Plant Sciences Institute names four agronomy faculty to second cohort

April 5, 2018

By Paula Van Brocklin, Office of the Vice President for Research

After reviewing dozens of applications, Iowa State University’s Plant Sciences Institute (PSI) has named nine faculty members to the second cohort of PSI Faculty Scholars. Faculty selected represent three of the university’s eight colleges – Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The PSI Scholars program identifies, supports and empowers talented Iowa State researchers who have the potential to significantly contribute to the complex and rapidly emerging discipline of predictive phenomics. PSI Scholars build upon their existing strong funding and publication track records to enhance ISU’s research prominence in the plant sciences. Recipients receive $75,000 of research funding per year for up to three years.

Eligibility is limited to ISU faculty in a tenure-track position of assistant professor or higher.

The 2018 PSI Faculty Scholars from agronomy are:

Sotirios Archontoulis, assistant professor, agronomy
Project summary: Enhance and deploy crop modeling to identify plant traits worthy of genetic research due to their impact on crop production systems, and predict and explain how environmental variables and management practices influence plant traits and expression of phenotypes in the field.

Michael Castellano, associate professor, agronomy
Project summary: Use experiments, innovative sensing technologies and process-based modeling to observe, predict and explain how variation in resource availability affects phenotype, and what phenotypes perform best in particular combinations of environment and management.

Fernando Miguez, associate professor, agronomy
Project summary: Develop physiologically-robust mathematical models and combine them with computationally intensive statistical methods to improve prediction of crop performance.

Asheesh (Danny) Singh, associate professor, agronomy
Project summary: Focus on integrating phenomics and genomics approaches into cultivar development and breeding.