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Join us in congratulating Elizabeth Ainsworth!

Elizabeth Ainsworth, USDA Agricultural Research Service, will receive the 2019 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences.

How will the world eat in the face of climate change and other threats? That question dominates Ainsworth’s pioneering research, which has helped to reveal how man-made atmospheric changes will affect the physiology and growth of crops around the world.

Ainsworth led the evolution of the SoyFACE Global Change Research Facility, where she serves as lead investigator. There, she has conducted groundbreaking research to show how crops such as maize and soybeans will be affected by increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and ozone in combination with drought and other environmental stresses, as well as possible solutions. The work recently revealed that a large portion of the United States harvest of corn and soybean was lost due to ozone pollution over the past 20 years. 

Ainsworth was among the first to use functional genomic and metabolomics approaches to understanding mechanisms of response to global change, and has recently used quantitative genetic approaches to dissect plant responses to these changes.

In addition to her research itself, Ainsworth is also recognized for her tireless advocacy for science, both as a science ambassador and as a role model for the next generation of scientists. She frequently speaks to the media about climate change, and she started the Pollen Power Camp to encourage junior high-school girls to consider science careers. As an adjunct professor, Ainsworth has also mentored countless university students and postdoctoral researchers, helping to ensure that a new wave of professional biologists will follow her lead for many years to come.

The NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences recognizes research by a mid-career scientist (defined as up to 20 years since completion of PhD) at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. The prize is endowed through generous gifts from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences is presented with a medal and a $100,000 prize.

Please use the following sample social media posts and other materials to congratulate Elizabeth Ainsworth.

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Congratulations Elizabeth Ainsworth of @USDA_ARS, recipient of 2019 @theNASciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences for researching how climate change will affect crops! The award will be presented during #NAS156, the 156th NAS Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 28. #NASaward

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Congratulations Elizabeth Ainsworth of @USDA_ARS, recipient of @theNASciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences for researching how #ClimateChange will affect crops! #Food&Ag #NASaward

Watch Elizabeth Ainsworth of @USDA_ARS receive 2019 @theNASciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences at #NAS156 on April 28! #NASaward

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Watch Awards Ceremony April 28, 2019 »

Press Release »

NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences »

2019 NAS Award Recipients »

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