VAES and Research
In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, our ambition to help communities flourish is at the center of what we do. CALS has identified four major strengths — food, health, economy, and environment — that we will use to address the shared challenges facing our world. By working together, we can all thrive.
Our research focuses on:
- Comprehensive health & wellness
- Community empowerment
- Predictive environmental solutions
- Cultivating lifelong learners
- Resilience and productivity through innovation
The Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station (VAES) is the research enterprise for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, including academic departments and off-campus agricultural research and Extension centers (ARECs). Research activities within the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) and Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) also are part of VAES. Our team includes >350 scientists located in 5 colleges on the VT campus (CALS, CNRE, VMCVM, College of Science, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences). VAES, along with our partner Virginia Cooperative Extension, comprise the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Agency 229. Together with our partners across the Commonwealth and around the world, VAES scientists and engineers are bringing innovation and securing agriculture, food, and health through basic and applied research.
Faculty at the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics maintain research programs that address a wide array of topics that impact both Virginians and people around the world. Research is conducted in five broad areas: agribusiness, environmental and natural resource economics, food and health economics, international development and trade, and rural and regional development.
The Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education focuses on three core program areas: teaching and learning in agriculture, leadership and social change, and community education and development. Faculty and graduate students have responsibilities in the missions of each core area: teaching, research, and Extension.
The School of Animal Sciences main research objective is to optimize efficiency of animal production, while maintaining or enhancing the environment. The research programs focus on applied science, which has an immediate application to animal agriculture, and basic science, which provides scientific foundation for further basic and applied research discoveries.
We are involved in generating new tools and knowledge that will advance our understanding of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Drug Discovery, Microbiology, Stress Responses in Plants, Alzheimer’s, Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. Faculty recruit graduate students from our own PhD and MS programs, as well as students from the Microbiology, Translational Plant Sciences, Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (GBCB) and Translational Medicine and Biomedical Health (TMBH) graduate programs on campus.
Our faculty and students work in a broad range of biological systems, from natural systems, such as watersheds with a focus on water resources, to built systems, such as bioreactors and bioprocessing facilities. We work from the nanoscale to the macroscale. We seek to improve animal, human, and environmental health through development and design of healthy food products, vaccines, bioenergy, biomaterials, and water quality management practices. We convert biological resources, such as switchgrass, plant proteins, and animal manure, into value-added products, such as biopharmaceuticals, biofuels, and biomaterials, in a sustainable manner.
Research in the Department of Dairy Science falls under the following four categories:
- Nutrition & Feeding
- Breeding Genetics
- Forage Evaluation & Management
Our scientists explore the diversity, benefits and risks of insects everywhere, in our crops, forests, water and homes. The Department's work includes biomedical research on vector-borne diseases, description and discovery of new species, evaluation of water quality through the insects living there, pollinator biology, smart and sustainable management of pests wherever they occur, and more.
Departmental research areas are internationally recognized for cutting edge, industry-revelant research in protecting public health, enhancing food quality and making technological advancements in the field of food science.
HNFE's unique fusion of nutrition, foods, and exercise science positions us to advance knowledge in education, prevention, research, and translational studies. Collaborative interactions among faculty are strong and span from cells to society.
Research in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences is broken up into the following four communities:
- Ecosystem Science and Management Community
- Plant Health and Improvement
- Plant Production Systems
- Agroenvironmental Information Systems Community
Research in action
Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station (VAES)
VAES performs basic and applied research on agricultural, environmental, natural, and community resource issues related to the future needs of Virginia — and the world.
Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (ARECs)
ARECs deliver research and Extension programs, serve as field-research sites and field laboratories, and are program sites for producers, school groups, and the state's citizens.
Latest CALS research updates
Article ItemW. Lee Daniels honored with emeritus status , article
A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1981, Daniels is internationally recognized for his pioneering research in the reclamation of disturbed lands, particularly those impacted by mining, waste disposal, road building, and other forms of perturbation.Date: 11.23.2022
Article ItemGlenda Gillaspy honored with emerita status , article
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1998, Gillaspy conducted seminal biochemical and molecular genetic research and was a mentor and role model for women in science to both female students and faculty and, in particular, other female department heads.Date: 11.22.2022
Article ItemVirginia Tech helps farmers meet the demand for all things pumpkin this fall , article
Virginia Tech researchers support the spike in the state’s pumpkin production by exploring the growth of special varieties and testing ways to stretch their shelf life.Date: 11.15.2022
Article ItemMARE Center offers ‘thorough’ experience for students , article
Animal science students from Virginia Tech gain real-world research experience with former thoroughbred racehorses at the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center.Date: 11.15.2022
Article ItemVirginia Tech researcher receives $1.9 million NIH grant to develop novel approaches to diagnose and treat sepsis , article
Juhon Chen’s research could lead to formulating a revolutionary strategy to diagnose sepsis in blood samples in the future.Date: 11.01.2022
104 Hutcheson Hall (0402)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6336
Fax: (540) 231-4163