University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s James Schnable, Charles O. Gardner Professor of Agronomy within the Nebraska Food for Health Center, the Center for Plant Science Innovation and the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, was named a Fellow of the German PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence, based at the University of Bonn. Schnable joined a group of eleven Fellows identified by the Cluster of Excellence as leaders in sustainable crop production research using digital technologies from institutions such as Oxford, Wageningen and UC-Davis.
PhenoRob is a DFG (German Research Foundation) supported Cluster of Excellence that performs world-leading research in automation, plant phenotyping and crop production. PhenoRob brings together leading researchers in computer science, robotics, crop science and agricultural economics to develop and deploy new technologies to optimize breeding and farming management and transform crop production.
Schnable started his research career at the University of Nebraska in 2014. Over the next eight years, he rose to the rank of full professor; founded three companies working in the bioinformatics, climate resilient agriculture and precision agronomy spaces; raised more than $6 million from angel and venture investors; and secured funding for his research program from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foundation for Food and Agricultural research, as well as, obtaining sponsors from for-profit companies and NGOs. In 2022 he took a leave of absence from Nebraska to work at X, a division of Google focused on inventing and launching “moonshot” technologies that aim to make the world a radically better place.