The Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center is a convergence research community of diverse and leading scientists that addresses the complex challenges in phosphorus sustainability by integrating disciplinary contributions across the physical, life, social, and economic sciences. The STEPS vision is to facilitate a 25% reduction in human dependence on mined phosphates and a 25% reduction in losses of point and non-point sources of phosphorus to soils and water resources within 25 years, leading to enhanced resilience of food systems and reduced environmental damage.
Natalie Von Tress, MS Student - Natalie is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and MS student in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at NC State. She received her undergraduate degree in biological engineering from the University of Arkansas, where she researched the viability of harmful algal bloom mitigation using nanoparticle treatment. For her thesis, Natalie is analyzing connections between human-managed freshwater releases and harmful algal blooms in Lake Okeechobee and connected ecosystems using satellite remote sensing.Read More
Accessing Legacy Phosphorus in Soils
STEPS team members collaborated on a recent review paper that highlights the (1) current knowledge on the occurrence and bioaccessibility of phosphorus in soil, (2) legacy phosphorus transformations with fertilizer applications in relation to their potential bioaccessibility, and (3) approaches and challenges for accessing native soil phosphorus for crop production.
More Transparency Recommended for Gene-Edited Crops
STEPS team member Dr. Khara Grieger recently published a policy forum paper with Dr. Jennifer Kuzma in the journal Science calling for a coalition of various stakeholders to work together to provide basic information about gene-edited crops to lift the veil on how plants or plant products are modified and the use of gene editing in food supplies.
STEPS Co-Director Ross Sozzani Awarded AccelNet Grant
This catalytic-level project (Accelerate Integration of Engineering and Agricultural Research using Artificial Intelligence, AI2EAR) will promote strategies to improve yield, reduce crop loss, decrease crop resource demands, and increase food nutrition.