Katrina Cornish

Internationally-recognized expert on natural rubber production to speak at AU on Feb. 2

Published on Jan. 27, 2023
College of Arts & Sciences

ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s 2022-23 Environmental Lecture Series continues on Thursday, Feb. 2, when Katrina Cornish, professor at The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, presents “Biological and Geographical Diversification of Natural Rubber: U.S. Supply Security, Rural Development and Public Health.” It will be held at Ronk Lecture Hall inside the Dwight Schar College of Education at 7:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, though participants also have the option to attend virtually.

Cornish will discuss the fragile nature of the rubber supply chain and its impact on the U.S. Natural rubber can be found in 50,000 products, but the U.S. is completely dependent on sources in southeast Asia for this critical raw material. Other concerns about the manufacturing of natural rubber include it being tapped by hand as latex by poorly paid workers and rubber trees grown as genetically identical clones that are extremely prone to disease. She will examine a variety of perspectives of this issue, including how the U.S. can develop supply security and manufacture protective gloves and other products.

Cornish is considered the leading U.S. scientific expert, and is internationally recognized as a principal authority, on alternative natural rubber production, properties and products, and on natural rubber biosynthesis. An educator and Ohio research scholar of bio-emergent materials in the department of horticulture and crop science at OSU’s Wooster campus, she leads a research program in alternate rubber production and bio-emergent materials, including food processing wastes for value-added products and biofuels, and also serves as director of research for the Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives, an industrial academic consortium.

More information about the 2022-23 Environmental Lecture Series is available here.

This year’s lecture series is possible thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, support from the AU College of Arts and Sciences and the AU Honors Program, as well as donations from Kimmie and Steve Humrichouser and other generous individuals. Past series have been supported by AU and grants from the Lubrizol Foundation, GTE Foundation and the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.