News • March 06, 2018

Speaker challenges students to search for innovative ways to grow agricultural industry

Dr. Joseph Jez

Riverside, Calif. (March 6, 2018) – A healthy and thriving agricultural industry is necessary to meet the demand of rising human consumption, Dr. Joseph Jez told a California Baptist University audience on March 5.

Jez, a biochemist and professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, spoke as part of the College of Health Science Distinguished Lecture Series. Jez is also a decorated biologist, having received the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in addition to being named a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award recipient.

“Sometimes I feel like The Lorax [from Dr. Seuss], talking about plants and trying to champion them, not just as we see them now, but as they’re going to become in the not so distant future,” Jez said.

Jez lectured on the importance of sustaining a healthy agricultural industry to meet the growing human population.

Jez encouraged students to find creative ways to produce more food, fresh water and energy. The next generation is going to have to come up with the solutions to these complex problems, he said.

Jez said vegetation has inspired people since the beginning of civilization, causing them to ask questions on how nature operates and then how to use it to their advantage.

“Civilization really began once we figured out we can take seeds and plant them in a field and grow a lot more food in one place,” Jez said. “No plants, no civilization.”

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