Global Food

16 graduate students named 2022-2023 MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures fellows

Sixteen University of Minnesota graduate students have been announced as the 2022-2023 cohort of fellows for the Global Food Ventures (GFV) as part of Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) partnership.

Through this fellowship program, students from the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM); the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS); and the School of Public Health (SPH) will seek solutions to the increasingly evident challenges posed by food insecurity and population growth. 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.

As part of the GFV program, the fellows will participate in activities designed to build their skills in communications, collaboration, and problem-solving as well as pursuing individual research projects. These research projects fall under GFV’s three focus areas: precision agriculture, informatics, crop/animal health, and food safety innovations for humans and animals.

Below is the list of recipients:

Vincenzo Averello, PhD student, CFANS
Advised by Adrian Hegeman, PhD
Project title: N/A

Julia Baker, PhD student, CVM
Advised by Kimberly VanderWaal, PhD
Project title: “Micro-evolution of PRRSV variants and association of genetic changes with rebreaks of clinical disease”

Estephany Cortes, MS student, CFANS
Advised by Steve Bowden, PhD
Project title: “Application of bacteriophages for biocontrol and detection of Salmonella and Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli in food systems”

Gerardo Diaz, MS student, CVM
Advised by Noelle Noyes, DVM, PhD
Project title: “Understanding the rumen microbiome to achieve optimal balance between calf health, production, and sustainability for Minnesota beef farmers”

Cainan Florentino, MS student, CFANS
Advised by Luciano Caixeta, DVM, PhD
Project title: “Investigating the association between rumination behavior in the dry period, hyperketonemia development and dairy cow performance in the first half of the subsequent lactation”

Stephen Gregg, PhD student, CFANS
Advised by Axel Garcia y Garcia, MS, PhD
Project title: “The Role of Annual and Perennial Winter Crops Rooting System on Modulating Crop Water Use and Quality”

Brittany Kralik, PhD student, CFANS
Advised by Baraem Pam Ismail, PhD
Project title: “Plant Protein Blending: Inducing Molecular Interactions to Enhance Texturization”

Jake Kundert, PhD student, CFANS
Advised by Jessica Gutknecht, MS, PhD
Project title: “Evaluating Field-Scale Agronomics and Ecosystem Services in Novel Forever Green Initiative Cropping Systems”

Miranda Medrano, PhD student, CVM
Advised by Marie R Culhane, DVM, PhD, and Cesar Corzo, DVM, MS, PhD
Project title: “Characterization and Description of Alternative Pig Farms in Minnesota”

Mariana Meneguzzi, PhD student, CVM
Advised by Montserrat Torremorell, DVM, PhD, and Noelle Noyes, DVM, PhD
Project title: “Targeting porcine viral pathogens using bait‐capture and long‐reading sequencing”

Jennifer Nicklay, PhD student, CFANS
Advised by Nic Jelinski, MS, PhD
Project title: “Exploring the impacts of urban agriculture through participatory science and planning”

Dhananjai Prabhakarn, MS student, CFANS
Advised by Anup Johny, MVS, PhD
Project title: “Investigating targeted probiotic approach against emerging Salmonella infantis”

Anay Ravelo, PhD student, CVM
Advised by Luciano Caixeta, DVM, PhD
Project title: “Understanding hyperketonemia and its association to the rumen environment and the 'longevity' of cows”

Lucas Roberts, PhD student, CFANS
Advised by Aaron Lorenz, PhD
Project title: “Battle of the oilseeds: Characterization of soybean traits relevant to a soybean‐pennycress intercropping system”

Rachel Schambow, PhD student, CVM
Advised by Andres Perez, DVM, PhD
Project title: “Enhanced passive surveillance protocols for early detection of African Swine Fever”

Rebekah Schulz, PhD student, CFANS
Advised by Joanne Slavin, MS, PhD
Project name: “Increasing oat nutrient density through improved soil health measures for continued growth of an equitable, profitable, and diverse food supply chain on the Minnesota landscape for food security now and into the future”