Our Research Impact
As purpose-driven pioneers, CALS scientists observe the world through a unique lens — unraveling complex challenges through artful inquiry and methodical exploration.
Fundamental to applied, this is research for the real world. This is research that matters. These are research firsts that have lasting impact.
From rural communities to the royal family, our researchers get recognized for their life-changing work. Discover why.
By the Way
His apple-related fame landed him on a “Jeopardy!” question, under the above category, which read: “Roger Way tasted 200 of these a day, helping him develop the Empire and Jonagold types.”
In 1983, Barbara McClintock, M.S. ’25, Ph.D. ’27, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for work she had done in the 1940s and '50s on mobile genetic elements.
Growing the Greenhouse Industry
In the early 1960s, Ray Sheldrake and James W. Boodley developed the Cornell Peat-Lite Mixes which formed the basis for modern potting soil mixes.
new beetle species
James Liebherr discovered the new beetle species in Tahiti, putting him at having discovered about half of the 400 total known Mecyclothorax species.
Day shelf life
CALS food scientists naturally increased the shelf life of cottage cheese from 21 days to 50-90 days. More cottage cheese is made in New York than any other state.
Top Tater for Potato Chips
The Lamoka variety fries to a light color, maintains its quality in storage, and is also resistant to pests and disease.
No Matter How You Slice It
Almost all slicing cucumbers in the U.S. derive their disease resistance from plants Henry Munger bred.
A Crystalizing Concept
In 1926, James B. "Jackbean" Sumner was the first to isolate an enzyme called urease.
Orange You Glad?
Michael Dickson developed the orange cauliflower, a variety high in beta carotene, which is used by the human body to make the essential nutrient vitamin A.
Laureates, Fellows & Award Winners
- James Batcheller Sumner (1887 - 1995) - Professor of Biochemistry (faculty 1929-1955), 1946 Nobel Peace Prize in Chemistry for crystallization the first enzyme
- George Wells Beadle (1903 - 1989), Ph.D. '30 -Professor of Molecularly Biology and Genetics, 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the "one gene, one enzyme" hypothesis
- Robert W. Holley (1922 - 1993), Ph.D. '47 -Professor of Biochemistry, 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for cracking the genetic code of ribonucleic acid (RNA)
- Norman Ernest Borlaug (1914 - 2009) - Father of the Green Revolution, Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large 1982-88, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for improving cultivation methods to combat world hunger
- Barbara McClintock (1902 - 1992), B.S. '23, M.A. '25, Ph.D. '27 - World-Renowned Cytogeneticist, Professor of Genetics 1927-74, 1983 Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on mobile genetic elements. The United States Postal Service commissioned a stamp in her honor in 2005.
- Bik-Kwoon Tye (Molecular Biology and Genetics) - elected in 2023
- Johannes Lehmann (Soil and Script Sciences) - elected in 2023
- Gregory Martin (Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology) - elected in 2022
- Christopher Barrett (Dyson and Global Development) - elected in 2022
- Maureen Hanson (Molecular Biology and Genetics) - elected in 2021
- Anurag Agrawal (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) - elected in 2021
- Susan McCouch (Plant Breeding and Genetics)- elected in 2018
- James J. Giovannoni (Plant Breeding and Genetics) - elected in 2016 (adjunct professor)
- John T. Lis (Molecular Biology and Genetics) - elected in 2015
- Edward Buckler (Plant Breeding and Genetics) - elected in 2014
- June B. Nasrallah (Plant Biology) - elected in 2003
- Steve Tanksley (Plant Breeding and Genetics) - elected in 1995
- Jeffrey W. Roberts, (Molecular Biology and Genetics) elected in 1999
- Wendell Roelofs (Entomology) - elected in 1985 (emeritus)
- Dale Bauman (Animal Science) - elected in 1988 (emeritus)
- Jean-Yves Parlange,* Biological and Environmental Engineering (2006)
- Norman R. Scott,* Biological and Environmental Engineering (1990)
- 2003: Pedro A. Sanchez, B.S. ’62, M.S. ’64, Ph.D. ’68 - Soil Science, in South America. He led a team that transformed 75 million acres of marginal land in Brazil into arable productivity, one of the largest such conversions ever
- 1981: Barbara McClintock, B.S. ’23, M.A. ’25, Ph.D. ’27; Faculty 1927-74 - Genetics
- Robert Chandler, Jr. - Agronomy, Former Professor
- John "Mr. Potato" Niederhauser - Alumnus - B.S. and Ph.D., Plant Pathology
- Per Pinstrup-Andersen - IP-CALS, Retired Professor, Nutrition w/Human Ecology
- Pedro Sanchez - Alumnus - B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. Soil Science
- Colin McClung - Alumnus - M.S. and Ph.D. Soil Science
- George McGovern - Brief Lecturer at Cornell in 1990
- Jan Low - Alumna - M.S. Ag Economics, Ph.D. Production Economics, Dyson School
- Prabhu Pingali, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (2021)
- Jeremy Searle, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2020)
- John W. Fitzpatrick, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2020)
- Catherine Kling, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (2019)
- Cédric Feschotte, Molecular Biology and Genetics (2019)
- Ronnie Coffman, Global Development/International Programs (2019)
- Corrie Moreau, Entomology (2018)
- Karl Joseph Niklas, Plant Biology (2018)
- Charles Walcott, Neurobiology and Behavior (2018)
- Martin Wiedmann, Food Science (2018)
- Joseph B. Yavitt, Natural Resources (2018)
- Daniel Barbash, Molecular Biology & Genetics (2017)
- Amanda Rodewald, Natural Resources and Lab of Ornithology (2017)
- Christine Smart, School of Integrative Plant Science (2017)
- Sidney Liebovich (2016)
- Kathryn Boor, Food Science (2015)
- Patricia Johnson, Animal Science (2013)
- Rui Hai Liu, Food Science (2011)
- Michael Scanlon (2009)
- John Schimenti (2008)
- Bruce Lewenstein (2002)
- Maureen Hanson, Molecular Biology and Genetics (2021)
- Harry Walter Greene, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2014)
- Anthony P. Bretscher, Molecular Biology and Genetics (2018)
- Kenneth J. Kemphues, Molecular Biology and Genetics (2013)
- John T. Lis, Molecular Biology and Genetics (2013)
- Sandra L. Vehrencamp, Neurobiology and Behavior; Laboratory of Ornithology (2013)
- Ronald Raymond Hoy, Neurobiology and Behavior (2010)
- Stephen T. Emlen, Neurobiology and Behavior (2007)
- Scott D. Emr, Molecular Biology and Genetics (2004)
- Thomas D. Seeley, Neurobiology and Behavior (2001)
- Malden C. Nesheim, Nutritional Sciences (1995)
- Jeffrey W. Roberts, Molecular Biology and Genetics (1995)
- Frank H. T. Rhodes, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; President Emeritus (1989)
- Wendell L. Roelofs, Entomology, Cornell Geneva Campus (1986)
- 1994 - Thomas Eisner
- 1983 - Wendell Roelofs
- 1976 - Efraim Racker
- 1970 - Barbara McClintock, B.S. '23, M.A. '25, Ph.D '27, faculty 1927
- 2020 - Johannes Lehmann, School of Integrative Plant Science, Soil and Crop Sciences Section. The award recognizes Lehmann’s lifetime achievement in soil science, pushing frontiers in methods, approaches and concepts particularly his research and teaching in the areas of biochar, carbon sequestration and climate change, and the exploration of the art-science interface.
- 2002 - Dennis Gonsalves, Plant Pathology. Internationally known for developing the ringspot virus-resistant papaya that saved the Hawaiian papaya industry. (No longer at Cornell.)
- 1998 - Steve Tanksley, Plant Breeding & Genetics. Developed the first molecular maps of rice and tomatoes. Tanksley used these genetic guides for the identification of trait locations on genes, and he was the first plant geneticist to use map-based cloning of a pest-resistance gene in a crop plant.
- 1977 - Wendell Roelofs, Entomology. Internationally known for his pioneering research with insect pheromones.
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