Congratulations to Grace Connelly on a Successful Thesis Defense!

Congratulations to Grace Connelly who successfully defended her thesis, entitled “Evaluating Ecosystem and Agronomic Serivces Provided by Companion Cropping in Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)!”

Grace’s research is driven by the understanding that our current cropping systems are not resilient to climate change. As she puts it, “with monocropping we see increased erosion, CO2 levels, pest pressure, and overall decreased yields (along with a plethora of other negative effects). Because hemp is still lacking best practices, it makes it the perfect crop to establish agroecological and indigenous cropping systems like companion cropping for best practices. By adjusting how we view agriculture, we may be able to preserve the health of the land that we are using while building systems that are not only resilient to climate change but help combat it.”

Grace has spent a little over two years in the Ellison lab having started in June 2021, and will be sticking around for a PhD in Environment and Resources through the Nelson Institute! Grace hopes to continue the work from her master’s and seeing how companion cropping works with on farm trials (and adding lots of other exciting things to look at like soil health assessments and insect surveys). Moving forward, Grace can be contacted at