The Organic Center announced the names of 24 scientists who have agreed to serve on its newly formed science advisory board.

“We are pleased with the response from prominent scientists to serve on our science advisory board,” said Jessica Shade, Ph.D., The Organic Center’s director of scientific programs. She added, “All are distinguished researchers who are recognized for excellence in the field of organic research.”

The science advisory board will augment The Center’s internal scientific expertise and act as an outside evaluator voice on issues that arise in the organic field. It will serve as a support system for internal scientific management, and provide oversight on the progress of The Center’s scientific initiatives.

Specifically, board members will act as experts in their field to inform The Center on a broad array of organic topics. They will also respond to emerging issues of importance to the organic agriculture, help The Center identify future scientific focus areas, and collaborate with The Center on conducting research in priority areas.

The 24 members include scientists from academic institutions such as Harvard University, the University of California-Berkeley, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, Tufts University, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Maine, and the University of Wisconsin, as well as Newcastle University in the United Kingdom

“This is an unprecedented gathering of the best minds on sustainable food and farming, and The Organic Center is honored to have such prestigious members of the science community on its Advisory Board. 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,” Dr. Shade added.

Individual science advisory board members are already contributing to the work of The Center, and have been providing insight and guidance on emerging issues, such as the link between agricultural antibiotic use and the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, speaking at events about their research, taking part in roundtable discussions exploring current knowledge gaps in scientific literature about organic food and farming, and collaborating with The Center on developing new projects to fill those knowledge gaps.

Members of the Science Advisory Board include:

  • Catherine Badgley, University of Michigan, who focuses on the history of global biodiversity and includes extensive studies of ecosystem changes over geologic time, biogeography of modern mammals, and sustainable agriculture.
  • Chuck Benbrook, Washington State University, who has done work examining pesticide use patterns.
  • Jeffrey Blumberg, Tufts University, the Director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.
  • Asa Bradman, University of California, Berkeley, who examines health hazards of pesticide exposure.    
  • Andre Brito, University of New Hampshire, who examines pasture-based dairy systems and organic dairy cattle nutrition.
  • Patrick Carr, North Dakota State University, who directs an organic research program that focuses on cropping systems and conservation tillage practices suited to horticultural and field crop production.       
  • Cindy Daley, California State University, Chico, whose research works to enhance and support organic dairy, including sustainable feeding strategies, nutrient management and value-added marketing.
  • Kathleen Delate, Iowa State, whose research focuses on the challenges of organic production.     
  • Eric Gallandt, University of Maine, who works on weed management.
  • Nguyen Hue, University of Hawaii, whose research examines soil chemistry and heavy metal accumulation.
  • Molly Jahn, University of Wisconsin, whose current work focuses on the role of agriculture and our choices within agricultural and food systems in humanity’s long-term sustainable provisioning.     
  • Carlo Leiffert, University of Newcastle, UK, who focuses on 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, who focuses on assessing exposure to environmental chemicals.
  • Bruce Maxwell, Montana State University, who works on weed management.
  • Charles Mohler, Cornell University, who works on organic weed control.
  • Joji Muramoto, University of California, Santa Cruz, who researches fertility and soil-borne disease management.
  • Warren Porter, University of Wisconsin, who examines 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, whose current efforts focus on research in agroecology and sustainable agriculture in the subtropics, and on increasing student diversity in the agricultural sciences through curriculum development and experiential learning.
  • Chris Reberg-Horton, North Carolina State University, who looks at organic breeding for fertility management and organic no-till, especially in corn, soybeans, and wheat.
  • Jim Riddle, The Ceres Trust, whose interests focus on organic requirements, genetic engineering, soil and water conservation, and organic research needs.
  • Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin, whose research includes projects involving 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, who works on integrated management of citrus and vegetable pests.  
  • Danielle Treadwell, University of Florida, who focuses on integrating cover crops to reduce tillage and manage pests in subtropical and tropical horticultural crops.
  • Mark Williams, University of Kentucky, whose research focuses on sustainable organic horticulture production.