Get to Know our New CFAES Faculty!
We're pleased to welcome the following new faculty to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences! Some are new to CFAES in 2021 and others are transitioning to tenure-track faculty roles after years with the college, but we're lucky to have each of them, so we hope you'll take a few minutes to get to know them!
Agricultural Communication Education and Leadership
Kellie Claflin, Assistant Professor
Kellie Claflin was born and raised in America’s Dairyland and received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She taught middle and high school agriculture for five years in Wisconsin, before heading west to complete her graduate work at Oregon State University. Kellie received a master’s degree in Agricultural Education in 2017 and Ph.D. in Education in 2020, both from Oregon State. Most recently she served as a collegiate assistant professor at Virginia Tech in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Kellie’s teaching and research centers on the preparation and support of agriscience educators.
Hometown: Osseo, Wisconsin
Previous Academic Institution (s):
Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech
PhD from Oregon State Univeristy
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I’ve hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail – it may have been less than a mile, but I count it!
What are some of your hobbies or interests? I love to read, spend quality time with my dog, Dewey, and sew.
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? Oregon State College of Agricultural Sciences Advisor of the Year Award for the Agricultural Education Club because I was nominated by my students
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? I chose to join the CFAES faculty due to the opportunity to collaborate with great people and have support to conduct innovative and meaningful research.
Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
Seungki Lee, Assistant Professor
Seungki has completed his PhD at Iowa State University in the Department of Economics in 2021. He also holds MA in Economics from Seoul National University (South Korea) and a dual BA in Economics and Management from Handong Global University (South Korea). His areas of expertise include agricultural economics and industrial organization. Seungki’s research at present focuses on R&D activities and the impact of new technologies in the agricultural sector. Specifically, his current projects are centered on advances in biotechnologies, such as genetically engineered seeds, with a specific emphasis on uncovering their implications on farmers' welfare, environmental effects, and sustainability to climate change.
Previous Academic Institution (s):
B.A. Economics and Management, Handong Global University, South Korea (2011)
M.A. Economics, Seoul National University, South Korea (2015)
Ph.D. Economics, Iowa State University (2021)
Nora Bello, Professor
I am trained as a veterinarian, and animal scientist and a statistician, and these facets are closely interweaved in my professional experiences. I am particularly interested in modern statistical modeling and analytics that enhances animal agriculture from a comprehensive systems perspective. My primary research and teaching focuses involve hierarchical statistical modeling, including both Bayesian implementations and their frequentist counterparts, mixed models, and encompasses cutting‐edge developments in methodology and innovative applications in agriculture and food production systems.
Hometown: La Cumbre, Province of Cordoba, Argentina… the southern tip of South America
Previous Academic Institution (s):
Ph.D. from Michigan State University, Department of Animal Science
Professor at Kansas State University, Department of Statistics
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I enjoy my quiet alone time (“me” time) as much as gregarious fun with my family and friends.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? I love to be active in the outdoors in all its forms: hiking, biking, backpacking, sailing, kayaking, birdwatching… you name it! As long as it involves fresh air.
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? Having developed a truly cross‐disciplinary training background and career that cuts across Animal Science, Statistics and Veterinary Medicine.
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? The opportunity fits like a glove, both ways and at multiple levels! The sky is the limit. So fun! So excited!
Brady Campbell, Assistant Professor
My previous research has focused on exploring alternative management strategies to improve the growth and health of and to reduce the economic losses resulting from gastrointestinal parasitic infection in pasture-reared lambs. In moving forward with my own collaborative research program, I intend to continue investigating alternative forage-based small ruminant production systems. Currently, Ohio has 66,000 acres approved for solar power development. As land once used to produce grain for both human and animal consumption is converted to power generation, we must investigate alternative food production systems. Grazing small ruminants may be a viable solution. In addition, I am also interested in identifying the management needs of Ohio small ruminant producers while creating readily implementable solutions on-farm. The implementation and adoption of technology new to small ruminant stakeholders (i.e., remote data collection devices, RFEID, and ultrasound) may serve as an additional “farm hand” in either detecting the early onset of disease or identifying superior individuals within a flock or herd, thus reducing animal production losses with fewer labor inputs and improving system efficiency. From a teaching standpoint, my interests include anything related to small ruminant production such as, but not limited to nutrition, parasite and grazing management, reproduction, health, welfare and behavior, and much more. In my own training, I find experience to be the best teacher. As an example, at a field day event, information can be provided as a hybrid of the classroom teaching whereas a lecture may be given while one or two demonstrators exhibit the lecture topic followed by participants practicing the task through hands on experience. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with the small ruminant producers of Ohio.
Hometown: I am a 4th generation sheep and swine producer from Waterford, Ohio located in Washington County – Southeastern Ohio.
Previous Academic Institution (s): I completed all of my collegiate education within the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University (B.S. Animal Sciences, Bio-science specialization (2015), M.S. (2017), and Ph.D. (2021)). In addition, over the past 4 ½ years I have been serving as the Program Coordinator of the OSU Sheep Team
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I graduated with the largest class in Waterford High School history – 67 students. Additionally, in high school I was extremely active in FFA. I was a member of our chapters first state winning parliamentary procedure team and was my chapters first Star State Farmer.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? Raising livestock (sheep, pigs, poultry), showing sheep, judging livestock, grilling, butchering, and food preservation
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? In 2019, a group of Extension educators and myself were named the 2019 Ohio Distinguished Team Award Winner Sponsored by: Ohio Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Chapter / Ohio Joint Council of Extension Professionals. Our team was recognized for the development and implementation of our FAMACHA and Fecal Egg Counting Workshop for small ruminant producers.
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? I chose to join the CFAES faculty to make a positive impact on the production efficiencies of Ohio and Midwest small ruminant production systems. Being an Ohio native and sheep producer myself, I am intimately familiar with the excitement and hardships of livestock production. During my time as a student at Ohio State, I was not only provided an education but also the opportunity to learn more about myself and connect with others passionate about livestock production in the Buckeye state. Now serving as a faculty member, it is my time to give back to the university that helped mold me into the person I am today as well as help others, both students and producers, become more efficient, productive, and sustainable in their production systems.
Ali Nazmi, Assistant Professor
I have over 12 years of poultry research and 4 years of mucosal immunology research using mouse models. During my graduate studies, I was trained in various research areas including genetics, immunology, microbiology, and host-pathogen interaction in poultry. As a postdoctoral fellow, my research focused on the role of intraepithelial lymphocytes in intestinal homeostasis and inflammation in mice.My research interest at Ohio State University is to translate my mucosal immunology research in marine model into farm animals, particularly poultry and pigs. I am interested in studying host-pathogen interactions, and resistance to enteric diseases in chicken and turkey. Also, I am interested in using pig and mouse as model to study the role of intraepithelial lymphocytes in development of metabolic diseases.
Previous Academic Institution (s):
B.S., Poultry Production, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
M.S., Poultry Breeding, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Ph.D., Animal Biology, University of California, Davis, CA.
Postdoctoral, Mucosal Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? I like hiking, camping, and fishing.
Bain Wilson, assistant professor - Professional practice
I grew up in south central North Carolina and became interested in pursuing a career in Animal Science through livestock judging in 4-H and FFA and showing beef cattle and sheep. I obtained my B.S. degree in Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois. My graduate research focused on the effects of beef cow nutrition on the performance and carcass characteristics of their feedlot progeny. Prior to coming to Ohio State, I was a faculty member in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech. While at Virginia Tech, I coached the collegiate and state 4-H livestock judging teams, worked with youth and adult livestock extension programs, and conducted applied beef cattle nutrition research. At Ohio State, my primary responsibilities will be to coach the collegiate livestock judging team, start a livestock judging team in the ATI program, teach classes, and conduct some research. My primary teaching interests include livestock evaluation and beef cattle nutrition and management. Research interests include targeted beef cattle supplementation programs as well as forage/livestock interactions.
Hometown: Locust, North Carolina
Previous Academic Institution (s):
Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences
Virginia Tech Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I consider myself a barbecue and bourbon aficionado.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? Kayaking, camping, woodworking
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? Coaching the 2011 and 2016 National Champion 4-H livestock judging teams, reviving the collegiate livestock judging team at Virginia Tech
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? I excited to join the CFAES faculty because of the opportunity to work directly with students by coaching the Ohio State livestock judging team and teach classes in the Department of Animal
Sciences. My position will allow me to provide life changing experiences for students that will allow them to make connections that will help them beyond their time on campus. The support for this program provided by CFAES and the Ohio livestock industry is very impressive.
Lee Beers, Assistant Professor
Lee Beers specializes in agronomic crop production, small fruit production, woodland management, and nutrient management. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Penn State University, The Behrend College, Master of Science in Botany and Plant Pathology from the University of Maine. Lee is a member of the Agronomic Crops Team, Extension Nursery and Landscape Team, and serves as the Area Leader for Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, and Trumbull Counties. He is also a Certified Crop Advisor. Lee has been serving Trumbull county since 2015 and works to help residents improve their gardening, farming, and land use practices.
Brad Bergefurd, Assistant Professor
Brad Bergefurd has been with the Ohio State University for 30 years working in the Department of Extension as an Assistant Professor and State-wide Specialty Crops Specialist and Extension Educator. His teaching and field research centers on specialty crop diagnostics and management, season extension techniques (high tunnel, plasticulture, row covers), integrated pest management (IPM), micro-irrigation management and direct marketing and his applied research focuses on plasticulture production, hops production, strawberry harvest extension, aquaponics and hemp. His current research is funded by the Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research & Development Program, USDA, North Central IPM and North Central Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE). Bergefurd lectures throughout the country and conducts research and teaches Extension programs throughout Senegal, West Africa.
Hometown: Born and raised in Fremont, Ohio
Previous Academic Institution (s): PhD, Masters Degree from OSU
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I grew up on my family's processing vegetable farm in Fremont, Ohio.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? In my free time work with my wife, sons, daughter and grandsons on our small family produce farm in Wilmington, Ohio.
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? National Association of County Agricultural Agents Distinguished Service Award received in 2015.
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? I like to help and teach people so they can better their farm businesses, lives and families.
Rob Leeds, Assistant Professor
TEd Wiseman, Assistant Professor
Ted Wiseman has been with The Ohio State University since 2001 in the department of Extension. Currently serve as Extension Educator for Perry County. His specialization is livestock and forage production. He been involved in several regional and statewide research projects. Current research projects focusing on frost seeding clovers , which be conducted at the Eastern Agriculture Research Station.
Hometown: New Lexington, Ohio
Previous Academic Institution (s):
Associates Hocking College
B.S., M.S. The Ohio State University
PhD from Ohio State University, Animal Sciences, Swine Nutrition
What are some of your hobbies or interests? Farming, Hunting and Fishing
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? Steve D Ruhl Agriculture & Natural Resources County Extension Award
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? Enjoy having the opportunity to work producers locally and state-wide.
Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Cherish Vance, Assistant Professor
Prior to embarking on her doctoral program in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University, Ms. Vance gained experience in engineering consulting, conducting environmental studies and
monitoring. More recently, she performed geotechnical engineering analyses and reporting as a graduate design engineer (EIT).
As a graduate student, Ms. Vance has demonstrated her passions for teaching, research, and service, and thus been recognized with the Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Graduate Teaching; awarded the Jimmy
H. Smith Graduate Scholarship from the Texas Engineering Foundation; and served on the Climate Council and Inclusive Excellence Committee at the college level. She has been actively involved in various initiatives to
attract and retain underrepresented students, and she credits those influences for shaping her growth, both as a scholar and good citizen of the academy.
In both teaching and research, Ms. Vance seeks to leverage a social justice lens that explores not only how populations are disparately impacted by environmental challenges, but also how engineered solutions may be
disproportionately applied. To promote educational equity, Ms. Vance values culturally-competent and trauma-informed instruction to promote diversity and inclusion in the classroom.
With an emphasis on environmental and natural resource engineering, her published research includes: assessment of water quality in both natural and engineered systems, biological waste treatment, water disinfection, and hydrologic and water quality modeling. These research efforts have been funded in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Her dissertation investigates using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool to predict bacteria loads in agricultural watersheds.
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Previous Academic Institution (s): Currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I've never broken a bone or had a cavity.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? I love to play guitar and to poorly attempt to play the banjo. German is also spoken at home, and I'm learning Mandarin.
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? Transformative research and education focused on sustaining life and improving health.
Horticulture and Crop Science
Doug KArcher, Professor & Chair
Dr. Douglas Karcher is professor and chair in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). He previously served as interim assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, as well as turfgrass specialist, professor, and assistant head in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas. He started his career as an assistant professor in that department in 2000, was promoted to associate professor in 2005, and became professor in 2016.
Karcher’s research has focused on improving the functional and aesthetic quality of turfgrass while minimizing water, fertilizer, and pesticide inputs through the refinement of cultural practices. He developed courses including Turf Management Laboratory, Turfgrass Rootzone Management, and Best Management Practices for Turfgrass. Karcher earned his PhD in crop and soil sciences in 2000 at Michigan State University; his MS in crop and soil sciences in 1997, also at Michigan State; and his BS in agronomy with a minor in plant pathology in 1994 as a CFAES student at Ohio State.
Hometown: I grew up 40 miles from campus in Richwood (Union Co.). My dad was our High School Vo-Ag teacher and FFA advisor and I was naturally active in FFA, serving as president and competing on various teams (parliamentary procedure, land judging, and agronomy judging). Our North Union HS agronomy judging won the Ohio contest my sophomore year and we had the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place individuals in the state that year. I was an OSU Soil Judging team member in 1993 (coach Neil Smeck) and 1994 (coach Jerry Bigham), and placed 2nd Individual in the 1994 national contest.
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? My wife Wendy was an extraordinary Special Education teacher in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She hopes to begin teaching in Columbus once our boys are settled in with their school routines. Our boys Max (14) and Ben (11) are excited to start school and make new friends this month. Max is into band, running, and all things LEGO-related. Ben is into tennis, art, and video games. We all love to take long walks with our beagle mix, Laney, exploring our new neighborhood along 5th Avenue southwest of campus.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? I love to play tennis. This is far and away my #1 hobby outside of work and family. (I am currently looking for folks to hit/play with in Columbus.) I played 4.0 level USTA in Arkansas and a highlight there was winning the 8.0 mixed doubles state championship a couple years ago. I was an avid long-distance runner and completed the 1992 Columbus Marathon in 3:08, but it turns out that enjoy tennis WAY more than running, so have retired the running shoes.
Playing golf frustrates me more than just about anything in life. Even with lessons and practice, I continue to score poorly and hit a few embarrassingly bad shots each round. This has been a conundrum since I’ve spent most of my career working closely with golf industry. My apologies to anyone who ends up in my foursome! However, I still love the game, and the management required to produce great golfing conditions, and hope that someday I’ll be able to score low with some consistency.
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? I chose to join the CFAES faculty because I get to return to my alma mater, including my home college and department, which is so meaningful to me. I am excited about growing our teaching, research, and extension/outreach programs in Horticulture and Crop Science and partnering with an industry that is substantial, diverse, and thriving.
Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Assistant Professor
Horacio Lopez-Nicora is a plant pathologist, nematologist and statistician committed to improving and better protecting soybean health. His work is driven by the intertwined goals of ensuring food stability and working with growers to manage diseases that can have a negative impact on agricultural production. His research informs and is in turn informed by, his extension work and a dedication to meet the real-time needs of growers. His research falls into three areas: early detection and surveillance for soybean pathogens; pathogen ecophysiology and population biology; and soybean-pathogen interactions and host resistance. His lab will address the short- and long-term stakeholder priorities of soybean pathogen management in Ohio through a commitment to extension work and development of practical solutions for growers in Ohio. As an educator and scientist, Horacio is committed to fostering scientific literacy through teaching and advising. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in several countries on two continents, both in English and Spanish. He has been recognized for excellence in teaching, receiving the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Graduate Student Teaching Award. Teaching and mentoring are his passion and will be the cornerstone of his program at OSU. Horacio is thrilled to share his passion for plant pathology and applied statistics with students, both inside and outside the classroom.
Hometown: Asunción, Paraguay
Previous Academic Institution (s): Horacio Lopez-Nicora graduated with a B.Sc. in Agronomy from Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Paraguay, summa cum laude and with Highest Distinction. As a Fulbright Scholar and Richard L. Bernard Soybean Improvement Awardee, he obtained his M.Sc. in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He then completed his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in the Department of Plant Pathology as a Presidential Fellow, and his Master of Applied Statistics in the Department of Statistics. He returned to South America where he was Assistant Professor at Universidad San Carlos in Paraguay and Adjunct Professor at Universidad de Caldas, Colombia.
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I grew up on a livestock farm in Misiones, Paraguay, where we ride horses and worked as gauchos. When I was a kid, my first pet was a horse that I, much to my mom’s dismay, would sometimes bring inside the house.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? I love to read literature (especially detective and noir fiction), play chess, and listen to jazz. But above all, I enjoy cooking and playing with my kids; I love to ride bikes with my kids, but in Paraguay we ride horses instead!
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? I was very proud to receive the John Webster Outstanding Student Award from the Society of Nematologists, which recognizes a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in his thesis research in Nematology, as well as other skills necessary to be a well-rounded scholar.
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? When I was a student in the Department of Plant Pathology in the CFAES, I was always impressed by the support that students received from the College and the collaboration between CFAES departments. I know, firsthand, that the environment of CFAES generates knowledge, confidence, and the critical thinking skills needed to become informed citizens and successful scientists. In addition, OSU's extension team plays such an important role in Ohio, and I wanted to be part of a college where my research can reach the growers. I hope my lab will build a reputation for multidisciplinary collaboration with the diverse group of stakeholders and researchers in the CFAES at OSU.
Mitchell Roth, Assistant Professor
I am broadly interested in when, where, and how organisms interact. When it comes to plants and pathogens interacting, a myriad of factors affect the outcome of that interaction. The annual economic impact of filamentous pathogens like fungi and oomycetes are consistently in the millions of dollars in U.S. field crops. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms deployed by these filamentous pathogens, and the molecular responses to pathogens by plants, are where my primary research interests lie. We focus on the genetic components that influence the outcome of plant-microbe interactions by using a combination of “-omics”, forward, and reverse genetic approaches. We investigate the role of pathogen genes in virulence, and the role of plant genes in resistance or susceptibility, and aim to use this knowledge to genetically engineer crops with durable resistance to pathogens. While genetic resistance is strongly desired by farmers and is a powerful tool to manage crop diseases, it cannot be the only tool that we rely on for disease management. Additional research projects in my lab include understanding the effects of management practices, environmental factors, chemical control, and other microorganisms on the development of plant diseases. I look forward to building a team of talented researchers that are motivated by a curiosity of molecular biology and fueled by a desire to have a positive impact on agriculture.
Hometown: I grew up on a farm in Bad Axe, MI, where my father, uncle, and cousins still farm today. The major cash crops they grow are corn, wheat, dry bean, and sugar beet.
Previous Academic Institution (s): I earned a B.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at Grand Valley State University (2014), and transitioned into a PhD at Michigan State University, earning my PhD in Genetics along with a dual degree in Plant Pathology (2019). I have been working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since finishing my PhD.
Can you share a fun fact or something most people don't know about you? I was voted “most likely to become a pro athlete” in high school, and I was okay with that. In fact, I was determined that if I couldn’t be a pro hockey player, I’d at least become the Zamboni driver for a professional team. Good thing my parents encouraged me to come up with a “Plan C”.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? I love spending time with my wife and two dogs playing outside, camping, hiking, and mushroom hunting. I also enjoy playing recreational hockey, basketball, and walleye fishing. I am a loyal Detroit Lions fan, despite their lack of success.
Can you share a professional recognition of which you are particularly proud? When I first started graduate school, I had a strong interest in going into the agricultural biotech industry to work for a major company. Therefore, when I applied to and received the National Award for the Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship, I was tremendously proud. As I progressed through graduate school, my desire for a career in academia grew stronger and I pursued more teaching and leadership experiences to help prepare me for a career as head of a research group. I am proud that my efforts were appreciated and recognized by my PhD program, and I received the inaugural Student Leadership Award from the MSU Genetics Program just prior to graduation.
Why did you choose to join the CFAES faculty? I know the odds of becoming a tenure-track research professor are slim, and the odds of obtaining a position at an R1, Big Ten University are even smaller, so it was my honor to be offered a position in CFAES at The Ohio State University. Throughout the interviewing process, I’ve been so impressed by the kindness and support of the other faculty within the Department of Plant Pathology and other CFAES faculty, making the decision to join even easier. With the mentorship and support I’ve been given throughout my career, I’m thrilled to pay it forward and mentor other early-career scientists while working on exciting research projects!
School of Environment and Natural Resources
Yanlan liu, Assistant Professor
I am an ecohydrologist interested in how plant-water interactions shape ecosystem dynamics, especially under future climate regimes. Specific research topics include plant response to water stress, vegetation-hydrology feedbacks, forest resilience and mortality, and vegetation shifts in high latitudes. My research is mainly based on numerical models spanning a wide spectrum from a tree scale to a global scale and statistical approaches driven by in situ and satellite remote sensing measurements. I am working towards using the knowledge to address challenges tightly associated with natural resources and sustainability. I will teach courses in ecohydrology and statistics in earth and environmental sciences.
Previous Academic Institution (s): I received a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Science and an M.S. degree in Statistical Science from Duke University in 2019. I worked as a postdoc at Stanford University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before joining Ohio State.
What are some of your hobbies or interests? Outside work, I enjoy running, tennis, and yoga.