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Team Members

In the Digital Tools, Geospatial and Farming Systems Consortium are participating Principal Investigators, Post Doctoral Researchers, and Students from Kansas State University, Michigan State University, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, and the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators
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 Ignacio Ciampitti

Lead Principal Investigator

Ignacio Ciampitti is a Professor in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Ignacio studies the impact of management practices on overall farming productivity, investigating interactions between plant processes, crop growth modeling, and remote sensing.


Amirpouyan Nejadhashemi

Co-Principal Investigator

Pouyan Nejadhashemi is a Michigan State University Foundation Professor and faculty in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. His research team has been consulted by many national and international governmental agencies to help make informed decisions on such subjects as water resource management, sustainable crop production and climate change mitigation strategies.


Jason Neff

Co-Principal Investigator

Jason Neff is a Professor in the Environmental Studies program at CU Boulder where he also is the director of the Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado (SILC) which is intended to accelerate innovative new approaches to sustainable development. He is now is mostly focused on technology innovation and use of geospatial and mobile technologies in agricultural development. 


Molly Brown

Co-Principal Investigator

Molly Brown is a research professor position in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP). She has two decades of experience in interdisciplinary research using satellite remote sensing data and models with socio-economic and demographic information to better understand food security drivers.


Kathryn Grace

Co-Principal Investigator

Kathryn Grace is an Associate Professor of Geography, Environment, and Society at the University of Minnesota. She studies and teaches topics related to Population Geography, Demography, and Health. Her research highlights the role of context in various aspects of maternal and child health - primarily reproductive health and family planning decision-making. Her aim is to build on past approaches and theories found in demography and public health.


Zhenong Jin

Co-Principal Investigator

Zhenong Jin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at University of Minnesota. Being a broadly trained researcher in geospatial science, he leverages statistical and process-based models, remote sensing, and machine learning approaches to advance the science that enhance the adaptability and sustainability of crop production, food security and ecosystem functioning in the context of climate change and human interventions.


James Gerber

Co-Principal Investigator

James Gerber is the co-director and lead scientist of the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE). His research develops solutions for improving global food security while minimizing agriculture’s impact on earth’s ecosystems. He leads the team’s efforts to collect, map, and analyze global-scale data on agricultural practices and the evolving vulnerability of the world’s food supply. 


Paul West

Co-Principal Investigator

Paul C. West has over 25 years of experience developing science-based solutions for conserving biodiversity and improving food security through collaborations with partners at local, regional, and global scales. Since 2011, he has been the co-director and lead scientist for the Global Landscapes Initiative, which is designed to find solutions to balance food security and the environment. 

Post Doctoral Researchers

Post Doctoral Research

Danilo Tedesco

Post Doctoral Researcher

Danilo Tedesco obtained an Associate degree in Precision Agriculture from the São Paulo State Technology College (FATEC - Shunji Nishimura). From 2017 to 2021, he received an M.S. and Ph.D. at the São Paulo State University (Unesp). During this period, he dedicated his efforts to developing research on assessing crop traits using remote sensing, image processing, and data science techniques. 



Prakash Kumar Jha

Post Doctoral Researcher

Prakash Kumar Jha earned his BS in Agricultural Sciences from Banaras Hindu University. His obtained an MS in Environmental Sciences from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and his Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Sciences from Michigan State University. Prakash is currently engaged in the projects on Lonsinger Sustainability Research Farm, and the Geospatial and Farming Systems Research Consortium (GFC) at Kansas State University.


Ana Carcedo

Post Doctoral Researcher

Ana Carcedo obtained a BS in Agronomy from the University of Rosario, Argentina in 2015. In the same institution, she did her doctoral  thesis, and also worked as a professor teaching soybean and sunflower crop management in undergrad courses. She has been working at modeling and simulation, mainly with APSIM model. Her goal is to develop frameworks that have an impact on the farmer’s labor.


Michael Eggen 

Post Doctoral Researcher

Michael Eggen received a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an interdisciplinary researcher with interests in sustainable development and the human dimensions of global change. His research seeks to contextualize and center communities of the Global South in geospatial modeling and earth observation analyses through mixed methods approaches. He has ongoing projects in Ethiopia, Indonesia, and across West Africa.


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Eeswaran Rasu 

Ph.D. Candidate

Eeswaran is a Ph.D. candidate in Crop and Soil Sciences and a graduate research assistant from Michigan State University. He is also doing specialization in Ecological Food and Farming Systems (EFFS). His research interests are Agronomy, Climate Risk Management, and Crop and livestock Modeling.


Josué Kpodo

Ph.D. Candidate

Josué Kpodo is currently pursuing a joint Ph.D. degree in Biosystems Engineering and Computer Science at Michigan State University. He contributed to the development of various agricultural tools, mainly, CAMDT (Climate Agriculture Management Decision Tool), a tool for optimizing crop and water management decisions and for predicting ear rot disease in Michigan-based corn using rigorous machine learning models. 


Farrah Tek

Ph.D. Candidate

Farrah is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Her interdisciplinary research is on the legal mobilization of subaltern actors under authoritarianism, focusing on the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) and garment factory workers in Cambodia. 


Luciana Nieto

Ph.D. Candidate

Luciana is an Agricultural Engineer from Argentina. Currently she is doing her Ph.D. in Agronomy and, specialization in Statistic at Kansas State University. Her focus is on the use of remote sensing and data analytics.


Ruthie Burrows

Ph.D. Student

Ruthie Burrows is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Society at the University of Minnesota and a Population Studies trainee at the Minnesota Population Center. Her current research combines methods and data from multiple disciplines like demography, climate science, and remote sensing explore questions related to food insecurity, child health, food availability, and climate variability.  

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Tara Ippolito

Ph.D. Student

Tara Ippolito is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Studies department at University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a member of the Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado. After her undergraduate education, she focused in agriculture systems and now uses her quantitative skill set to study the biophysical challenges faced by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.


Hannah Ferriby

MS Graduated

Hannah Ferriby finished her master's degree at Michigan State University focused on Biosystems Engineering in 2021. She specializes in using remote sensing for agricultural and environmental research. She worked in Google Earth Engine to acquire different datasets such as NDVI, temperature, and soil moisture to further analyze their combined impacts on water demand.


Hoda Razavi

Ph.D. Student 

Hoda Razavi is a Ph.D. Student at the University of Michigan. She obtained her BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tehran. Therefore, she decided to pursue her Master's degree in Water and Hydraulic Structures Engineering at the Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology. Currently, she is focusing on developing different millet production scenarios in Senegal. 


Kieron Moller

MS Student

Kieron is a Master’s student at Michigan State University in Biosystems Engineering. He is refining a crop-livestock model (FarmSim) to compare different agricultural techniques in Senegal, Bangladesh, and Cambodia. While attending Michigan State University he completed an undergraduate degree in Biosystems Engineering with a concentration in Ecosystems. He is passionate about helping the environment through climate change mitigation.

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Carlos Hernández

Agricultural Engineer

Carlos Hernández obtained a BS in Agronomy  from the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina. He has integrated work teams as an agronomic advisor, providing support in precision agriculture. Currently, his research is focused on the analysis of spatial databases integrating satellite, meteorological, soil, and management information in order to generate automatic learning models that can classify similar environments and estimate the impact of environmental variables on the productivity of various crops in Senegal.

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