HomeIonE FellowGot Grand Challenges? IonE can tackle them.

Got Grand Challenges? IonE can tackle them.

More than two dozen Institute on the Environment affiliates representing nearly as many colleges are principal investigators or team members on 12 transdisciplinary projects that recently were awarded research grants as part of the University of Minnesota’s $3.6 million Grand Challenges program. The investment is a key component of the University’s strategic plan to address critical challenges in Minnesota and the world.

The collaborations, each enlisting the expertise of multiple colleges, address three of the University’s five strategic goals: enhancing individual and community capacity for a changing world, assuring clean water and sustainable ecosystems, and feeding the world sustainably.

“This is what IonE is all about,” says Lewis Gilbert, IonE managing director and chief operating officer. “The fact that so many researchers affiliated with IonE are on these impact-oriented interdisciplinary projects is a testament to the broad reach of IonE’s support.”

Projects involving IonE affiliates are:

Enhancing Individual and Community Capacity for a Changing World

Climate, conflict and displacement: Shifting patterns in the Horn of Africa arid lands

  • Dominic Travis – IonE fellow and professor, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Katey Pelican – IonE fellow and associate professor, CVM

Shared leadership lab: Analyzing success factors to address complex societal challenges

  • Hari Osofsky – IonE fellow, co-director of Energy Transition Lab and professor, Law School

Assuring Clean Water and Sustainable Ecosystems

Innovations at the nexus of food, energy and water: Reclaiming wastewater from local food industries to produce energy and high-value urban crops

  • William Arnold – IonE fellow and professor, College of Science and Engineering
  • Paige Novak – IonE fellow and professor, Biotechnology Institute

Protection of biodiversity and ecosystems services through early detection of tree disease using hyperspectral remote sensing

  • Jeannine Cavender-Bares – IonE fellow and associate professor, College of Biological Sciences
  • Rebecca Montgomery – IonE fellow and associate professor, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Sarah Hobbie – IonE fellow and professor, CBS 

Sustainable development: Architecture and planning within the ecological footprint of one planet

  • Bonnie Keeler – program director and lead scientist with the Natural Capital Project
  • Jessica Hellmann – IonE director and professor, CBS
  • Sarah Hobbie – IonE fellow and professor, CBS
  • Stephen Polasky – IonE fellow and Regents professor, CFANS

Developing a simple, inexpensive smart chip to detect water pollutants

  • Lawrence Wackett – IonE fellow and Distinguished McKnight University Professor, CBS
  • William Arnold – IonE fellow and professor, CSE
  • Paige Novak – IonE fellow and professor, BTI

Feeding the World Sustainably

Addressing the challenge of tuberculosis in the animal-human interface

  • Dominic Travis – IonE fellow and professor, CVM

Big-data transparency in global food supply

  • Derrick Pennington – WWF lead scientist (IonE special projects)
  • Anu Ramaswami – IonE fellow and professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Timothy Smith – IonE fellow; director, NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise; and associate professor, CFANS

Microbiomes in engineered ecosystems: integrative science to elucidate microbiome roles in mediating plant, soil, ecosystem and human health

  • Jonathan Schilling – IonE fellow and associate professor, CFANS
  • Elizabeth Borer – co-lead of Nutrient Network (IonE special projects) and associate professor, CBS
  • Eric Seabloom – co-lead of Nutrient Network (IonE special projects) and associate professor, CBS
  • Paige Novak – IonE fellow and professor, BTI

Charting a path for Midwest agriculture through scenario-based foresight

  • Nicholas Jordan – IonE fellow and professor, CFANS
  • Mark Pedelty – IonE fellow and professor, College of Liberal Arts

Sustaining food production, health and the environment

  • David Tilman – IonE fellow and Regents professor, CBS
  • Jason Hill – IonE fellow and associate professor, CFANS
  • Stephen Polasky – IonE fellow and Regents professor, CFANS
  • Alexandra Klass – IonE fellow and Distinguished McKnight University professor, Law School
  • Anu Ramaswami – IonE fellow and professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Integrative GC Research Initiative: Assuring Clean Water and Feeding the World

  • Nicholas Jordan – IonE fellow IonE fellow and professor, CFANS
  • Rebecca Montgomery – IonE fellow and associate professor, CFANS
  • Kate Flick – IonE graduate research assistant
  • Beth Mercer-Taylor – Sustainability Studies coordinator

To learn more and view the full list of awards, see “Grand Challenges Research Grants Awarded.”

Photo by guvendemir (iStock)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.