PRINCESS ANNE, MD – (January 29) – The School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences (SANS) Seminar Series continues on Thursday, February 6, at 4 p.m. in the Richard A. Henson Center, Room 1116.  Dr. Shanthu Shantharam begins the semester’s weekly presentations with his talk, “Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in the 21st Century Will Need Modern Biotech Crops.”

Shantharam is an experienced biotechnology regulatory affairs expert and a biosafety and biotechnology risk assessment specialist.  His current research interests are in the areas of biotechnology assessment, policy analysis for incorporating biotechnology for biodiversity conservation and utilization, and changing land uses due to climate change and their mitigation.  He has over 30 years of experience in agricultural biotechnology policy development and policy analysis, including trade and regulatory policy.  He currently teaches Biotechnology Innovation Management, Introduction to the Seed Industry and Methods in Crop Improvement graduate courses at Iowa State University in addition to supervising master’s students with their dissertations.

The series was introduced during the fall 2013 semester, when undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators welcomed its inaugural speakers.   Those speakers, faculty and guests alike, included Dr. Tovi Lehmann, research biologist for the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Moses Kairo, dean of the UMES School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences;  Dr. Ray Bryant, soil scientist for the USDA; Bill Satterfield, executive director of the Delmarva Poultry Industry; Doug Green, farmer and UMES alum;  Dr. Enrique Nelson Escobar, assistant professor and Extension specialist in small ruminants; Dr. Ahmed Elnabawi, visiting associate professor in toxicology in the Department of Natural Sciences; Dr. Virginie Zoumenou, associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology and Extension specialist in nutrition; Dr. Andrew Ristvey, Extension specialist for the University of Maryland Extension;  Dr. Mark Frana, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at SU; Dr. Bradley Stevens, distinguished research scientist for the LMRCSC at UMES; and Dr. Jeurel Singleton, associate professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at UMES.

In the words of Dean Moses T. Kairo, the series has been established to provide a forum for faculty and other invited guest speakers to speak on a broad range of topics that are germane to the school’s programs.  The subject matter last semester ranged from mosquitoes to why the poultry industry on the Shore means so much to Botox to exploring the deep blue sea and more. 

Shantharam’s talk will be followed by a talk from Dr. Marcos Cheney, titled “Uranium Concentrations in Bottled Water and Selected Municipal Water Supplies,” on Thursday, February 13.  All talks are free and open to the public.

For more information about upcoming seminars, visit:


Suzanne Waters Street, agriculture communications specialist, School of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, 410-621-3850,

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