Austin Dobbels was awarded second place at the Science in Seconds held June 1. Modeled after the well know 3 minute thesis competition - graduate students have 3 minutes and 1 slide to present their research in clear and concise terms that non-scientists can understand. The event was hosted by the College of Veterinary Medicine in conjunction with the College of Biological Sciences and College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Mark Rutherford provided all the necessary support from coordinating judges to connecting with the CBS and CFANS associate deans.
“Coming to the University of Minnesota was the best decision I ever made in my life,” declared Mike Wingfield, Ph.D. Plant Pathology ‘83, upon receiving the 2016 University of Minnesota Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals during a ceremony, presentation, and reception event held June 2. The award was presented to him by Professor of Plant Pathology Department Head Jim Bradeen (left) and Dean Brian Buhr. His presentation focused on “Global Tree Health: Can We Win the Battle Against Invasive Pests and Diseases,” during which he underscored how “people and trees are similar in how they respond to disease.” He emphasized that future biosecurity depends upon engaging and collaborating with politicians and social scientists more than ever.
Monitoring carnivores is hard: most of these species are rare, live in remote areas and avoid contacts with humans. In addition, targeting multiple species results in specific challenges that biologists have to address considering the differences in habitat use, movement patterns and behaviour among all the species of interest. In particular, camera trapping of multiple species of carnivores requires specific considerations to increase the otherwise low detection rates. Additionally, this increase in detection should be homogeneous among species.
Conservation Sciences graduate student Julia Leone was awarded a three-year Graduate Research Fellowships by the National Science Foundation. She is studying the impacts of grazing and fire management on prairie remnants in Minnesota and assessing how these different management regimes affect native plant species richness and diversity, as well as pollinating insects (bees and butterflies). She took a few moments for a CFANS Q&A.
The University of Minnesota (UMN) and Brazil are joining forces to tackle problems of viable productivity growth in agriculture, sustainably. The LabexFlex-UMN partnership will bring together Brazil and Minnesota to address many shared agricultural problems between both entities, such as pests, disease, soil management, climate and other weather risk challenges.
More evidence of how CFANS researchers are taking on the next generation of problems in genetics and crop improvement: Research by post doctoral associate Ana Poets is being featured in the most recent issue of the journal G3 (Genes, Genomes, Genetics). In the paper lead author Poets and co-author Professor Kevin Smith state that the effects of both recent and long-term selection and genetic drift are readily evident in North American barley breeding populations.
For the last three years, Emily Ellingson (Applied Plant Sciences, M.S.) has spent her days studying and growing a single type of tree: the eastern hemlock. Ellingson, who is advised by Stan Hokanson and Jim Bradeen, is utilizing microsatellite markers to determine genetic diversity within Minnesota’s native eastern hemlock population in the hopes of improving conservation efforts for the tree.
The Third National Adaptation Forum, held last week at the St. Paul River Center, showcased CFANS departments, centers, and research teams that are tackling issues related to climate adaptation. More than 1,000 people from 49 states attended.
Conservation Sciences graduate student Mike Verhoeven was awarded a three-year Graduate Research Fellowship by the National Science Foundation. He is researching impacts of the invasive macroalgae, starry stonewort, on native plant diversity in Minnesota lakes and response of the invader to management actions. He took a few moments for a CFANS Q&A.
Sujaya Rao, Ph.D., has accepted the position as head of Entomology. Professor Rao will bring to CFANS enthusiasm and passion for the position and is excited to chart the next course for the department.
Professor Rao will leave her position of IPM and Pollination Entomologist and Director of Undergraduate Research at Oregon State University (OSU), and will assume her position in CFANS on September 29, 2017.