Global Glimpses – April 2021

Man hanging corn on roof rafters. Part of Claudia Irene Calderon’s study ‘Assessing Mycotoxin Levels in Maize in the Western Highlands of Guatemala’.

From the Director’s Desk

Dear CALS Global community,

As the campus starts slowly crawling back to normalcy, Global is looking forward to having in-person interactions with our colleagues and partners. Accordingly, our Global Day event is being planned for early in the fall semester. Meanwhile, we have rolled out the Global Agricultural Research and Development Network (GARDEN) grant. We had a strong response from the CALS faculty and staff, and there were many worthy recipients, we look forward to funding more projects in the future.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our long-time Global Committee member, Alfred Hartemink, who was selected to receive the CALS Excellence in International Activities Award. He will be recognized at the CALS Awards Ceremony on May 5th. Also to be recognized at that event is another Global Committee member, Claudia Calderon, as the winner of the CALS Equity and Diversity Award. Congratulations, Claudia!

Our Global Conversations series has been a great success with campus and international participants. The fourth and the last of this series is on April 23rd. I encourage you all to participate in this thought-provoking conversation presented and moderated by CALS faculty and staff. Please let us know if you have any ideas for how we can continue this series as a part of our regular slate of Global activities to foster and engage CALS and campus community and network with our global partners.
As always, please let us know if we can be of help in your international research and development activities.  

With Best Wishes, 

— Sundaram Gunasekaran, CALS Global Director

GARDEN Grant Supports Bumble Bees in Mexico

CALS Global is pleased to announce that Dr. James Crall is the first recipient of our new Global Agricultural Research and Development Network (GARDEN) seed grant. Dr. Crall joined the UW-Madison faculty in January 2021 as an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology. After receiving his Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University, James was a Rockefeller Foundation Planetary Health Alliance Fellow and a USDA-NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. He is interested in how organisms interact with each other and their abiotic environments, and how these interactions drive broader ecological processes and the delivery of ecosystem services in agriculture.

James’s research focuses primarily on bees and plant-pollinator interactions, with an applied interest in supporting pollinators and pollination in agroecosystems. To study the dynamics of these complex biological systems (from collective behavior to ecological networks), his lab also focuses on developing low-cost, scalable techniques for experimental automation, data collection, and analysis. He will use the seed grant opportunity to establish the groundwork for a collaborative, international research program investigating the health and management of bumble bees in Mesoamerican agroecosystems.

Global Conversations – Ensuring Health for All

Dr. Francisco Penagaricano & Dr. Erica Majumder, the speakers for Global Conversations on April 23rd

The final installment of Global Conversations for spring of 2021 will occur on April 23rd at 1:30 pm. The topic is Ensuring Health for All and includes talks from Dr. Francisco Penagaricano (Animal & Dairy Sciences) and Dr. Erica Majumder (Bacteriology). Francisco will speak on his experiences with improving dairy cow production in Ethiopia – the synergistic effects of feed, management, and genetics. Erica will be discussing the challenges and strategies for microplastics in the environment. You can register for the event here.

Did you miss out on previous Global Conversations sessions? You can watch our discussion on Feeding the World here.

Congratulations, CALS Award Recipients!

We would like to congratulate two members of the CALS Global Committee, Alfred Hartemink and Claudia Irene Calderon, for receiving CALS Awards this year.

Alfred (Department of Soil Sciences) is the recipient of the Excellence in International Activities Award, an award that recognizes an individual engaged in international research, instruction, outreach, program development, or service. His work in Tanzania, DR Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and Australia have helped augment the global standing of the Soil Science Department at UW-Madison. Not only has Alfred dedicated his career to the field of global soil science, but he also works tirelessly in the pursuit of facilitating the exchange of global soil science information.

Claudia (Department of Horticulture) is the recipient of the CALS Equity and Diversity Award. This award was established by the college’s Equity and Diversity Committee to recognize contributions to activities and programs that advance the academic and professional climate of diversity, respect, inclusion, and equity in CALS. As the co-chair of the Horticulture Equity and Diversity committee, Claudia has made great strides in addressing climate issues on campus. She also helps support MOSAIC, Mentorship Opportunities in Science & Agriculture for Individuals of Color. Her work often takes an interdisciplinary approach, finding ways to incorporate gender and/or the BIPOC community and horticulture.

Both recipients are extremely deserving of their awards and we are very lucky to have their wise council on the CALS Global Committee.

Dr. Alfred Hartemink receiving the 2016 International Soil Science Award from the Soil Science Society of America

Haley Sisel – People’s Choice Virtual Poster Award

Last week, the Global Health Institute held their 2021 Virtual Global Health Symposium – Fostering Resilience through Indigenous Wisdom & Scientific Knowledge. Indigenous scholars and community members joined faculty, staff, clinicians, and students to share the many ways to advance health across the world.

Haley Sisel, an undergraduate in CALS won the People’s Choice Virtual Poster Award for ‘Employing a One Health Approach to Address the Implications of Mycotoxin Exposure in Rural Guatemala’. Haley is mentored by Claudia Calderon in the Department of Horticulture. You can watch Haley present her virtual poster here.

Share your International Efforts with the CALS Community

If you are a CALS faculty, staff, post-doc, student or alumnus involved in international work – we want to hear from you! Send an email to to let us know what international activities you’re involved in or want to be involved in. We can help match you with grant opportunities, find collaborators from across campus or around the world, and showcase your work through our Global Conversations series, website, events, and newsletter.

Resource for International Engagement

CALS Global has recently developed a webpage resource for international engagement. The page provides contacts, policies, travel and safety information, and resources for building alliances with foreign collaborators, for both researchers coming to the university and faculty and staff going to do research abroad. It is our hope that this resource will make international work and hosting international scholars more manageable. As always, if you have any questions about getting involved internationally, please contact CALS Global.