As a broadly trained agroecologist, Jennifer Blesh, PhD, uses interdisciplinary research approaches to understand the ecological and social outcomes of food systems. Her ecological research focuses on diversified agroecosystems, soil nitrogen and carbon biogeochemical cycles, ecological nutrient management, and legume nitrogen fixation. She also studies social processes that lead to food system transformation, from food production through consumption. Blesh’s research program is guided by a pragmatic motivation to support transitions to more ecologically sustainable and socially just food systems. Prior to her position at SEAS, Blesh served as a post-doctoral fellow with the National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship Program at the Federal University of Mato Grosso in Brazil.
Blesh, J., Mehrabi, Z., Wittman, H., Bezner Kerr, R., James, D., Madsen, S., Smith, O.M., Snapp, S.S., Stratton, A.E., Bakkar, M., Bicksler, A.J., Galt, R.E., Garibaldi, L.A., Gemmill-Herren, B., Grass, I., Isaac, M.E., John, I., Jones, S.K., Kennedy, C.M., Klassen, S., Levers, C., Vang Rasmussen, L. and C. Kremen, C. 2023. Against the odds: network and institutional pathways enabling agricultural diversification. One Earth. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2023.03.004.
Blesh, J., Isaac, M., Schipanski, M.E. and S.J. Vanek. 2022. Editorial: Ecological nutrient management as a pathway to Zero Hunger. Special Issue in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.10799.
Plumhoff, M., Connell, R.K., Bressler, A., and J. Blesh. 2022. Management history and mixture evenness affect the ecosystem services from a crimson clover-rye cover crop. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 339. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2022.108155.
Bressler, A., Plumhoff, M., Hoey, L., and J. Blesh. 2021. Cover Crop Champions: Linking strategic communication approaches with farmer networks to support cover crop adoption. Society and Natural Resources. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2021.1980165.
- Managing functional diversity (e.g., cover cropping, intercropping, perennial grains) in agroecosystems to increase soil carbon storage, enhance internal nutrient cycling capacity, and reduce environmental impacts
- Understanding variation in legume nitrogen fixation in agroecosystems
- Identifying social and ecological factors that support or constrain adaptive, ecosystem-based management and social-ecological resilience of food systems
- Understanding linkages between agrobiodiversity, dietary diversity, and human and ecosystem health
PhD, Cornell University (Soil and Crop Sciences)
MS, Cornell University (Soil and Crop Sciences)
BS, University of Georgia (Ecology)