Natalie Mahowald

Natalie Mahowald, a professor in Cornell’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, will join the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future as faculty director of environment on January 1 

Mahowald Appointed as Faculty Director

December 15, 2016

Natalie Mahowald

Natalie Mahowald, a professor in Cornell’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, will join the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future as faculty director of environment on January 1. She will replace Alex Travis, associate professor of reproductive biology in the Baker Institute for Animal Health, at the end of his four-year term. The Atkinson Center’s three faculty directors lead tightly linked programs in energy, environment, and economic development.

Natalie MahowaldNatalie Mahowald, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, will become Faculty Director of Environment for the Atkinson Center, on January 1

Mahowald’s recent research examines how climate change and land use shifts could mean more frequent and devastating plant epidemics. Such epidemics could infect staple food crops fundamental to world food security. This research, which received seed funding from the Atkinson Center’s Academic Venture Fund in 2016, brings together experts in atmospheric science, plant pathology, and computational sustainability to model how extreme weather events and changing agricultural landscapes could influence the way plant pathogens move across continents and oceans.

Mahowald was one of nine Cornell professors named to a list of the most influential scientific minds of 2015 compiled by Thomson Reuters. The recognition is based on how often a faculty member’s research is cited. She also helped launch a climate change minor at Cornell that gives undergraduates the opportunity to explore climate change from varied disciplinary perspectives, while getting a firm grounding in physical, ecological, and social sciences. 

Mahowald will work closely with Edwin “Todd” Cowen and Kieran Donaghy, who lead the Atkinson Center’s programs in energy and economic development.

“As the incoming faculty director of environment, I’m excited to work with the excellent faculty at Cornell interested in sustainability issues,” Mahowald said. “My goal will be to further integrate and leverage Cornell’s innovative research, especially on climate change issues, and increase the visibility and impact of Cornell’s research and teaching on the U.S. and the world.”

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