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Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Purpose-driven science? We literally wrote the book on it.

The first undergraduate textbooks in mammology, ornithology and food science? Check. The first successful integration of botany and zoology in 1967’s Biological Science? Check. A 1925 handbook of nature study that is still a primary resource on the subject? Check.

The research of Cornell CALS scientists, students and staff hasn’t just informed discovery and innovation, but it is also the foundation upon which fields of study have been built.

We accelerate purpose-driven science by supporting inquiry that crosses disciplinary boundaries and stretches from discovery to invention.

three overlapping red circles highlighting CALS research areas

The world is complex and intertwined, and bringing global challenges into focus takes more than one lens.

That’s why we focus on three overlapping spheres of inquiry. 

We work relentlessly to understand the systems that drive the human and natural worlds. We do this to promote the well-being of communities and to ensure access to sustainable food, energy and environmental resources.

Because no single discipline is able to address the complex problems facing our communities, CALS researchers collaborate across disciplines.

By working in and across multiple scientific areas, CALS is able to address the challenges and opportunities of the greatest relevance, here in New York, across the nation and around the world.

Undergraduate research

Plant Science researchers working in a lab.

Opportunities include Andrew W. Mellon Student Research Grants, Arthur Boller Research Fund, Kieckhefer Adirondack Fellowships and Grant Proposal Application Instructions

Did you know?

Explore some of the discoveries that have changed lives and industries.

Disease-resistant papaya

In the 1990s, he developed the first-ever transgenic, disease-resistant papaya that effectively saved Hawaii’s $11 million papaya industry.

Five-kingdom scheme

He proposed the five-kingdom scheme of classification for organisms in 1969, adding three kingdoms – Monera (bacteria), Protista and fungi – to the previous two – animals and plants.

Nine plant patents

She holds nine U.S. plant patents: four sweet cherries, one tart cherry and four apple varieties, including SnapDragon™ and RubyFrost.™

First molecular maps

He developed the first molecular maps of both rice and tomatoes.

Red wine benefits

He was first to discover that resveratrol in red wine is beneficial for human heart health.

World’s first “gene gun”

They developed the world’s first “gene gun,” a prototype of which is found in the National Museum of American History.

Latest news, discoveries and breakthroughs

Explore the work we’re doing today and discover how it’s reshaping tomorrow.

Sea cucumber for sale in a market

News

Endangered sea cucumbers for sale in NYC food markets

After sampling food markets in Chinatown districts, Cornell researchers found evidence that some threatened species of sea cucumbers – a pricey, nutritious delicacy – get sold to consumers.

  • Cornell Atkinson
  • Biodiversity
  • Food
a Baltimore Oriole on a brand with pink flowers

News

Cocaine trafficking harms the environment and threatens habitats important to dozens of species of migratory birds, according to a new study.

  • Lab of Ornithology
  • Environment
  • Animals
a rhubarb leaf

News

Chemical ecologist Andre Kessler makes an argument for plant intelligence, citing goldenrod's flexible, real-time, adaptive responses when eaten.

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Communication
  • Environment