Agroforests in the tropics provide key conservation landscapes for amphibians

January 26, 2022

Although tropical forest ecosystems around the world have been modified and fragmented by agroforests planted to produce commodities such as coffee, rubber and areca palm, amphibian communities can survive in those transformed landscapes — if the agroforests are managed to support biodiversity. That’s the conclusion of a new study led by Penn State wildlife ecologists who surveyed frog populations in the Western Ghats, a mountain range that covers an area of 62,000 square miles parallel to the southwestern coast of India.

International agriculture minor helps put Penn State grad on path to vet school

January 10, 2022

During her senior capstone class in international agriculture, Penn State alumna Abigail Seeley worked on a grant proposal that has proved valuable as she works to become a veterinarian. She had several opportunities to experience international agriculture during her undergraduate years, which fueled her interest in completing the INTAG minor. Those experiences have served her interests at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

David Hughes makes Newsweek’s inaugural list of 'America’s Greatest Disruptors'

January 3, 2022

Penn State entomology and biology professor David Hughes aims to be a disruptor; to him, he said, it's the way things get done. Disturbed by the inequality, he turned his mind to food security. “The idea was to have an expert in a phone that a farmer could use to diagnose her problem,” said Hughes. That idea turned into PlantVillage, an AI (artificial intelligence)-enabled smartphone app and cloud-based knowledge system that would serve as a resource to farmers around the world to learn how to treat diseases.

Penn State expands WEF nexus activities through Colombian partnership

December 4, 2021

In mid-October, a delegation from La Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano (UTadeo ) in Bogotá, Colombia visited Penn State to participate in a week-long WEF-Nexus Colombia Partnership Meeting. This meeting pushed forward the partnership between the two universities within Water, Energy and Food (WEF) Nexus activities.

College of Ag Sciences helps students offset carbon footprint when traveling

December 3, 2021

A new program in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences is helping students reduce their carbon footprints while studying abroad. The Sustainable and Accessible Study Abroad initiative began last year to encourage students to incorporate sustainable practices into their study abroad experiences by supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Penn State Global recognized for sustainability by the Forum on Education Abroad

November 30, 2021

Penn State Global has been selected as the recipient of The Forum on Education Abroad’s first Award for Advancing the U.N. SDGs through Education Abroad. Penn State Global partners with the University's academic units and the Sustainability Institute to implement curricular integration, programmatic updates and operational changes to continue its mission of advancing the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

Urbanization not always bad for food and land use diversity

November 30, 2021

Widely accepted myths that urbanization negatively impacts food and land use biodiversity are incorrect, according to a team of researchers who developed a framework for evaluating this intersection. Their results could also affect nutrition and food insecurity in urban areas.

Penn State professor helps spearhead global plant-health conference in France

November 18, 2021

If action isn’t taken to protect the health of the world’s plants, the prognosis for some species is poor, especially in regions that lack plant protection policies and extension services, according to scientists who participated in an international workshop and conference that was co-led by a plant pathologist at Penn State. Held in Toulouse, France, in October, the “Assessing the State of Global Plant Health in Natural and Cultivated Ecosystems” workshop was sponsored by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems and the International Society of Plant Pathology. These international nonprofits address social, economic and environmental challenges.

Hopper-Dean family helps combat global hunger with PlantVillage matching fund

November 17, 2021

PlantVillage, a platform developed by Penn State researchers that is helping tens of millions of farmers across Africa cope with the immediate challenges of climate change, will be enhanced and expanded thanks to the generosity of Jeff Dean and Heidi Hopper, whose gift includes a commitment to match other donations up to a total of $2.5 million.

At World Food Prize: Penn State educator discusses next generation of ag leaders

November 11, 2021

Melanie Miller Foster, co-founder of the Global Teach Ag Network in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, discussed the role of educators in preparing the next generation of agricultural leaders as an event panelist at the 2021 World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium. Miller Foster participated in a panel led by the secretaries of agriculture from countries in the Northern Hemisphere, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Mexico Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Victor Manuel Villalobos Arámbula, and Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Penn State awarded nearly $39M for global research on threats to crops

November 8, 2021

Reducing the negative effects of pests, diseases and weeds on crops in a climate-changed world is the goal of a multi-institution team led by Penn State and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the organization’s initiative to end global hunger. The award was announced today (Nov. 6) by Administrator Samantha Power of the United States Agency for International Development at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The grant — up to $39 million total over five years — will establish the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Current and Emerging Threats to Crops at Penn State.

Fulbright award recipient in College of Ag Sciences conducting research in Ghana

October 28, 2021

In rural Ghana, where most rely on farming for survival, families face many challenges, including scarcity of food, running water and electricity. Women carry a hefty workload because they are responsible not just for child-rearing and household tasks but also for farm chores. Though their contributions often leave women with less free time than men, their work is undervalued, and most women are not equal partners in financial decision-making, according to Kaitlin Fischer, a doctoral degree candidate in rural sociology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Penn State alumnus furthers agricultural education abroad despite pandemic

October 8, 2021

After his plans to serve with the Peace Corps were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Manny Catala pivoted quickly to continue his service to students abroad. Catala, a 2019 graduate of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, will teach in Ghana this year as part of the International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program.

Berks professor to aid global research focused on uplifting smallholder farmers

September 30, 2021

A professor in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will lend her expertise in gender studies to an interdisciplinary, multi-university team of researchers as they explore methods to advance fruit and vegetable production in Africa, South/Southeast Asia and Central America. Janelle Larson, associate professor of agricultural economics at Penn State Berks, will serve as the gender specialist for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture at the University of California, Davis.

Small but mighty: Microgreens go from trendy vegetables to functional food

September 30, 2021

Starting decades ago as fashionable, high-value gourmet greens, today microgreens have gained popularity among consumers for their nutritional profile and high content of antioxidant compounds. Now, a new study suggests that the tiny plants have the potential to help provide global nutrition security.

Windon to lead Ukraine Rural and Agricultural Development program at Penn State

September 27, 2021

Suzanna Windon, assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been appointed director of the college’s Ukrainian Rural and Agricultural Development Program. Windon, a native of Ukraine, has 16 years of experience in research and teaching at Ukrainian institutions, including several years as an associate professor at Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics.

Plant pathology professor receives Excellence in Teaching Award

August 25, 2021

María del Mar Jiménez-Gasco, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, received this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the American Phytopathological Society. The honor came during the group’s annual meeting, Plant Health 2021, held virtually Aug. 2-6. The award recognizes an American Phytopathological Society member for excellence in teaching plant pathology. Preference is given to active teachers with responsibility for one or more courses in plant pathology.

Study of structural variants in cacao genomes yields clues about plant diversity

August 25, 2021

An exhaustive and painstaking comparison of the genomes of multiple strains of the cacao tree by a team of researchers has provided insights into the role genomic structural variants play in the regulation of gene expression and chromosome evolution, giving rise to the differences within populations of the plant.

Global food security professor named to 'Most Creative People in Business' list

August 16, 2021

Penn State entomologist David Hughes has been added to the magazine Fast Company's, list of "The Most Creative People in Business 2021." Fast Company is a publication dedicated to the power of disruptive innovation, and added Hughes due to his PlantVillage work at Penn State

Researchers identify a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn

August 4, 2021

The discovery of a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn is a new tool to enable the breeding of deeper-rooting crops with enhanced ability to take up nitrogen, according to an international team of researchers, led by Penn State.

'Sweet' scholarship takes Penn State food science student to Austria

July 20, 2021

Aaron Wiedemer, a senior majoring in food science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has an envious area of study: chocolate. He will be taking his research abroad in fall 2021 with the help of the Marshall Plan Scholarship. The Marshall Plan Scholarship is designed for students working on part of their bachelor’s or master’s degree thesis. Students enrolled in any American university are eligible to apply.

CT scans offer new view of Lake Malawi cichlid specimens in Penn State museum

July 19, 2021

Computed tomography — CT scanning — which combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around an organism and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of its bones, is providing new insight into an old initiative to characterize fishes in Africa’s Lake Malawi. The process, demonstrated in a new study using the high-resolution X-ray computer system in Penn State’s Center for Quantitative X-Ray Imaging, is important because it will lead to the identification and management of more of the fish species in Africa’s second largest lake, according to lead researcher Jay Stauffer Jr., distinguished professor of ichthyology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Course empowers students from Penn State, Ukraine to act on food security

July 19, 2021

A virtual international agriculture course is helping students at both Penn State and Lviv Polytechnic National University in Lviv, Ukraine, grow a deeper understanding of local and global food security.

PlantVillage team lauded for projects to protect food supply amid COVID, locusts

July 19, 2021

Penn State researchers responsible for PlantVillage, a mobile app that helps farmers diagnose crop diseases and monitor pests, have been lauded for their work to help African farmers overcome challenges related to desert locusts and COVID-19.

Dr. Ruth Mendum partners with CGIAR to contribute to resilient landscapes and livelihoods in refugee settings

June 23, 2021

Penn State, University of Freiburg partner to form Virtual Classroom Project

May 11, 2021

Penn State and the University of Freiburg launched a pilot program to create collaborative, integrated virtual classroom courses by providing development and implementation money to faculty teams. Two projects were selected. The first project focuses on declines in insect biodiversity and abundance, while the second focuses on implications, challenges, and solutions for integrating renewable energy systems into the grid.

Cutter named recipient of 2021 Kopp International Achievement Award

April 27, 2021

Catherine Cutter, professor of food science and assistant director of food safety & quality programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the recipient of Penn State's 2021 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award. Nominators praised Cutter’s dedication to international food safety and improving public health.

College of Ag Sciences alumna is part of U.N. team that receives Nobel Prize

April 5, 2021

A Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences alumna is a senior member of an organization that has received the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

College of Ag Sciences courses aim to broaden cultural understanding

April 1, 2021

Faculty in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences continue to develop novel courses designed to increase cultural awareness and knowledge of food systems here in central Pennsylvania and throughout the world. Two of these courses will be offered in the fall 2021 semester.

Ottar Bjørnstad elected to Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters

March 22, 2021

Ottar N. Bjørnstad, distinguished professor of entomology and biology and J. Lloyd & Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair of Epidemiology at Penn State, have been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. Bjørnstad was recommended as a result of his significant contributions to the fields of population ecology and quantitative epidemiology.

Ag Sciences Global

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106 Agricultural Administration Building
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Ag Sciences Global

Address

106 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802