Close-up of an emerald-green native bee digging into a purple flower for pollen and nectar

Dr. Russo Awarded Early Career Robert May Prize from British Ecological Society

The Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) Robert May early career researcher award is named after Lord May, from the University of Oxford. The prize is awarded annually to the best paper submitted by an early career author at the start of their research career. The winning paper: Laura Russo, Adam D. Miller, John Tooker et al. Quantitative evolutionary patterns in bipartite networks: Vicariance, phylogenetic tracking or diffuse co-evolution? Methods Ecol Evol 2018, 9:3. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12914   Here is excerpt from BSE: Dr. Laura Russo led work to develop a framework that can incorporate species traits or behaviours to investigate diffuse evolutionary patterns within ecological communities, using plant-pollinator interactions as a case study. The study of interactions and their impacts

Our EPP undergraduates proudly presenting their EUReCA awards

Three Students Working in EPP Win at EUReCA Competition!

Congratulations to all the Herbert winners at the Exhibit of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement. Forty three students presented 31 projects at the fair. Three students working in EPP were winners at the competition. Marlo Black, an Animal Science major, won the EUReCA Gold Medal for her work, “A Survey of Domestic Hosts of Cimex lectularius in an Urban Setting.” She was also the first place winner in the Herbert College of Agriculture competition. Her mentors were Dr. Karen Vail and Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Two students who were in the Herbert College competition of EUReCA won the 3-minute to Win It Video contest. Leah Dunlap (Plant Science) won the juried competition

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

Fall armyworm voraciously feeding on plant tissue

Development of Novel DNA-Based Methods for Detection of Bt Resistant Fall Armyworms

During the past 22 years, pest control efficacy and the potential for higher net returns have driven a global increase in the adoption of transgenic crops which produce insecticidal proteins (Cry and Vip toxins) from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt crops). In the US alone, Bt corn and cotton adoption represent >80% of the national acreage devoted to the two commodities, which has unfortunately led to increasing selection pressure for evolution of Bt toxin resistant insect pests. One such devastating pest is the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) which has become a growing threat to the use of transgenic corn technology in the Western Hemisphere and more recently the African continent. The fall armyworm is the insect pest with the highest

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