Jacob Walker-Swaney

  • Education: B.S. Wildlife Ecology and Management
  • Home Department: Plant Sciences/Public Health
  • Email: jacob.swaney@ndsu.edu
  • Office: 218 Quentin Burdick Building
  • Advisers: Dr. Kalidas Shetty and Dr. Donna Grandbois

Why I joined the ECS Ph.D. Program

The training I received in my undergraduate degree and cultural background created my awareness to the diversity challenges of our time. Conservation of languages, biodiversity, and culture has long been a passion of mine, and I believe that one must understand how to manage human populations in order to conserve natural resources.

Research interests

  • Food for Health
  • Three Sisters Farming Systems
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Plant Sciences
  • Conservation of Indigenous Agriculture Methods and Culture

My research

Overall, I am researching the human health benefits of a North American Indigenous diet. One focus of my research is looking at the three sisters (corn, beans, and squash) farming system and select wild edibles. My study focuses on the phenolic content of these plant based foods and how the phenols can help manage type II diabetes mellitus and hypertension. In addition, the second focus of my research is the ecology of traditional farming practices and the impacts of these on plant health, ecology, and systems.


  • Warne, D., Gold, A., Paige, Z., Shimek, R., Walker-Swaney, J. (2016). Indigenous Food System and Human Health. Presented at the 2nd Annual NDSU Food for Health Conference, July 10-13, 2016, Fargo, ND.