The Agroforestry4Food research group is a diverse multidisciplinary assemblage of professors, students, and technicians at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focused on progressing temperate agroforestry forward. Currently, we have five active research projects and maintain a series of collaborations with groups across the Midwest working on plant, farm, and system level dynamics. We are constantly researching the biological, ecological, and economical aspects of agroforestry systems to improve upon the future of food. Our hope is that through our work, we can help make woody crop species more common in agricultural systems in the United States and abroad to create a more truly sustainable agriculture.


Sarah Taylor Lovell

Associate Professor of Crop Sciences

Sarah’s research program focuses on the design and performance of multifunctional landscapes.  She serves as the lead on the Multifunctional Woody Polyculture field trial, studying the relationship between structure and function of the system.


Wendy Yang

Assistant Professor of Plant Biology and Geology







Nick Paulson

Associate Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics







Jeremy Guest

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jeremy’s research program focuses on the development of sustainable infrastructure. He leads the life cycle assessment portion of the MWP, studying the environmental implications of perennial agriculture.


Michelle Wander

Professor of Natural

Resources and Environmental Sciences







Bruce Branham

Professor of Crop Sciences








Students & Technicians

Ronald Revord

Ph.D. student, Crop Sciences

Ron has been actively involved with designing and assisting in  both MWP research sites since their inceptions. He is now studying breeding and genetics of hazelnuts with an emphasis on yield and disease resistance.

Kevin Wolz,

Ph.D. student, Ecology, Evolution, & Cons. Bio.

Kevin is the principal investigator at the MWP pilot  study. He is currently working on expanding farmer adoption of MWPs and works closely with the Savanna Institute and field trials across the Midwest.

Chloe Mattia

Masters student, Crop Sciences

Chloe identified farmer perceptions of MWPs in a landowner survey to improve agroforestry adoption. She is also working on GIS mapping marginal land to identify priority conservation areas that would benefit from agroforestry.

Matthew Wilson

Masters student, Crop Sciences

Matt's research focuses on improving effective design tools for mixed agroforestry planning. Additionally, he is researching optimal and efficient methods for woody plant establishment  using bio-mulch.

Eric Wolske

Masters student, Crop Sciences

Eric works is studying shade tolerance of currants. His project is taking place at the MWP pilot study, but he is also actively involved in projects relating to the MWP field trial.

Erik Stanek

Masters student, Crop Sciences

Erik is  researching design preferences of land owners regarding MWPs. He is actively working to improve farmer adoption of woody systems across the Midwest. He also is working on market analysis of MWP crops.

Michael Douglass

Lab Technician

Michael is a technician for the Agroforestry for Food research group and handles management of all research sites and field activities.

William Eddy

Postdoctoral Associate., Plant Biology

Dr. Eddy is investigating the mechanisms leading to greater ecosystem service production on mature  MWP farms. He also is measuring nitrogen leaching and water flux at the MWP pilot site.

Tito Lavaire

Lab Technician

Tito is a technician in the Wander Lab and assists in field and laboratory work for the MWP research sites. Tito has a MS in Natural Resources and Environmental Science and is interested in soil biogeochemistry dynamics.