Lincoln, Neb. —The University of Nebraska’s James Schnable, the Gardner Professor of Agronomy within the Nebraska Food for Health Center, the Center for Plant Science Innovation, and the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture was named a Fellow of the German PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence, based at the University of Bonn. Schnable joined a group of eleven Fellows identified by the Cluster of Excellence from institutions such as Oxford, Wageningen, and UC-Davis identified by the Center as leaders in working towards sustainable crop production using digital technologies.
PhenoRob is a DFG supported Cluster of Excellence that performs world-leading research in automation, plant phenotyping and crop production, bringing together leading researchers in computer science, robotics, crop science, and agricultural economics to develop and deploy new technologies to both optimize breeding and farming management and transform crop production.
Schnable started his research career at the University of Nebraska in 2014. Over the next eight years, he rose to the rank of full professor, founded three companies working in the bioinformatics, climate resilient agriculture, and precision agronomy spaces, raised more than $6M from angel and venture investors and secured funding for his research program from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, Foundation for Food and Agricultural research as well as research sponsored by for profit companies and NGOs. In 2022 he took a leave of absence from Nebraska to work at X, a division of Google focused on inventing and launching "moonshot" technologies that aim to make the world a radically better place.