Cynthia Bartel, PhD, is an Atkinson Center Postdoctoral Fellow with the Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab. After finishing her undergraduate education in agronomy, she obtained an agricultural legislative fellowship in the United States Senate, and also worked at the World Bank as an Agricultural and Rural Development Consultant on the first Agriculture Investment Sourcebook. She then served for seven years as the agriculture, nutrition and trade policy advisor to United States Senator Tim Johnson in Washington, DC. A year-long Robert Bosch Foundation fellowship in Germany included placements in both the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in the German Parliament and within the global headquarters of Bayer CropScience. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Crop Production & Physiology and doctoral minor in Statistics from Iowa State University and Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from University of Wisconsin-Madison.