August 12, 2008

Agriculture college welcomes two faculty members

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two faculty members have joined the College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this academic year.

Assistant Professor Silvia Secchi will teach courses in energy economics and policy for the Department of Agribusiness Economics this fall, while Assistant Professor Jeremy E. Davis, who will teach nutritional biochemistry biochemistry and advanced nutrition for the Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition, will begin teaching in spring semester.

Secchi, who spent the previous eight years as a researcher at Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, focuses on the relationships between energy, agriculture and the environment. She currently is working on three projects. The first assesses environmental benefits and economic costs of adding strips of perennial plants to fields used to grow corn and soybeans. The second examines the impact of agriculture on water quality in an Iowa watershed, with an eye toward determining the likely impacts of ethanol production. The third looks at costs and benefits of ethanol production in rural areas located in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

Secchi received her undergraduate education in Italy. She earned a master’s degree in 1995 from the University of Reading in England and her doctorate in 2000 from Iowa State University.

A registered dietitian, Davis’ research focuses on obesity. His doctoral training includes research with one of the country’s best obesity labs; his current work focuses on dietary factors that influence the characteristics and spread of fat cells.

Davis, who earned his master’s degree at SIUC in 2003, finished an undergraduate degree in his native state in 2001 at the University of Vermont and anticipates completing his doctorate in December at Iowa State University.