4 department faculty to receive promotion, tenure

Monday, May 7, 2018
Promotion and Tenure 2018
Patricio Grassini (from left), Amit Jhala, Dirac Twidwell and Haishun Yang will receive promotion and/or tenure in 2018.

Four Department of Agronomy and Horticulture faculty will receive promotion and/or tenure in 2018. They were honored April 24, along with 85 fellow University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty members, during a celebration at the Rococo Theatre.

Patricio Grassini was granted tenure and will be promoted to associate professor. Grassini received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture engineering from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a doctorate in agronomy from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He was a postdoctoral research associate at Nebraska from 2010–2011, a research assistant professor from 2011–2013 and then appointed assistant professor.

Grassini is an extension cropping system specialist and a fellow of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and the Center for Great Plains Study. He has a 70 percent research and 30 percent extension appointment. His research interests center on crop yield potential, yield-gap analysis, resource- and energy-use efficiency in cropping systems, and crop modeling. Grassini’s research covers a diverse range of cropping systems, including rainfed crops in Argentina and Sub-Saharan Africa and high-yield irrigated crops in the U.S. Corn Belt and South-East Asia.

He co-leads the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas that provides estimates of gaps between actual and potential yield for major cropping systems as well as crop water productivity. He leads a project to benchmark on-farm yields and input-use efficiency of maize-soybean systems in the U.S. Corn Belt. Grassini also leads the Yield Forecasting Center which provides real-time corn yield forecasts across a large number of locations in the United States.

Amit Jhala was granted tenure and will be promoted to associate professor. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from Gujarat Agricultural University, India, a Master of Science in weed science from Anand Agricultural University, India, and a doctorate in plant science/weed science from the University of Alberta, Canada. He started his career at Nebraska in 2012.

Jhala is an extension weed management specialist with a split research and extension appointment. His research is focused on quantifying pollen-mediated gene flow from herbicide-resistant to susceptible crops/weeds and management of glyphosate-resistant weeds in corn-soybean cropping systems. Jhala is currently conducting field experiments to evaluate new herbicides for weed control and risk assessment of multiple herbicide-resistant crops. He is leading and/or contributing to several weed management focused extension meetings and field days to help clientele for effective and economical weed management. More information on his program can be found at the Jhala Weed Management Lab.

Dirac Twidwell was granted tenure and will be promoted to associate professor. Twidwell received a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Missouri University of Science and Technology, a Master of Science in rangeland ecology and management from Oklahoma State University, and a doctorate in ecosystem science and management from Texas A&M University. He started his career at Nebraska in 2013.

Twidwell has a split research and teaching appointment. He is an ecologist focused on the sustainability of rangeland, forest, and agricultural systems. His program has brought to light new changes occurring in Great Plains systems that impact the quality of life of current and future generations. This has led to a creative and innovative program on large-scale resilience science and planning, which has sparked diverse partnerships spanning university, agency, and landowner experts that work together to re-evaluate existing policies and programs and halt key sources of environmental degradation.

National and international research teams have taken note of Twidwell’s program and his focus on use-inspired science. He has been invited to join national and international teams working to address resilience and sustainability issues and expand his program to foster learning and adaptation in other natural and agricultural systems. More information on his program can be found at Twidwell Research.

Haishun Yang is an associate professor and was granted tenure. Yang received a Bachelor of Science in soil science and plant nutrition from the China Agricultural University, a Master of Science in soil and water sciences and a doctorate in soil science from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He was a postdoctoral research associate at Nebraska from 2001–2008 and returned to the university in 2012.

Yang has a 75 percent research, 15 percent teaching and 10 percent extension appointment. He is a crop simulation modeler. His expertise is in development of computer simulation models and computerized decision support tools for crop management. He has led and helped develop a suite of computer models and apps, including Hybrid-Maize, Maize-N, CornSoyWater, BESS, DK C&N, and SoySim. These tools have been widely used by producers, crop advisers, educators and researchers, not only in the United States, but also in other countries.

For more information on all Nebraska promotions and tenures, go to 2018 Promotion and Tenure.

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