Two CFANS faculty receive 2024 University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Fellow Awards

May 1, 2024

Two assistant professors in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Gretchen Hansen and Jacob Jungers, have received 2024 University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Fellow Awards, one of the University’s highest honors.

Gretchen Hansen

Gretchen Hansen
Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology
College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences, Twin Cities

Understanding and managing freshwater ecosystems in a changing world

Gretchen Hansen studies freshwater ecosystem responses to environmental change. Her work is interdisciplinary and spans from local to global scales. She leverages mechanistic understanding of biological and physical processes to inform large-scale landscape predictions of lake and fish responses to climate change, species invasions, and other stressors. She frequently partners with management agencies and environmental groups to identify local management responses that can influence lake responses to global change. Dr. Hansen disseminates her work through peer-reviewed journals as well as through public-facing web tools, and has been widely covered by the popular press.

Jake Jungers

Jacob Jungers
Agronomy & Plant Genetics
College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences, Twin Cities

Diversifying crops to improve agricultural sustainability

Nearly 80% of global farmland is dedicated to growing just five crops. While the incredible productivity of these crops is crucial to feeding the world and supporting global economies, farming practices to cultivate them can negatively impact the natural environment. Dr. Jungers and his research group are helping develop new crops and farming strategies that improve agricultural output, economic viability, and environmental sustainability.

The McKnight Presidential Fellows Program is a three-year award given to exceptional UMN faculty to recognize their accomplishments and support their ongoing research and scholarship.