Advisory Board

Bryan Endres
(217) 333-1828

Bryan Endres is a Professor of Food and Agricultural Law in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.  Dr. Endres studies the impact of law throughout food and bio-products supply chains and develops solutions to improve regulatory outcomes. He is active in the Bock

Program on campus (Bock Program | A site – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) where he explores a range of issues, including legal structures to support farms engaged in direct marketing, small farm regulatory compliance, liability issues relating to use of genetically engineered seed, and developing cooperative legal structures to better manage invasive plants.  He teaches courses on food law, bioenergy, biotechnology, and sustainability.  His outreach activities include contributions to Direct Farm Business, which provides legal advice to address the unique legal concerns of Community Supported Agriculture (“CSA”) farms. 

Check out recent works:

Frontiers | Influence of the Seed Loophole and Bottleneck on Quantity and Quality of Organic Maize Seed in the U.S. Midwest (

Restaurant disclosure of food allergens: Analysis and economic implications – A Bryan Endres, Renata Endres, Marinela Krstinić Nižić, 2021 (

Bounds of Agritourism: Defining the Bounds of Booming Agritourism – farmdoc daily (

Dr. Endres received his J.D. at the University of Illinois, an M.A. from Bowie State university and his B.S. at the U.S. Military Academy.

Leslie Duram
(618) 453-6084

Leslie Duram is a Professor of Geography at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Director of the Environmental Studies Program since 2012. She is a Fulbright Scholar and conducts research on organic farming systems and environmental sustainability. With more than 50 journal articles and peer-reviewed publications to her credit, her academic range encompasses local food, alternative agriculture, environmental education, sustainability, water quality, and grassroots participation in environmental management. A frequent lecturer, writer, and speaker, Duram shares her commitment to sustainable food systems development with students, researchers and farmers across the planet.

Check out some of her recent work:


Special issue in Sustainability: Sustainability | Special Issue : Local- to Global-Scale Environmental Issues (

Plant based climate summit Plant-Based Climate Summit | April 1, 2021 – YouTube

University Food Gardens: A Unifying Place for Higher Education

She received her Ph.D. in Geography from University of Colorado, her MA in Geography from Kansas State University and B.A. in International Studies from Wichita State University.

Carmen Ugarte

Dr. Ugarte’s is an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and the Project Administrator of the Illinois Organic Project that is one of ASAP’s priority projects.

Her research focuses on understanding the effects of soil management practices on soil quality and function. She is especially interested in studying the dynamics of soil food webs and their influence on soil ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, carbon storage, and the regulation of population densities of deleterious soil organisms. Our ability to gain insight on these relationships and processes is fundamental to improving soil management and ensuring sustainability of our natural resources. Her work includes basic and applied research at different scales (e.g., experimental and replicated trials, on-farm research) at the regional and national levels in agronomic and natural systems.

Zhongie Yu

Is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His research interests lie at the intersection of watershed hydrology, nitrogen biogeochemistry, and sustainable agriculture. He is also interested in developing and applying novel stable isotope techniques to understand water and nutrient cycling in hydrologic and agricultural systems. In addition to research, he teaches courses in Soil and Water Conservation, Aquatic Biogeochemistry, and Topics in Isotope Hydro-Biogeochemistry


Steve John
Agricultural Watershed Institute
AWI phone: (217) 877-5640

Steve John is the co-founder and executive director of the Agricultural Watershed Institute, a nonprofit research and educational organization based in Decatur, Illinois. AWI’s mission is