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University of Illinois Professor Wins 2019 NAS Prize

A University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign adjunct professor has won the 2019 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences for her research on how atmospheric changes affect the physiology and growth of crops around the world.

Elizabeth Ainsworth, who also serves as a lead investigator at the SoyFACE Global Change Research Facility, will receive the award from the National Academy of Sciences.

The prize, which includes a medal and $100,000 in cash, is awarded to a mid-career scientist at a U.S. institution who has made a pioneering contribution to the study of biology and agriculture.

Ainsworth has researched the impact of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and ozone in combination with drought and other environmental stresses on crops like maize and soybeans. Recently, she found that a large portion of the U.S. corn and soybean harvests over the past 20 years were lost due to Ozone pollution.

Ainsworth is also being recognized for her science advocacy, as a science ambassador and as a role model for the next generation of scientists.

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