University of Florida, integrating cover crops to reduce tillage and manage pests in subtropical and tropical horticultural crops; and Mark Williams, University of Kentucky, sustainable organic horticulture production.

The Organic Center is an independent nonprofit research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Brattleboro, Vt.-based Organic Trade Association.