Hands-on research for 43 graduate students

More than forty graduate students performed hands-on research in 2020 in fields, greenhouses and laboratories.

Our graduate students have the unique opportunity to apply their research to develop solutions for agricultural industries in New York state and beyond. The valuable learning opportunities graduate students have on our campus help them develop food and agricultural research breakthroughs with lasting impact.

A woman waters plants on a wire shelf

Adrienne Gorny Ph.D. '19, assistant professor of plant nematology at North Carolina State University, researches diseases that affect the North Carolina sweet potato industry. Her experiences as a graduate student at Cornell AgriTech helped foster a career trajectory in academic research and extension.

A woman standing in front of a wall

As a graduate student at Cornell AgriTech, Ashley Leach Ph.D. '19 helped the New York onion industry battle onion thrips, a devastating pest. Leach worked closely with Brian Nault, professor entomology, to develop long-term solutions for New York onion producers. Her Cornell AgriTech experiences helped paved the way for her to become a postdoctoral associate at Purdue University.

Man in front of hemp plants.

Producing hemp with THC levels under the legal limits is a challenge for New York state growers. Jacob Toth, a second-year Ph.D. candidate at Cornell AgriTech, had the unique opportunity to be first author on a groundbreaking research paper that proved THC levels are based on hemp genetics rather than the environment. Toth is working alongside Larry Smart, professor of horticulture, to breed hemp varieties with lower THC levels and that grow well in New York state.