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New Faculty Focus: Yi Wang

September 12, 2017




Title: UW–Madison assistant professor of horticulture and a UW-Extension potato and vegetable sustainable production specialist

What is your educational/professional background?

I grew up in Zhengzhou, China and earned my B.S. degree in biological science from China’s Nanjing Agricultural University. I received my Ph.D. in potato physiology here at UW–Madison and then took a position as an assistant professor at the Kimberly Research and Extension Center at the University of Idaho.

YI Wang

How did you get into your field of research?

I love crops, and I love to watch tiny seeds growing into lush, leafy crops. It fills me with energy.

What are the main goals of your current research program?

To make recommendations about production management – with a focus on water use and crop fertility – to members of Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry to help improve their profitability and sustainability.

What attracted you to UW–Madison?

I got my Ph.D. from Madison and stayed here for seven years before taking a job in Idaho, so coming back to Madison is like coming home.

What was your first visit to campus like?

I was very impressed with the lakes and the trees on campus. Ice cream at Memorial Union was so unforgettable, too.

What is your favorite place on campus?

Memorial Union Terrace.

What are you most enjoying so far about working here?

There is a fantastic potato science team here at UW–Madison, and I look forward to great collaborations with the team members specializing in different areas.

Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how.

The nature of my job is all about the Wisconsin Idea. As an extension specialist in potato and vegetable sustainable production, I am working closely with members of the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry on a daily basis. I learn about their needs by reaching out to them, conduct science-based applied research to address those needs, and then disseminate the research results back to them. I plan to have research plots on commercial farms in the future to directly demonstrate my research to the growers. I enjoy having a great working relationship with them.

What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties?

Potato is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can help the human body form and maintain bones, blood vessels and skin. A 5-ounce potato will supply nearly 50% of an average adult’s daily requirement for vitamin C.

Hobbies/other interests:

Travelling, playing accordion, piano and keyboard.

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