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August 2, West Lafayette

US (IN): Purdue Plant Science symposium focuses on food security

Purdue University graduate students will discuss the “Future of Food Security” at the third annual Purdue Graduate Student Plant Science Symposium Aug. 2. The event is part of the Plant Science Symposia series sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont.

The symposium is organized and presented by graduate students in Purdue’s agronomy, botany and plant pathology, biological sciences, horticulture and entomology departments. The students plan to showcase this diversity of disciplines by highlighting various types of research pertaining to food security, says Blake Russell, chair of the symposium’s committee and a Ph.D. student in plant breeding and genetics.

“The nature of food security leaves the opportunity open for discussion and collaboration, and to reach its full potential, there must be contributions from multiple disciplines,” Russell says. “We hope the participation in this symposium can help lay the foundation for future collaborations.”

Featured speakers include 2009 World Food Prize Laureate Gebisa Ejeta; U.S. Geological Survey research geographer Prasad S. Thenkabail; Purdue Agricultural & Biological Engineering Assistant Professor Jian Jin; Purdue Entomology Associate Professor Dieudonné Baributsa; and Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. Representing Corteva Agriscience will be Jesse D. Munkvold, who leads the Applied Technologies subgroup focused on validation and application of new breeding technologies in the global breeding programs.

“Successfully meeting the challenge of feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050 will require every agricultural technology available,” Munkvold says. “We are witnessing this in agriculture R&D today. Every project and program requires interdisciplinary collaboration. Events like this symposium expose young scientists to the diverse opportunities and challenges that await them, and help the participants see the connections between cutting-edge research in different fields that go beyond their own areas of expertise.”

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. All individuals in plant sciences - including undergraduate students, graduate students, post-docs, faculty, staff and industry professionals - are invited to attend.

Undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs are also encouraged to present a poster in the symposium poster competition. Posters can cover any plant science research topic and do not need to be related to food security.

The symposium will take place from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. at the Beck Agricultural Center, 4550 U.S. 52 W, West Lafayette. Several travel scholarships are available to help cover symposium expenses and applications are due July 13.

Registration for the symposium and poster competition is open. For more information, visit the symposium website at https://ag.purdue.edu/agry/symposium/Pages/default.aspx.

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