News Release

MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures graduate fellows announced


Eight graduate students who are working toward their master’s or doctoral degree from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS); the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM); and the School of Public Health (SPH) were recently awarded fellowships from Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) for the 2018-2019 school year.

The world’s population is expected to grow to more than nine billion people during the next 40 years, requiring a 70 percent increase in food supply. Despite today’s abundance, nearly one billion people are undernourished. In Minnesota, more than 10 percent of our residents lack sufficient food. Through this fellowship program, the students from CVM, CFANS, and SPH will seek solutions to the increasingly evident challenges posed by food insecurity and population growth.

The eight student fellows will participate in professional development activities and events that will improve their understanding of our interconnected food systems and help them to better envision how their expertise can ensure food security, reduce food loss, limit the impact of infectious diseases on production, improve food safety, and protect the environment through alternative agricultural practices. The students and their projects are as follows:

  • Hannah Gray, entomology, CFANS — Assessing arthropod predators as biological control agents in an agroecosystem: local management/global pattern
  • Shivdeep Hayer, veterinary medicine, CVM — Understanding changes in antimicrobial resistance in swine bacterial pathogens
  • Yuan-Tai Hung, animal sciences, CFANS —Characterizing physiological responses of nursery pigs to diets containing zinc oxide and antibiotic
  • Eric Nazareno, plant pathology, CFANS — Identification of new sources of disease resistance loci in oat against crown rust
  • Margaret Shanahan, entomology, CFANS — Optimizing the benefits of propolis to Honey Bee health in beekeeping operations
  • Frances Shepherd, veterinary medicine, CVM — Improving rotavirus vaccination to prevent piglet mortality
  • Jared Spackman, land and atmospheric science, CFANS — Soil versus fertilizer: unlocking the mystery of where corn gets its nitrogen
  • Ali Strickland, public health, SPH — Enhancement of the USDA agricultural marketing service’s boneless and ground beef procurement program

These students make up the sixth group of global food graduate fellows. During the course of their awards, they will participate in activities designed to build their skills in communications, collaboration, and problem solving along with pursuing individual research projects.


About MnDRIVE:

MnDRIVE is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota that aligns areas of research strength with the state’s key and emerging industries to address grand challenges. In 2013, the State of Minnesota authorized an $18 million recurring annual investment in four research areas: Robotics, Global Food, Environment, and Brain Conditions. In 2017, the state appropriated another $4 million per year for a fifth research area: Cancer Clinical Trials. To learn more visit

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