The College of Agriculture welcomes seven new faculty members this semester. Join us in welcoming the college’s newest professors and learn about their research interests.
Julia Bello-Bravo, assistant professor, Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication (ASEC)
Julia Bello-Bravo joins the ASEC department this fall from Michigan State University. Her research is positioned at the intersection of communication and educational studies with a specialization in communication strategies within developing countries. Much of Bello-Bravo’s work is focused on Sub-Saharan Africa and developing scalable strategies for education approaches in low-literate areas. She is the co-founder and co-director of Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO), which creates educational animations that aid in the transfer of scientific knowledge. The animations touch on topics from crop storage and water purification methods to, more recently, how to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brenna Ellison, associate professor, Agricultural Economics
Brenna Ellison’s research focuses on how consumers make decisions surrounding food and how access to information and environmental factors impact these decisions. She comes to Purdue from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she was part of the division of nutritional sciences. Ellison’s research centers on a number of different specific questions regarding consumer food choices, including how university students make decisions in dining halls, whether or not menu labeling legislation is effective and which production claims (e.g. organic, antibiotic-free) are most important to consumers.
Krystal Hans, assistant professor, Entomology
Formerly a lecturer with entomology, Hans will move into the role of assistant professor this fall. Hans’ specialty is forensic entomology. Her chief area of research centers on blow flies, which she studies to better understand how the flies and their larvae behave at certain temperatures, how temperatures influence blow flies and what insect signatures on corpses can tell experts about a deceased body’s geographic movement. Hans has also studied the effect television shows like CSI can have on students’ perceptions of the forensic sciences. As treasurer for the North American Forensic Entomology Association Hans plays an essential role in encouraging the study and development of the field nationally and internationally.
Hana Hall, associate research professor, Biochemistry
Hana Hall came to Purdue in 2005 as a post-doctoral research associate in medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology. She stayed at the university, working as a as a biochemistry research scientist. In March 2021, however, Hall moved into her new role of associate research professor. Her research centers on genetic screening and DNA repair. During her time as a post-doc, Hall established a genetic screening facility at the Bindley Bioscience Center and worked in collaboration with five other Purdue laboratories. She has also played a prominent role in training students on laboratory equipment and mentoring graduate students.
Daniel Quinn, assistant professor, Agronomy
Daniel Quinn began as an assistant professor of agronomy and Extension corn specialist in May of 2021. As Bob Nielsen, Purdue and Indiana’s resident corn expert since 1982, moves into partial retirement, Quinn will step into fulfill this role. Quinn grew up working on several farms in his home state of Michigan, which sparked his interest in agriculture and the science of soil. His research regarding corn and other crops consists primarily of field-scale research conducted at several of the Purdue Agricultural Centers (PACs) and with farmers throughout the state. Quinn also established the website The Kernel, which provides news and information about corn crops as well as up-to-date research findings.
James Markworth, assistant professor, animal sciences
James Markworth joined animal sciences faculty earlier this summer and has a wealth of experience about ageing processes in animals. Specifically, Markworth examines skeletal muscle flexibility and how nutritional biochemistry and muscle-immune cells interact to impact this characteristic. Markworth looks at omega-3, polyunsaturated fatty acids and infiltrating blood immune cells to better understand this phenomenon. His research has wide-ranging implications for livestock and humans. Markworth previously served as a fellow with the American Federation for Aging Research.
Halis Simsek, assistant professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE)
Last time Halis Simsek was a member of the ABE department it was as a master’s student. This fall, he returns as the department’s newest faculty member. Simsek’s research examines systems of waste water treatment, livestock housing, water quality and agricultural waste water management. Utilizing mathematical and numerical modeling, Simsek can better understand the effectiveness of these systems and how they might be improved upon. Prior to joining the ABE department, Simsek was an assistant professor at North Dakota State University.
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