Graduate Student Ratnasri Mallipeddi Wins Award at ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting

Ratnasri Mallipeddi took first place in the student competition for President’s Prize for her presentation in the Physiology Biochemistry and Toxicology section 2 at the 2018 ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The title of her talk was “Biochemical and transcriptome characterization of the cellulolytic system in Thermobia domestica for identification of novel enzymes with industrial applications.” The presentation was co-authored by Brian Johnson, William Klingeman, Margaret Staton, and Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes. According to Dr. Jurat-Fuentes, “Ratnasri’s research has not only resulted in the discovery of a wide array of new plant cell wall degrading enzyme (PCWDE) genes from very primitive insects that may have applications to increase efficacy of ethanol biofuel production, but more importantly

Congratulations to Dr. Denita Hadziabdic Guerry – Fulbright Scholar!

Several indigenous crop species have the potential to become foods of the future and need to be integrated into existing agricultural research. Dr. Denita Hadziabdic Guerry was selected for a Fulbright award to the African Regional Research Program to study an indigenous crop, frafra potato (Solenostemon rotendifolius), as an alternative food source. She will spend four months in Ghana working closely with her collaborator at the University of Ghana (UG), Dr. Naalamle Amissah, to evaluate genetic diversity of frafra potato populations in Ghana and surrounding sub-Saharan African countries where this species is cultivated. This is quite an innovative project that involves studying traditional subjects while providing hands-on experiential learning experiences for faculty, staff, and students at the University of Ghana. Congratulations, Dr. Guerry!

EUReCA! winners from left to right: Angel Chaffin (top), Logan Houston (bottom), and Geordan Hall

EUReCA! Winners

Logan Houston, an undergraduate researchers in the Trigiano lab, was awarded a Gold Medal at last night’s EUReCA awards ceremony. Logan’s award was one of four in the STEM section of the competition. Logan’s research, “Geographical location drives the population structure of native Asian Cornus florida” was supported by the Trigiano lab and guided primarily by Dr. Marcin Nowicki. Angel Chaffin, one of our EPP minors, was awarded an Honorable Mention for her work on, “Potential pathogens of industrial hemp (Cannibas sativa)”. Although her research was sponsored by Dr. Kimberly Gwinn, she was also assisted by Cody Seals, Mary Dee, Dr. Ernest Bernard, and Dr. Jerome Grant. Geordan Hall, who worked with Drs. Karen Vail and Becky Trout Fryxell, also