Research and VAES
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
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 Department of Animal and Poultry 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.
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.
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 ItemVirginia Tech researchers among team awarded $10M from USDA to bring cultivated meat closer to dinner plates , article
Cultivated meat — animal cells grown in vitro to form anything from chicken tenders to salmon fillets — is pushing the boundaries of food production at a time when the agriculture industry is racing to keep up with growing demand. Researchers from Virginia Tech are part of a team awarded $10M from the USDA to usher in the era of lab-to-table protein to help to fill that gap.Date: 10.20.2021
Article ItemAnimal and poultry sciences Ph.D. candidate receives grant to study PTSD differences between males and females , article
Taylor McFadden earned a rare National Institute of Mental Health supplement grant that covers the final two years of her Ph.D. program.Date: 09.03.2021
Article ItemResearch to feed growing population underway at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center , article
In an effort to leverage resources, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, and Virginia Tech partnered to form the center in Danville, Virginia, last year.Date: 08.13.2021
Article ItemRamping up conservation: Researchers help an Appalachian delicacy stay on the menu , article
Virginia Tech researchers are working with the U.S. Forest Service to find the best growing methods for ramps to allow the delicacy to last far into the future.Date: 06.23.2021
Article ItemCollege of Agriculture and Life Sciences charts a strategic path to help communities thrive , article
Increasing diversity, boosting research funding, providing student experiences, and supporting Extension’s expanding reach were among the priorities Dean Alan Grant outlined during a recent Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting.Date: 06.10.2021
Article ItemAgricultural productivity growth imperative for the future of food and agriculture , article
At a virtual event at 9 a.m. on June 15, the Global Agricultural Productivity Initiative, or GAP Initiative, at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will present a vision for invigorating food and agricultural systems. Experts working with large- and small-scale farmers around the world will share their perspectives.Date: 06.09.2021
104 Hutcheson Hall (0402)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6336
Fax: (540) 231-4163