As the only horticulture program in the Ivy League, our faculty, staff and students work to shape the food systems and landscapes of today and tomorrow. If you've ever been shaded by trees on a city street, enjoyed an apple in winter, visited a farmer's market or watched a sporting event on natural grass, then it is likely you have been touched by our work. Our faculty includes more than 40 scientists working across New York to make discoveries and share knowledge about fruits, vegetables and landscape plants. They are called on by farmers, golf course managers, urban foresters, government officials and many others to solve problems around the globe.
Without plants, life on earth would cease to exist. Plants shape our environment and provide us with food, medicine, clothing, and shelter. Today we are faced with an unprecedented series of challenges – global climate change, food shortages, rapid loss of biodiversity, and new and evolving diseases are threatening both the health of the planet as well as human health and well-being. Research in the plant sciences is greatly significant in addressing aspects of each of these issues. Through its broad-based and innovative studies of basic plant biology, the Section of Plant Biology at Cornell University is positioned to contribute real and impactful solutions to these problems at local, state, national, and global scales.
Plant breeding is a critical tool in the fight for food security and responsible environmental stewardship in the 21st century. For more than one hundred years, Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University has been widely recognized for developing novel breeding methodologies and discovering economically important genes and varieties. Our scientists and students conduct translational research that bridges the gap between fundamental research and its implementation in applied breeding programs.
In Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology we are making new scientific discoveries about the interactions between plants and microbes and developing innovative solutions to address the challenges of 21st century agriculture across the globe. We offer students and postgraduate scholars unparalleled opportunities to study the origins and consequences of plant diseases. At the same time, we provide essential information to decision-makers, including agriculture producers, educators, policymakers, home gardeners, and local communities.
Our section addresses the challenge of developing environmentally sustainable agricultural systems to produce food for a world population that is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. We provide expertise to mitigate the impact of climate change and to develop the potential of sustainable biofuel crops. Our work on nutrient and carbon fluxes in ecosystems helps increase nutrient use efficiency, improve soil health and solve greenhouse-gas issues. We promote productive and sustainable land use practices on regional, national, and international scales.