Solving Global Issues Focus of Food From Thought Grad Students


Tackling global food issues will be the focus for 12 graduate students in the inaugural cohort of the Food From Thought research assistantship program beginning this September at the University of Guelph.

Pathobiology PhD student Shannon Cartwright is one of 12 Food From Thought research assistants selected this year

The research assistantships are part of the University’s Food From Thought research program intended to help find sustainable ways to feed the world’s growing population. Funded by $76.6 million from the federal government, that program includes more than $3 million for graduate student initiatives.

The students, representing all seven colleges on campus, will gain experiential learning opportunities in the agri-food sector. They will address global food issues with non-academic partners and U of G experts.

“The students will be given unique opportunities intended to foster entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Prof. Evan Fraser, scientific director of Food From Thought and director of U of G’s Arrell Food Institute.

He said the program is intended to use “big data” to improve food production and biodiversity.

“The program integrates and strengthens U of G’s data management and analysis capabilities across facilities and with external partners,” said Fraser.

The students selected are:

  • Leah Blechschmidt, Environmental Sciences;
  • Shannon Cartwright, Pathobiology;
  • Andrea DiNardo, Engineering;
  • Emily Duncan, Geography;
  • Cameron Fioret, Philosophy;
  • Xinjie (Lois) Lin, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences;
  • Melissa MacKinnon, Population Medicine;
  • Kristin Mattice, Food Science;
  • Midian Nascimento dos Santos, Animal Biosciences;
  • Andrew Nixon, Management;
  • Michelle Thompson, Plant Agriculture; and
  • Steven Lam, Population Medicine.