Claudia Irene Calderon




International Activity

I have been leading the UW Tropical Horticulture in Costa Rica program since 2015. This is a 2-week study abroad program that provides a unique opportunity for immersion in Costa Rican local culture and for developing a holistic appreciation of the interactions between plants and societies. These activities will provide a framework for global learning by engaging students to discuss important issues related to tropical horticulture such as sustainability, food security, global health, traditional medicine, improved nutrition, production technologies, cropping systems, conservation, and climate change. Find more information here (

Additional international teaching experience: I have also designed and taught a community-based learning course on Sustainable Food Systems in Guatemala, as part of one 100,000 Strong in the Americas Grant. I have strong partnership with Universidad de San Carlos, Universidad Rafael Landivar, and Universidad del Valle in Guatemala. I have been invited from Zamorano University in Honduras to give a workshop on plant breeding techniques.

My research is focused on the intersection of agroecology, sustainability, climatic resilience and one health. I use participatory approaches with a gender lens, that empower small-holder farmers in rural areas to reduce post-harvest losses in grains. See a video we generated to share best practices to reduce exposure to mycotoxin contamination in food and feed ( I am developing a network of doctors, veterinarians, agronomists that can work together to minimize the public health impact that mycotoxins cause in human and animal populations.

I am currently collaborating with other researchers from the Agronomy department on campus to the introgression and fine-mapping of traits associated with nitrogen-fixation from exotic maize landraces into elite materials adapted to the Midwest.

CALS Priority Themes
  • Healthy Ecosystems
  • Changing Climate
  • Health & Wellness
  • Food Systems
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well Being
  • Gender Equality