Nahed Msayleb is a Ph.D. candidate in Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University at Ames, in the department of Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering. As an International Fulbright Science & Technology Award recipient, she is experimenting with soil ozonation as an alternative to Methyl Bromide (MeBr) fumigation as a way to sterilize the soil from pathogens.
Nahed’s research will help in identifying an alternate to highly polluting MeBr gas, a gas which world organizations and governments have failed in phasing-out despite several attempts. Although MeBr is highly effective in sterilizing the soil from plant pathogens and pests, it depletes the stratospheric ozone layer, which results in environmental problems.
Ozone has the potential of replacing MeBr in the soil sterilization process, since it is the most powerful oxidizing agent and is environmentally safe, economically feasible, and practically available. If proven effective in soil sterilization or disinfection, ozone could help in the sustainability of agriculture and the environment, greatly aiding sustainable development.
A native of Lebanon, Nahed received both a Diploma of Agricultural Engineer, in which she specialized in Plant Production and Protection, and also a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Lebanese University’s Faculty of Agricultural Engineering in Beirut. She completed the fifth year of her Diploma program at France’s Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs des Travaux Agricoles de Bordeaux (ENITA Bordeaux / France’s National School of Agricultural Engineering). After graduation, Nahed worked first in the private sector as an agronomist then joined Tyre Coast Nature Reserve in the Southern Lebanon to explore the work in the environmental sector. Later, she worked with the international NGOs and governmental organizations in development programs. Her goal is to work in international sustainable development.
PhD (2014, Sustainable Agriculture) Iowa State University, USA
MS (1995, Environmental Engineering) Lebanese University, Lebanon
BS (1994, Agricultural Engineering) Lebanese University, Lebanon