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Ellie Rice

2002 - 2003 CEIRP Fellow

Research Interest:
Crop conservation

My research focuses on conservation of crops -- particularly corn in Mexico, its center of origin. I use molecular genetic tools to look at the effects of conservation happening in farmer's fields and in genebanks. I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary projects that integrate biological tools into real world problems. Before coming to Cornell for my Ph.D., I worked on a project that looked at the environmental, economic and agricultural effects of nutrient management (fertilizers) in a developing country. Also I worked for CIMMYT, an international organization which specializes in breeding corn and wheat for third world farmers, where I concentrated on economic evaluations of subsistence farming systems and the decisions farmers make when they save seed for the next planting season.

I would love to have a sustained relationship with one teacher, hopefully with some intensive periods of time in the classroom. I hope to put together several projects involving genetics. I've thought about genetic projects ranging from demonstrating Mendelian segregation ratios in cucumber seedlings and a discussion of Mendel's experiments and (too perfect?) data, to talking about biotechnology -- its technical aspects as well as its costs and potentials and hazards. I also have experience in nutrient studies, sustainable agriculture, soil science, economics and development. I'm ready to apply a creative mind to any aspect of teaching biology.



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