Principal Investigator – Dr. Erin Silva

Dr. Silva is an Assistant Professor with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Plant Pathology.  Her program focuses broadly on organic agricultural production, including vegetables, row crops and pastures.  Erin is a member of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council and is involved with organic agriculture at both the local and national levels.


PhD and MS. Horticulture. Washington State University.
BS. Biology.  Minor: Chemistry.  University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Silva, E.M., R. Claypool, J. Munsch, J. Hendrickson, P. Mitchell, and J. Mills. 2014. Veggie Compass: A spreadsheet-based tool to calculate cost‐of‐production for diversified organic vegetable farmers. HortTechnology 24:394-402.

Silva, E.M. 2014. Management of five fall-sown cover crops for organic no-till production in the Upper Midwest. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. 38:748-763.

Silva, E.M., F. Dong, P.D. Mitchell, and J. Hendrickson. 2014. Impact of marketing channels on perceptions of quality of life and profitability of Wisconsin’s organic vegetable farmers. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Firstview 1-11.

Pfeiffer, A., E. Silva, and J. Colquhoun. 2014. Innovation in Urban Agricultural Practices: Responding to Diverse Production Environments. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 29:1-14.

Silva, E.M. and G. Muller. 2013. Creating a Collaborative, Hands-on Program to Teach High School Students Organic Farming, HortTechnology 23:376381.

Bruner, L., D.J. Eakes, G.J. Keever, J W. Baier, C.S. Whitman, P.R. Knight, J.E. Altland, and E.M. Silva. 2008. Butterfly Feeding Preferences of Lantana camara Cultivars and Lantana montevidensis ‘Weeping Lavender’ in the Landscape and Nectar Characteristics. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 26(1):9–18.

Falk, C., E. Silva, and P. Pao. 2006. From the Classroom to the Community: An Integrated Method for Research and Teaching of Organic Production. Revista Mexicana de Agronegocios. 19:1-16. In English and Spanish.

Silva, E.M., B. B. Dean, and L. K. Hiller. 2004. Patterns of floral nectar production of onion (Allium cepa L.) and the effects of environmental conditions. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 129: 299-302.

Silva, E.M., B. B. Dean, and L.K. Hiller. 2003. Honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) foraging in response to pre-conditioning with onion flower scent compounds. J. Econ. Entomol. 96(5): 1510-1513.

Silva, E.M. and B. B. Dean. 2000. The effect of nectar composition and nectar concentration on honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) visitations to hybrid onion flowers. J. Econ. Entomol. 93(4): 1216-1221.

Books and Book Chapters

Silva, E.M. and A.C. Pfeiffer. “An Agroecological Perspective on Urban Farming”, in Dawson, Julie and Alfonso Morales eds. Under Contract.  Cities of Farmers: Problems, Possibilities and Processes of Producing Food in Cities. University of Iowa Press.

Daniels, W., A. Diffley, D. Fiser, D. Hollbach, J. Jewett, A. Korane; J. Koan, L. Halley, P. Thelen, S. Plimpton, E. Silva, and J. Slama. 2013. Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Food Safety, Selling, Postharvest Handling, and Packing Produce, 3rd Edition. J. Slama and A. Diffley, eds., Oak park, IL.

Silva, E.M. 2012. Organic Agriculture as an Alternative to a Genetically-Engineered Based System. In: Jennie Popp, Marty Matlock, Nathan Kemper, and Molly Jahn (eds.). The Role Of Biotechnology In A Sustainable Food Supply. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Diffley, A, D. Fiser, A. Korane, J. Koan, L. Halley, P. Thelen, S. Plimpton, E. Silva, and J. Slama. 2008. Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce.,, Oak park, IL.

Silva, E. M. and P.W. Simon. 2005. Genetic, Physiological, and Environmental Factors Affecting Acrylamide Production in Fried Potato Products, p371-386. In: Mendel Friedman and Don Mottram (eds.). Chemistry and Safety of Acrylamide in Food, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer Science, NY.

Click Here to download Dr. Silva’s CV