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Third Annual International Food Security at University of Illinois Symposium

The tropics contain some of the most important biomes for managing a variety of environmental challenges from biodiversity to climate change.  But at the same time, agricultural expansion in South America shows that the tropics can be highly productive in terms of grain production.  Additionally, agricultural intensification holds promise to reduce poverty and malnutrition among the many rural poor residing in tropical zones.  This symposium addresses the complex tradeoffs between environmental stewardship and agricultural intensification in the tropics.

Symposium Agenda

Click here to download a pdf of the agenda.

Click here to view the Tropical Conservation Special Issue.

Watch the webcast of Dr. Pedro Sanchez's keynote lecture "The Emerging Fertilizer Value Chain in Africa" below!

Watch the webcasts of the speakers from the symposium and access their presentations below!

Dr. Peter Goldsmith, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

The Faustian Bargain of Tropical Grain Production


Dr. Stephanie Spera, Geography, Dartmouth College

Quantifying Two Decades of Expansion of Commercial Tropical Agriculture in Brazil


Dr. Cheryl Palm, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida

Targeting Agricultural Intensification and Commercialization in Africa: for Improved Environment and Livelihoods


Dr. Kaiyu Guan, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois

Crop Yield Estimation from Satellite for Tropical Agriculture: A Case Study in Viet Nam


Dr. Daniel Miller, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois

Agroforestry: A High-yielding, Environmentally Friendly Alternative for Food Security


Dr. Katherine Tully, Plant Sciences & Landscape Agriculture, University of Maryland

Fate of Nitrogen and Controls of Nitrogen Loss Under Intensifying African Maize Cultivation


Dr. Chris Neill, Woods Hole Research Center

Changes to Water Resources and Water Quality Associated with the Expansion and Intensification of Amazon Commercial Agriculture


Dr. Jeremy Guest, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois

Local Environmental Contamination Can Diminish Health and Nutritional Gains from Intensified Agriculture


Dr. Ximing Cai, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois

The Food-Energy-Water Nexus: Opportunities in the Tropics


Dr. Hope Michelson, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Small Farmer Agricultural Productivity: Soils, Supply Chains, and Commercial Prospects 


Mark Edge, Director of Collaborations for Developing Countries, Monsanto Company

Commercial Agriculture in Tropical Environments: An Industry Perspective


Dr. David LaBorde, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Land Use Changes and International Trade: Lessons Learned From the European Biofuel Mandates


Dr. Michael Coe, Woods Hole Research Center

Direct Climate Impacts of Commercial Agricultural Expansion


Dr. Avery Cohn, Fletcher School, Tufts University

Environmental Constraints on Increased Agricultural Production in the Brazilian Amazon


Dr. Jeffrey Brawn, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois

Ecological and Biodiversity Implications of Agricultural Development at Tropical Latitudes


Dr. Paulo Brando, Woods Hole Research Center

Role of Fire and Biodiversity in Brazil's Expanding Amazon Commercial Agricultural Landscape