Research and Innovation

Feed the world. Protect the planet.

Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary solutions. For 150 years, the daring innovations of our graduates have shaped the world we know today. Now, we carry on that daring spirit, using cutting-edge technology and scientific advances to envision a better tomorrow.

Focused on identifying and addressing future challenges, students and faculty of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are mastering research in five areas of unique strength:

  • Climate change impacts, mitigation and adaptation;
  • Human dimensions of food, agriculture and natural resources;
  • Sustainable food systems, landscapes and ecosystems;
  • Genetics and genomics for plant, animal and ecosystem improvement; and
  • One Health intersections among animal, plant, human and ecosystem health.

Explore the exciting research we’re leading and the entrepreneurial ecosystem we’re building.

Robot captures imaging of root systems at UD Farm: youtube.com/watch?v=HKqOdS-i4BI

UD Research Initiatives

In an age of technology and innovation, the future has never looked more exciting.

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Upcoming events

Soil scientist Yan Jin awarded University’s highest faculty honor: youtube.com/watch?v=Rh__5gorAvo

Research News
  • Heat-Tolerant Varieties Important for High Snap Bean Yields

    February 01, 2023 | Written by Stephanie Speicher of Lancaster Farming
    Farmers in the Delmarva region are used to heat stress affecting their snap beans. Some Pennsylvania farmers are just far enough north to avoid the problem, but those in the southeastern part of the state could see the same issues. A nighttime temperature of 68 degrees or higher causes heat stress in beans, said Emmalea Ernest, a vegetable and fruit educator with University of Delaware Extension.
  • New Map of “Stopover Hotspots” Provides Insights for Conservation of Eastern U.S. Migratory Landbirds

    January 10, 2023 | Written by Christian J. Rivera for the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
    Every autumn, billions of birds migrate across the eastern U.S. en route to their wintering sites. As the birds undertake their journeys, however, they are faced with increasing threats, including habitat loss, storms, feral cats and other predators, pesticides, collisions with buildings, and climate change. Not only are individual species impacted by these threats, but so is the migratory phenomenon itself.
  • Climate-smart farming

    December 13, 2022 | Written by Dante LaPenta
    University of Delaware faculty member Kent Messer will investigate how to accelerate farmers’ adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Initiative, an effort that recently funded $2.8 billion in research projects nationwide.
  • Growing space crops

    November 28, 2022 | Written by Dante LaPenta
    Growing food in space is fraught with daunting challenges, including extreme environmental stressors like radiation and microgravity. Qingwu (William) Meng, an assistant professor of controlled-environment horticulture, is an expert on plant growth and light, which, as you’ll remember from your elementary school science or Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus, is an essential component in turning a seed into a mature plant.

Faculty expert spotlights

Amy Biddle
Townsend Hall
302-831-2642

Professor Biddle investigates the equine microbiome, which is the root of maintaining equine health and longevity.
Rodrigo Vargas
Townsend Hall
302-831-1386

Professor Vargas studies soil-plant-atmosphere interactions to understand the response of terrestrial ecosystems to management, extreme events, and global change

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