Health and Well-Being

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Complete profiles of the multiple research interests of many faculty and senior academics can be found in the Faculty and Senior Academics Directory. To search for faculty in specific disciplinary areas, see lists in the various Graduate Fields

Culinary and Health Benefits

Plants produce a vast array of natural products which can enhance our lives through the flavor and health benefits which they add to our food

  • Michael Mazourek’s program is focused in part on development of specialty vegetables such as small, extra sweet squash and peppers with altered taste profiles for enhancement of the aesthetic and culinary appeal of New York produce.
  • Michael Gore’s research group engages in genetic dissection of metabolic seed traits to increase content of nutrients such as vitamin A and  provitamin A carotenoids
  • Riu Hai Liu's program focuses on characterization of health-promoting compounds present in different foods

Enhancing the Human Environment

Promote the significance of public gardens and natural areas to human health and education

  • Christopher Dunn, Director of Cornell Botanic Gardens, oversees Cornell’s 3500 acres of botanical gardens, arboretum, and network of natural preserves, and promotes a mission of conservation and community engagement.
  • Sonja Skelly, Educational Director for Cornell Botanic Gardens, develops educational programming on the history and role of plants in human well-being
  • Don Rakow teaches and publishes on the design, history, and management of public gardens

Promote and optimize the growth of plants in urban and other developed settings

  • Nina Bassuk’s research program is focused on improving the quality of urban life by enhancing the functions of plants within the urban ecosystem
  • Thomas Whitlow’s research concerns restoration of ecosystem functions to cities and other human impacted landscapes

Provide horticultural resources for growers and producers of turf and ornamentals

  • Mark Bridgen, Director of the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, focuses on new plant development, breeding, and propagation of herbaceous ornamentals and flowers
  • Bill Miller’s program addresses floricultural crop production and postharvest physiology, especially with flower bulbs
  • Frank Rossi’s research program addresses practical problems in turfgrass management with emphasis on environmental compatibility and economic feasibility

Promote garden-based learning for its restorative and educational potential

  • Lori Brewer works with CCE educators and Master Gardener Volunteers to promote successful gardening experiences for NYS households
  • Marcia Eames-Sheavly if focused on enhancing aesthetic appreciation of plants and promoting connection with plants through garden-based learning
  • Nancy Wells studies human relationships to the built and natural environment with a focus on the influence of school gardens on ecological literacy, fruit and vegetable consumption, and physical activity

Faculty and senior researchers working in Human Health and Well-being:
Nina Bassuk - Lori Brewer - Mark Bridgen - Christopher Dunn - Marcia Eames-Sheavly - Riu Hai Liu - Michael Mazourek - Bill Miller - Donald Rakow - Frank Rossi - Sonja Skelly - Conrad Vispo - Nancy Wells - Thomas Whitlow