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Chief Scientist Tim Crews Named Director of New Roots International Initiative, Search Launched for New Lead Scientist, Soil Ecology

The Land Institute has announced that Chief Scientist Tim Crews will become the Director of the New Roots International Initiative, effective January 1, 2022. The Land Institute has also launched a search for a new Lead Scientist, Soil Ecology, to advance work on ecological intensification of perennial grain agriculture.

“This international initiative is a key part of our renewed commitment to deepen, diversify, and expand a locally adapted and globally connected movement for the development of ecological, perennial agroecosystems,” said Rachel Stroer, President of The Land Institute. “There is no one better suited to collaboratively innovate and catalyze an international network of research activity than Tim Crews. He has experience convening international partners and brings the scientific credentials necessary to lead and inspire.”

Crews has held several roles at The Land Institute, with his first and longest engagements as Director of Research and Lead Scientist, Soil Ecology. Most recently, he served as the Director of Ecological Intensification. During his nearly decade-long tenure, he contributed crucial research to IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land Usage and led vital work on diverse agroecology systems, carbon sequestration, and nitrogen fixation in perennial grain-legume polycultures. Crews will continue to serve on the executive team as Chief Scientist, a position he has held since July 2021.

“More than ever, the world needs farms to be productive not because of chemicals and energy-expensive inputs, but because they include basic features that underlie the success of natural ecosystems – perenniality and diversity,” said Crews. “I am honored and elated at the opportunity to expand on existing Land Institute international partnerships and facilitate new multi-disciplinary research hubs. A transition to agroecosystems that work with our planet will only be possible if we find and collaborate with aligned researchers from farming cultures on every continent.”

The Land Institute’s scientists have an unparalleled history of providing foundational knowledge in perennial grain development in collaborative service to international efforts. During the fall of 2020, Crews co-organized a perennial agriculture meeting at Lund University in Sweden, where global researchers provided critical input on how The Land Institute could best serve the international scientific community. In July of 2021, in collaboration with Birzeit University, Palestine, Lund University, Sweden, Yunnan University, China, and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Crews co-led “A Perennial Revolution of Agriculture—is it desirable, possible, imminent?” at the Science Days Side Event at the UN Food Systems Summit.

Candidates interested in the Lead Scientist, Soil Ecology, position are encouraged to apply. The Soil Ecologist role is critical at The Land Institute. They will work to advance and evaluate ecosystem services associated with diverse perennial grain cropping systems, collaborate within and across disciplines, the organization, and global partners, and participate in public outreach regarding the institution’s work. More information on how to apply can be found here.

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