Research with a public purpose

Complex problems require complex solutions. 

Our experts collaborate across disciplines to ensure that holistic approaches address deep rooted social inequalities that affect every aspect of human and natural worlds. 

Social & economic development

Engaging with local and international communities to better understand and improve economic, historical, political and social contexts and inequalities.

Environment & development

Promoting environmental sustainability by diving into topics of climate change, natural resources, ecosystems, biodiversity, policy and more. 

Food & agricultural systems

Driving innovation in food, sustainability, plant breeding, crop improvement, production and more. 

Our Approach is Transdisciplinary

We focus our expertise through multiple lenses to catalyze sustainable development and life-changing impact in New York and around the globe.

Food Security

Averting hunger in sub-Saharan Africa requires data and synthesis

As COVID-19 disrupts food systems around the world, a pivot to more agile and inclusive data collection and analysis is critical to avert widespread hunger, according to Cornell Global Development experts in a comment piece published Aug. 5 in Nature.

Global health & Nutrition

Children in refugee camps get better health, nutrition via e-vouchers

Research shows that electronic food vouchers provide families more effective ways to purchase a greater range of nutritionally diverse foods, boosting the overall health of children in their development.

Gender

Gender-sensitive farmer training program transforms Kenya’s households

The Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) team analyzes imbalances on farms in sub-Saharan Africa to reveal new ways to increase women’s participation in agriculture. 

Data & machine learning

Project partners researchers, librarians & AI to fight hunger

Climate-resilient crops are at the center of one of Ceres2030’s eight research questions, which seek to identify interventions that will improve the lives of the world’s poorest farmers while preserving the environment. 

Agriculture & food systems

Studying crop establishment to improve harvests and diversify crops

Experts in the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) use agro-ecological methods to increase the productivity of rice with African farmers in upstate New York by changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients. 

Climate Change

Studying solar leasing on farmland in New York to better understand issues

New York state has set ambitious goals to wean its economy off fossil fuels by 2050 while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 85%. To help reach those goals, researchers in Global Development are studying ways the state’s mix of sun and farmland will factor into plans.

Plant Science

NextGen Cassava research accelerates cassava breeding worldwide

“A complete understanding of cassava’s genetic architecture is the critical step needed to accelerating genetic improvement and bring lasting benefits to farmers and consumers who depend on this crop for food and income throughout the world,” said Chiedozie Egesi.

Economics

Researchers develop market for East Coast broccoli

New research demonstrates that the way in which you communicate where products were grown has an impact on consumer habits

Wheat growing in a field
Tents housing children at a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Farmers stand outside their house
A man walking through a field of wheat with a stick slung over his shoulder carrying several bags
A man working in a rice field on a sunny day.
Dryden solar farm
A man walks through a cassava field
Miguel Gomez draws on a whiteboard.

Polson Institute for Global Development

Student Research Spotlight

Learn more about our next-generation leaders who are at the forefront of compelling research in and out of the classroom.

Ben Fields '20

Inspired by his personal experience as a Black student in the Ivy League, Ben analyzed how racism, micro-aggressions and human behavior contribute to the academic career of Black students. His research is not only an important contribution to academia, but also offers a new perspective on how a sense of belonging and engagement play a critical role in diversity and inclusion on college campuses.

Keelin Kelly ‘20

With a goal to better understand how climate change impacts farmers and agriculture, Keelin travelled to Armenia to speak directly with farmers, hear their experiences and concerns, and find ways to involve them in climate change decision-making. “Making connections with people, sharing resources and knowledge and working together towards a better solution is truly irreplaceable,” Keelin shared.

Elena Setiadarma ’21

The intersection between agriculture and technology drove Elena to explore innovative ways to take her passion for issues of gender and income inequality and transform her ideas into reality. “Conducting global research means overcoming language barriers, practicing how to ask thoughtful questions, and presenting and consolidating findings from the field,” Elena said.

Ben Fields graduation
A woman in a red jacket smiles as she is photographed in front of water
Headshot of Elena Setiadarma

Leading innovative action in Global Development

Our experts span diverse disciplines and harness multidisciplinary thinking to drive real-world impact.

Saurabh Mehta
Saurabh Mehta

Assistant Professor

Nutritional Sciences (CHE)

Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

Saurabh Mehta
  • sm939 [at] cornell.edu
Global health
Epidemiology
Nutrition
Headshot of Margaret Smith
Margaret Smith

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Department of Global Development

Margaret Smith
Maize breeding and genomics
Abiotic stress tolerance
Insect and disease resistance
Philip McMichael
Philip McMichael

Professor

Department of Global Development

Philip McMichael
Food regimes
Food sovereignty
Agrarian questions
Lindy Williams
Lindy Williams

Professor

Department of Global Development

Lindy Williams
Migration
Family Formation
Aging
Thomas Hirschl
Thomas Hirschl

Professor

Department of Global Development

Thomas Hirschl
Demography, Social Stratification, Ideology
Poverty, Social Policy, Community Action
Youth Development, Social Behavior
John Sipple
John Sipple

Director of Graduate Studies; Professor

Department of Global Development

John Sipple
Pk-12 education
Sociology of communities
Policy
Ronnie Coffman
Ronnie Coffman

Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor

Director of International Programs; International Professor of Global Development

Department of Global Development

International Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Ronnie Coffman
International agriculture & development
Crop improvement
Agricultural biotechnology
Max Pfeffer stands in a library to have his portrait taken
Max Pfeffer

Executive Dean; Professor

Department of Global Development

Max Pfeffer
Agricultural Labor
Community Development
International Migration
Marvin Pritts
Marvin Pritts

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Plant Sciences Major

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Professor

Department of Global Development

Marvin Pritts
Berry crops
Season extension
Sustainable production practices
Scott Peters
Scott Peters

Professor

Department of Global Development

Scott Peters
Political theory & public philosophy
Community organizing & development
Oral history
Johannes Lehmann
Johannes Lehmann

Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor

Department of Global Development

Johannes Lehmann
Soil biogeochemistry, fertility management, organic matter, and carbon and nutrient cycling from wastes
Soil carbon sequestration and biochar systems
Sustainable agriculture in the tropics
Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue
Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue

Professor

Department of Global Development

Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue
Education, Development and Inequality
Population and Development
Sociological Research Methods
Rebecca Nelson
Rebecca Nelson

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Professor

Department of Global Development

Rebecca Nelson
Genetics of quantitative disease resistance in plants
International agriculture and rural development
Mycotoxin management
Connie Yuan
Y. Connie Yuan

Professor

Department of Communication

Professor

Department of Global Development

Y. Connie Yuan
Organizational communication
Intercultural communication
Knowledge management
Fouad Makki
Fouad Makki

Director of the Polson Institute for Global Development; Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

Fouad Makki
Uneven and Combined Development
Nature and Modernity
State Formation and Development
Alaka Basu
Alaka Basu

Professor

Department of Global Development

Alaka Basu
Child Health and Mortality
Culture and Demographic Behavior
Gender and Development
Wendy Wolford
Wendy Wolford

Vice Provost for International Affairs; Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor

Department of Global Development

Wendy Wolford
Rachel Bezner Kerr
Rachel Bezner Kerr

Professor

Department of Global Development

Rachel Bezner Kerr
Agroecology
Food And Agriculture
Gender
Lori Leonard
Lori Leonard

Professor; Director of MPS in Global Development

Department of Global Development

Lori Leonard
Gender
Waste & garbage
Ethnography
John Hoddinott
John Hoddinott

H.E. Babcock Professor of Food and Nutrition Economics and Policy

Nutritional Sciences (CALS)

Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

John Hoddinott
Economics
Nutrition
Food security
John Zinda
John Zinda

Assistant Professor

Department of Global Development

John Zinda
Environmental sociology
Agriculture and rural livelihoods
China
Jenny Goldstein
Jenny Goldstein

Assistant Professor

Department of Global Development

Jenny Goldstein
  • goldstein [at] cornell.edu
Political ecology
Digital geography
Southeast Asia
Andy McDonald
Andrew McDonald

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

Andrew McDonald
  • ajm9 [at] cornell.edu
Cropping systems ecology
Agricultural sustainability, food security, water resources and climate
International agriculture, policy, and applied social sciences
Robin Blakely-Armitage
Robin Blakely-Armitage

Senior Extension Associate

Department of Global Development

Robin Blakely-Armitage
Community And Regional Development
Community Resilience And Disaster Risk
Demographic Trends
David Kay
David Kay

Senior Extension Associate

Department of Global Development

David Kay
Community & Economic Development
Community, Energy Transitions & Climate Change
Governance & Conflict Resolution
Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman
Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman

Education Minor Coordinator and Senior Extension Associate

Department of Global Development

Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman
Community development
Civic engagement
Engaged learning and research
Gretchen Rymarchyk
Gretchen Rymarchyk

Extension Associate

Department of Global Development

Gretchen Rymarchyk
Education Policy
Public Education
Rural Schools
Lawrence Van De Valk
Lawrence Van De Valk

Senior Extension Associate and Executive Director, LEAD New York

Department of Global Development

Lawrence Van De Valk
Peter Gregory
Peter Gregory

Director, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship

Department of Global Development

Adjunct Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Peter Gregory
Global Agriculture and Development
Agricultural Biotechnology
Mary Jo Dudley
Mary Jo Dudley

Senior Extension Associate and Director, Cornell Farmworker Program

Department of Global Development

Mary Jo Dudley
Agricultural Labor
Immigrant Workers & Communities
Farmworkers
KV Raman
Kandukuri Raman

Project Director, Center of Excellence for Agriculture in Egypt and Associate Director, Special Projects in International Programs

Department of Global Development

International Professor (Adjunct)

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Kandukuri Raman
International agriculture and rural development
Value-added marketing
Agricultural biotechnology, Integrated Pest Management and technology transfer
Sarah GIroux
Sarah Giroux

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Lecturer and Research Associate

Department of Global Development

Sarah Giroux
Decompositional Methods
Demography of Inequality and Poverty
Empirics Of Development and Inequality
David Little
David Little

Senior Extension Associate and Executive Director, Rural Schools Association

Department of Global Development

David Little
terry tucker
Terry Tucker

Director of Undergraduate Studies, International Agriculture and Rural Development; Associate Director

Department of Global Development

Senior Lecturer

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Terry Tucker
International agriculture & rural development
Roles & processes for food systems innovation
Participatory research & extension
Maricelis Acevedo
Maricelis Acevedo

Sr. Research Associate

Department of Global Development

Adjunct Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Maricelis Acevedo
Chris Barrett
Chris Barrett

Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Professor

Department of Global Development

Chris Barrett
Agricultural economics
Development economics
Food security
Annalisa Raymer
Annalisa Raymer

Director of Community Learning and Service Partnership (CLASP); Lecturer

Department of Global Development

Annalisa Raymer
Ecosystem of learning
Education and development
Learning cities
Ed Mabaya
Ed Mabaya

Sr. Research Associate

Department of Global Development

Ed Mabaya
Applied Economics and Policy
Food and Agricultural Economics
International and Development Economics and Policy
jeff perry
Jeffrey Perry

Senior Lecturer

Department of Global Development

Jeffrey Perry
Extension Education
Teaching Methods
Youth Leadership Development
Hale Ann Tufan
Hale Ann Tufan

Project Director, GREAT, AWARE, NextGen Cassava, and Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement

Department of Global Development

Adjunct Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Hale Ann Tufan
Jaron Porciello
Jaron Porciello

Associate Director for Research Data Engagement

Department of Global Development

Jaron Porciello
Digital agriculture
Data analytics
Meta science, evidence-based policy, and building partnerships
Allison Chatrchyan
Allison Chatrchyan

Senior Research Associate

Department of Global Development

Senior Research Associate

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Allison Chatrchyan
Elisabeth Garner
Elisabeth Garner

Gender and Agriculture Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Global Development

Elisabeth Garner
  • eg65 [at] cornell.edu
Sarah Evanega
Sarah Evanega

Director, Cornell Alliance for Science

Department of Global Development

International Associate Professor (adjunct)

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Sarah Evanega
Science communications & science advocacy
Diversity & inclusion
Biotechnology, policy & social issues
Miguel Gomez
Miguel Gomez

Robert G. Tobin Associate Professor

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

Miguel Gomez
Food and agricultural economics
Food marketing and distribution
Food value chains and sustainability
Xue Zhang
Xue Zhang

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Global Development

Xue Zhang
  • xz435 [at] cornell.edu
Regional economics and equity
Community development policy
Public health
Eric Danquah
Eric Danquah

Visiting Scientist

Department of Global Development

Eric Danquah
  • edanquah [at] wacci.ug.edu.gh
Genetic diversity
Biotechnologies in crop improvement
Farmers’ knowledge and plant breeding
Prabhu Pingali
Prabhu Pingali

Professor

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Professor

Department of Global Development

Professor

Nutritional Sciences

Prabhu Pingali
Food and Nutrition Policy
International Agricultural Development
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
Tess Pendergrast
Tess Pendergrast

Lecturer

Department of Global Development

Tess Pendergrast
  • tlp59 [at] cornell.edu
Inequality studies
Sociology of public health and environmental justice
Engaged education
Andrew Ofstehage
Andrew Ofstehage

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Global Development

Andrew Ofstehage
Chiedozie Egesi
Chiedozie Egesi

Project Director, Nextgen Cassava

Department of Global Development

Adjunct Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Chiedozie Egesi
Biotechnology tools for the genetic improvement of cassava
Gender responsive agricultural research
Ben Houlton Headshot
Benjamin Houlton

Ronald P. Lynch Dean

Office of the Dean

Professor

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Professor

Department of Global Development

Benjamin Houlton
  • bzhoulton [at] cornell.edu
Global ecosystem processes
Climate change solutions
Agricultural sustainability