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Gomes receives Cornell Atkinson Grant to study Amazonian aquaculture

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Carla Gomes, the Ronald C. and Antonia V. Nielsen Professor of Computing and Information Science, is part of a Cornell team who received a Cornell Atkinson Academic Venture Fund (AVF) seed grant to study environmental and nutritional tradeoffs of expanding Amazonian aquaculture

Gomes will be collaborating with Alexander Flecker (CALS: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Kathryn Fiorella (CVM: Master of Public Health Program), Xiangtao Xu (CALS: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), and Suresh Sethi (CALS: Natural Resources and the Environment) 

Aquaculture has become a critical component of global food systems and is expanding with the promise of enhancing nutrition while minimizing the environmental costs of animal food production. In this project, collaborators will evaluate the ecological and nutritional impacts of emerging aquaculture in the Amazon Basin. Results will produce insights that will support production while minimizing ecosystem impacts in the Amazon.

Cornell Atkinson has awarded eleven Academic Venture Fund (AVF) seed grants for research by 40 faculty researchers representing eight Cornell colleges and 19 academic departments. The 2021 awards span 11 countries on five continents and many prioritize building resilient rural-urban connections.

The AVF is the center’s flagship research incubator for innovative sustainable solutions. Totaling more than $1.8 million, this year’s awards will support research in critical sustainability areas such as climate-resilient farming in Malawi, expanding sustainable aquaculture in the Amazon, and data-driven urban design to promote pandemic resilience.  

"The AVF seeds novel and risky projects that propel knowledge to impact and influence the opinions, practices, products, and policies that move the planet towards generationally sustainable resource use," says David Lodge, the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of Cornell Atkinson.

"The 2021 awards facilitate interdisciplinary research and co-creation of sustainability solutions with external partners in New York state and across the globe."

In its fourteenth year, the AVF program continues to inspire new collaborations that strengthen Cornell’s broad collaborative network and engage external partners and communities in ways that lead to co-created long-term high-impact outcomes. The center will work with the Office of Engagement Initiatives to provide supplemental funding for undergraduate community-engaged research opportunities associated with the AVF projects.

Additionally, in support of Cornell Atkinson’s goal of increasing diversity, inclusion, and impact, awardees may apply for supplemental Innovation for Impact funding of up to $25,000. This funding is designed to help take knowledge to action by incorporating diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise by leveraging external partnerships with NGOs, government agencies, and other community organizations.

Read more about Cornell Atkinson's grant recipients in this Cornell Chronicle story by Sara Levin Stevenson.