Daniel Santana de Carvalho, an agronomy and horticulture doctoral student, received the distinguished Henry M. Beachell Fellowship. This fellowship recognizes academic excellence and research potential in the agronomic and horticultural sciences.
Originally from the Brazilian state of Bahia in northeast Brazil, Carvalho came to Nebraska to study agronomy and increase his knowledge of bioinformatics. Agronomy represents a large part of Brazil's economy, especially the bio-fuel production from sugarcane, a C4 photosynthesizing grass.
Carvalho studies the evolution of C4 photosynthesis, one of three known processes for carbon fixation, in grasses. Improving photosynthesis is a way to increase plant yield, especially in C4 grasses as they account for about 18 percent of global photosynthetic productivity.
Carvalho’s research focuses on finding new candidate genes linked to the C4 photosynthesis cycle in grasses to provide genetic tools for engineering an improved C4 cycle. He uses comparative genomics, analyzes different species and looks for new genes that might be used to perform the C4 cycle.
Carvalho is advised by James Schnable, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture.
Beachell, a plant breeder and native Nebraskan, graduated from the department in 1930. He received the 1996 World Food Prize in honor of his contributions in the alleviation of world hunger.