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Cluster Hires in Sustainable Food Systems

Advisory Board

Faculty Spotlights

Cluster Hires in Sustainable Food Systems

The University of Michigan Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the School for Environment and Sustainability, the School of Public Health, and the Urban and Regional Planning Program of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning have completed a faculty cluster hire of 5 faculty in the field of  Sustainable Food Systems.

Cluster Hires

  • Regina S. Baucom, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Jennifer Blesh, Assistant Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability
  • Meha Jain, Assistant Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability
  • Lesli Hoey, Assistant Professor, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Andrew Jones, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health

Participating Units

The cluster examines the path toward a sustainable and equitable food system, spanning the natural and social sciences. Sustainable Food Systems is part of a five-year, $30-million initiative announced in 2007 by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman to recruit scholars whose work crosses boundaries and to bring experts from different fields together to explore significant questions or complex problems.

The imperative is urgent to evaluate potential transformations of food and agriculture. The university is the ideal place to forge the intellectual foundation that will inform and guide the construction of a coherent path toward a sustainable and equitable food system, helping to reinvigorate rural and urban communities, promote environmental protection, and enhance economies at state, national and international levels. The complex challenges of transforming the food system require an approach that engages multiple disciplines and considers systemic effects such as feedbacks and interdependencies.

“This is an exciting time to expand the faculty interested in sustainable food systems. The student interest is tremendous and there are many opportunities for research and engagement,” said Professor Catherine Badgley, who coordinated the cluster hire for EEB.

Together with faculty already working on related topics in these and other units, the cluster will create an interdisciplinary program that will provide opportunities for a new generation of natural and social scientists, as well as applied scholar-practitioners. The cluster combines disciplinary specialization with commitment to interdisciplinary research on the food system in relation to the environment, human health and equity.

Read more about the U-M interdisciplinary faculty cluster hires

Advisory Board

The Sustainable Food Systems Initiative Advisory Board is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of senior faculty: