Postharvest Loss Scholars

Educating the next generation of scientists in postharvest loss prevention is central to the mission of ADMI. To that end, ADMI began the PHL Scholars program for University of Illinois graduate students during the 2018-19 academic year. PHL Scholars receive funding for a graduate research assistantship anconduct research related to the prevention of postharvest loss consistent with the mission of the ADMI during their studies. 

Ruben Chavez / Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Ph.D.   

Chavez works with Professor Matt Stasiewicz in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. He is working with Stasiewicz on a spectral sorting system for removing mycotoxin-infected maize kernelsRead more about the project 

Loren Steinman / Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering 

Master’s degree 

Steinman works with Professor Kent Rausch in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. His research has focused on respiration of soybeans under tropical and subtropical storage conditions, and calculating maximum allowable storage times for soybeans under these conditions. Currently, data for corn harvested under North American conditions are extrapolated for use with soybeans. Detailed information for soybeans in different climatic conditions could result in reduced losses. 

Gowthami Venkateswaran / Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

Ph.D.  

Venkateswaran has been working with Professor Kathy Baylis in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics researching the feasibility of certification and storage technology interventions in India. The research will help determine if certification of good storage and handling practices and absence of mycotoxins improves the prices that millers, traders, and farmers receive for their crops, and if that, in turn, affects hermetic storage bag adoption. 

Former PHL Scholars 

Pallavi Shukla 

Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics  

Currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, a joint department of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Whiting School of Engineering. Shukla was part of ADMI’s inaugural group of PHL Scholars in 2018-2019. 

While she was a doctoral student, Shukla worked with Professor Kathy Baylis in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. 

Selected publications based on ADMI-affiliated research: 

Amir Jafari / Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering 

Ph.D. 

Jafari worked with Professor Kent Rausch in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering. His most recent work focused on the evaluation of various commercial moisture meters to test their suitability for use in developing countries, especially for smallholder farmers. The final result of his research will be added to the ADMI website as a global resource for postharvest loss prevention. Jafari has also worked on modifications to the design of the STR dryer, a grain dryer designed for use by smallholder farmers.