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Greg Lowry, the Walter J. Blenko, Sr. Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, provides an overview on the importance of nanotechnology, environmental science nano impact factor, considerations regarding current research, and more.

Lowry is deputy director of the NSF/EPA Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT). Additionally, he is on the editorial board for Environmental Science: Nano and Nature: Scientific Data. Lowry earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), and an M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from University of Wisconsin in Madison. Continuing his education path, Lowry earned a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University.

Lowry’s intensive research focuses on multiple scientific areas, such as environmental geochemistry, environmental nanotechnology, and nanochemistry. Lowry discusses their research and goal to make agriculture more sustainable. He states that agriculture is very inefficient, and as world populations are expanding at an incredible rate, more work has to be done to increase sustainability, making plants more efficient, making them more resilient to climate change, etc. Lowry talks about his work on wheat, corn, tomato, and more, discussing how they engineer nano materials to deliver nutrients to plants more efficiently, aiding in their growth, especially in difficult climate or soil conditions.

Lowry discusses specific examples of their work, with plants and trees, and the effectiveness of getting nutrients into them. He explains how they have developed coatings on their nano particles that allow them to infiltrate the plant, which overrides the plant’s systems that may fight infiltration, and thus successfully providing nutrients while avoiding any detrimental effects to plant health. Continuing, Lowry states that as we increase population in the billions, plant sustainability will be key to feeding the world’s population.

In this podcast:

  • What are nanoparticles and what can they do?
  • How will increasing populations put a strain on food supplies?
  • What can we do to increase plant sustainability?
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