New Faculty Members

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AgBioResearch is pleased to welcome three new faculty members with MAES appointments.

Stephen Gasteyer, assistant professor of sociology, will become affiliated with the MAES in August. His research focuses on rural community leadership and decision making and management capacity, specifically around key natural resources and development sectors. More specifically, Gasteyer’s research looks at the dynamic social networks and systems involved in water and wastewater infrastructure systems both in the United States and overseas, and the processes and systems around economic and agricultural development. His ongoing research includes a study of the dynamics of social networks in influencing groundwater and surface water use, a national initiative to research the design and impacts of rural community leadership development education programs, a study of social networks and systems in increasing entrepreneurship in rural communities, and a study of small community water infrastructure and operational and management capacity.

Before coming to MSU, Gasteyer was on the faculty in the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois. Prior to that, he was research and policy director at the Rural Community Assistance Partnership in Washington, D.C., and a research consultant on issues of global water governance. Gasteyer was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali from 1987 to 1990, and he worked from 1993 to 1998 in the Palestinian territories. He received his bachelor’s degree in international studies from Earlham College in 1987 and his master’s degree in rural sociology and doctorate in sociology from Iowa State University in 1998 and 2001, respectively.

Brent Ross, assistant professor of food industry management, will become affiliated with the MAES in August. Ross is interested in the dynamics of entrepreneurship and, in particular, the identification and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities in the agrifood system. He is currently conducting research on the role of supply chain partners in the entrepreneurial process and previously worked on financing and governance issues associated with network formation among agrifood industry participants. Ross will also be developing a course in food industry management that will be taught in spring 2009.

Prior to joining MSU, Ross spent the past year at the University of Illinois as a postdoctorate fellow and visiting assistant professor of strategy in the Department of Business Administration. He received his doctorate in food and agribusiness management and his master’s degree in agricultural finance from the University of Illinois in 2007 and 2002 respectively, and his bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Guelph in 2000.

Juan Pedro Steibel, assistant professor of animal science and fisheries and wildlife, will become affiliated with the MAES in August. He conducts research at the interface of statistical and molecular genetics, with application to domestic and natural animal populations.

Steibel is currently investigating the design of sequential experiments for transcriptional profiling and genetic association studies. He is also a collaborator in several swine model projects in which he develops and implements novel statistical methods and experimental designs to uncover the molecular basis of complex traits—such as product yield, product quality and disease resistance—in experimental and commercial animal populations.

Steibel has also been a visiting scholar at the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan since January of 2008. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the MSU Department of Animal Science. He received his doctorate in animal science from MSU in 2007, his master’s degree in biometrics and animal breeding from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2002, and his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the National University of La Pampa, Argentina, in 1998.

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