Dr. Bobby J Smith II and Dr. Esther Ngumbi

The Department of African American Studies enthusiastically welcomes Dr. Smith and Dr. Ngumbi to the faculty as Assistant Professors.

Dr. Smith's work focuses on food justice in the United States, local food systems, race & class in food politics,  and activism. More specifically, his current research seeks to understand the ways in which Black communities use food justice activism, in historical and contemporary contexts, to address and resist inequalities embedded in the social, economic, cultural, and political contexts of agri-food systems and movements.

Dr. Ngumbi has been dually appointed by the Entomology Department where she will continue her work that is focused on understanding the multifaceted uses of chemical signals (both volatile and non-volatile) by herbivores, natural enemies, plants and their associated microorganisms and insects. Moreover, my research on beneficial soil microbes seeks to find microbial-based solutions for improving crop production, alleviating drought stress in crop plants and sustainable pest management. We use a comparative approach with model tritrophic systems and employ several chemical ecology tools.

Consider taking a class with Dr. Smith and Dr. Ngumbi this spring!

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