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Three Arrell Chairs Appointed

Images of the three Arrell Chairs: Maria, Phil and Simon

Three new faculty members, each studying a different facet of the food system, will join the University of Guelph as Arrell Food Chairs beginning this summer.

Drs. Maria Corradini, Philip Loring, and Simon Somogyi were chosen as the Arrell Chairs after an international search in 2017.

The three positions, supported by the Arrell Family Foundation gift made to the university in 2017, are distributed across three colleges: Ontario Agricultural College, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and the College of Business and Economics. The faculty will play an important role in their respective academic homes as well supporting the strategic goals of the Arrell Food Institute.

Dr. Maria Corradini will join the Department of Food Science at U of G from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst where she was an assistant professor. Corradini has previously worked at Rutgers and Universidad Argentina de la Empresa.

Corradini has a profound interest in applying her expertise in food photophysics, modeling non-linear kinetics, and data integration to the global challenge of food security. “To achieve food security, we need to ensure food quality and safety,” she says. “The development of novel optical techniques to study foods, their biophysical behavior, and stability can be used to identify and assess food safety and quality markers.”

“As a scientist, I feel an obligation to ensure and improve the food supply of all communities. This step requires advancing a multidisciplinary approach that involves analytical and computational components as well as management practices to propose integral solutions,” says Corrandini.

Dr. Philip Loring joins the Geography department at U of G from the University of Saskatchewan, bringing his research on coastal communities and diversity in the food system to Canada’s food university. Loring has conducted research across Alaska, Western and Artic Canada as well as in Ecuador.

With the help of his colleagues at the Arrell Food Institute and across campus, Loring is keen to continue to use his research to help communities around the globe.

“As a trained ethnographer and storyteller at heart, I am particularly excited about the opportunity to build a world-class platform to share stories about coastal communities worldwide—about their challenges and their innovations related to food systems and sustainability, “Loring says. “Solving the problems of today and tomorrow requires collaboration and social learning, and this means that people need a chance to tell their stories and connect with others who are working on similar issues.”

Joining the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics from Dalhousie University where he was an Associate Professor in Agri-food Value Chain Management, Dr. Simon Somogyi is the new Arrell Chair in the Business of Food. Somogyi studies agri-food value chains, food business sustainability and international market development.

“Fundamentally, I’m interested in how food systems work and to understand food systems you can’t focus on one part of the system. You need to look at it as a whole,” Somogyi shares.

Somogyi believes that by linking together members of the whole food chain the result will be a more sustainable food supply chain. “If you do this, the food supply chain becomes more efficient and that results in the production and delivery of greater volumes of safe, nutritious food with less wastage and greater profitability for all members of the chain.”

“I am incredibly pleased to be joined at the Arrell Food Institute by these three fantastic new chairs who have all demonstrated a commitment to a more sustainable food system,” says Dr. Evan Fraser, director of the Arrell Food Institute. “These faculty stood out because of their creative and interdisciplinary approaches to a global challenge.”