Pennsylvania private forest landowners value fire as tool to manage woodlands

June 13, 2024

Fire can help shape ecosystems, and after a century of suppressing naturally occurring fire that has thrown forests out balance, some states — including Pennsylvania — are using controlled burns to help manage forests on public lands. Now, a new four-state study by a team of Penn State researchers shows that many private landowners in the Keystone State value controlled burns and are willing to pay for them on their woodlands, too.

Study suggests Holstein dairy cows not harmed by producing beef crossbred calves

June 11, 2024

Facing economic challenges, dairy farmers are increasingly crossbreeding some of their Holstein cows with beef breed bulls to add value to surplus calves born in their herds. In an analysis of almost 40,000 cows, a team of Penn State researchers found that carrying and birthing the larger crossbred beef calves generally does not negatively affect dairy cow health.

New exhibit will showcase complex lives and impacts of insects

June 11, 2024

A new exhibition will help visitors to the Bellefonte Art Museum explore the symbiotic relationship between humans and insects. Created by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, “Entwined Worlds” will shine a spotlight on the crucial role insects play in sustaining ecosystems; pollinating plants; inspiring art, music and literature; and contributing to advancements in medicine, biofuels and construction materials. The exhibition will be on display from July 5 to Aug. 25. 

Researchers develop model to guide milk processors’ food safety decisions

June 10, 2024

Certain strains of bacteria can withstand heat treatments such as pasteurization of milk and possess the potential to induce foodborne illness. To help minimize and predict the magnitude of this risk, a team led by Penn State researchers developed a model that can guide processors to improve food safety.

Haiku may shine a light on humans’ relationship with insects, study suggests

June 10, 2024

Penn State researchers analyzed which insects were mentioned the most in haiku — with butterflies, fireflies and singing insects such as crickets topping the list. Andrew Deans, professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, director of the college’s Frost Entomological Museum and corresponding author on the study, said the findings shine a light on the insects that inspire emotion and awe in humans.

Q&A: What do I need to know about avian flu?

June 7, 2024

Multiple states since March 2024 have reported dairy herds displaying symptoms caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza, raising questions about how the virus spreads, how producers can protect their animals, the risk of infection in people, and the safety of milk and meat supplies. Extension veterinarian Ernest Hovingh, clinical professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences, answers these and other questions related to the this avian flu outbreak in dairy cattle.

Guiltinan named director of the Penn State Plant Institute

June 6, 2024

Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology and J. Franklin Styer Professor of Horticultural Botany, has been named director of the Penn State Plant Institute.

IEE seed grants awarded to 11 interdisciplinary projects

June 6, 2024

Eleven interdisciplinary research teams have been awarded funding through Penn State's Institute of Energy and the Environment’s Seed Grant Program for 2024.

Mushroom stump waste could be inexpensive, healthy chicken feed supplement

June 4, 2024

Feed costs for producing broiler chickens accounts for 60% to 70% of total production costs, and stump waste from the production of button mushrooms comprises nearly 30% of total mushroom weight. Marrying the two has the potential to reduce both cost and waste, especially in Pennsylvania, which is a national leader in the production of broiler chickens and button mushrooms. To learn whether the two are compatible, a team of Penn State researchers conducted a new study to determine how supplementing the feed of broilers with mushroom stump waste affected the growth and health of the chickens.

Combining pest treatments may be key to helping honey bees survive the winter

June 3, 2024

A new study by Penn State researchers has found that using not one but multiple pest treatments may help honey bees survive the winter and make it to spring.

Architecture team receives grant to study 3D-printed sustainable materials

June 3, 2024

With the support of a seed grant from the Living Multifunctional Materials Collaborative Seed Grant Program through the Convergence Center for Living Multifunctional Material Systems at Penn State, an interdisciplinary Penn State team is working with researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany to explore the durability and strength of sustainable 3D-printed building components made with mycelium, the root of fungus. 

Architecture professor receives grant to study 3D-printed sustainable materials

June 3, 2024

With the support of a seed grant from the Materials Research Institute, an interdisciplinary Penn State team is working with researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany to explore the durability and strength of sustainable 3D-printed building components made with mycelium, the root of fungus. 

College of Ag Sciences professor honored by national microbial research network

May 30, 2024

Edward Dudley, professor of food science and director of the E. coli Reference Center in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, has been awarded the 2023 J. Roger Porter Award by the United States Culture Collection Network in recognition of his outstanding leadership to support novel life science discoveries. 

Virtual training may be an effective, cost-efficient option for child educators

May 24, 2024

Teachers and other child educators can benefit from regular professional development, but in-person training can be expensive. In a new study, researchers at Penn State and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that virtual training can be a budget-friendly alternative — and especially effective for certain groups of educators.

College of Agricultural Sciences professor named a top scientist by

May 23, 2024

A faculty member in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences has been named recipient of’s Plant Science and Agronomy Leader Award for 2024 and is included in the academic platform’s 2024 Ranking of Best Scientists in the Field of Plant Science and Agronomy.

Type 2 diabetes treatment found to impact fungal community in human gut

May 22, 2024

Research led by scientists at Penn State's One Health Microbiome Center have found that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes, has impacts on fungal elements of the human gut microbiome.

Technology in agriculture initiative kicks off with collaborative symposium

May 21, 2024

Attendees from within and beyond the University recently convened at Penn State for the Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems Symposium, where they had the opportunity to learn about current research, share ideas for collaboration, and grow networks.

Penn State Sustainable Labs Program concludes second year, expands on successes

May 21, 2024

The Sustainable Labs Program provides educational support and networking opportunities to labs across Penn State, helping them implement changes to become more energy and resource efficient. Actions taken by participating labs are estimated to result in over $155,000 in savings for the University and reduce about 490 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

GAP funding paves the way for research to move from lab to market

May 21, 2024

Four projects were recently awarded Penn State Commercialization GAP funding. The GAP Fund, formerly known as the Fund for Innovation, aims to accelerate the development of promising research across the University by closing the funding gaps between proof-of-concept research and readiness for commercialization.  

H5N1 virus from 2022 mink outbreak capable of inefficient airborne transmission

May 16, 2024

Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza was detected in dairy cattle for the first time in the United States in March, with nine states reporting outbreaks by May. While the method of transmission among cattle is currently unknown, new research published in Nature Communications demonstrates that a related strain of H5N1, subtype clade, which caused an outbreak in farmed mink in 2022, could transmit through the air to a limited number of ferrets. This is the first time that a member of the group of H5N1 clade viruses has been shown to exhibit this ability. According to the Penn State researchers who led the study, the findings suggest these viruses are evolving to infect mammals and with potentially increased risk to humans.

'Research Art Collection' showcase in Old Main

May 14, 2024

"Research Art Collection," is on display in the Office of Senior Vice President for Research on the third floor in Old Main at University Park. The exhibit showcases the art of research and the research of art and is open to the public. 

Many people in the Arctic are staying put despite climate change, study reports

May 9, 2024

A team led by Penn State researchers reviewed studies from the past 30 years to examine whether climate change is causing people to migrate out of the Arctic — or if, and why, they’re deciding to stay. They found that while individuals are not yet relocating due to climate change, at least one whole community has.

Q&A: Should you skip #NoMowMay and #PlantMayFlowers instead?

May 9, 2024

Two pollinator experts in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences discuss No Mow May and whether there's a better alternative to help support pollinators and biodiversity.

NSF grant to fund research on genetics and physiology of corn kernel development

May 6, 2024

A research team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has received a grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation to fund a novel project investigating the molecular and physiological processes that support corn kernel development.

Surviving ash trees may hold key to saving multiple species of the trees

May 3, 2024

The invasive insect emerald ash borer is killing ash trees at an unprecedented rate in the United States, and now five North American species of ash are considered critically endangered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. But a small percentage are surviving, and research by Forest Service scientists suggests that those trees may hold the key for saving the species. In an effort to unlock the answer, researchers in the Louis W. Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics at Penn State are working with The Nature Conservancy and the USDA Forest Service to conduct genomic analysis of range-wide collections of green ash, white ash and black ash.

Bee body mass, pathogens and local climate influence heat tolerance

May 3, 2024

How well bees tolerate temperature extremes could determine their ability to persist in a changing climate. But heat tolerance varies between and within populations, so a research team led by Penn State entomologists examined bee physical traits — such as sex differences in body mass — to understand how these traits interact with environmental conditions, pathogens and other factors.

Sour Patch adults: 1 in 8 grown-ups love extreme tartness, study shows

April 29, 2024

For most people, biting into a lemon would leave them puckered up and desperate to lose that sour flavor, but a new study by Penn State researchers revealed that roughly one in eight adults like intensely sour sensations. The cross-cultural study, recently published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, demonstrated there is a subset of “sour likers” who enjoy exceptionally sour foods.

Firefly populations at risk due to climate change, urban development

April 29, 2024

Catching fireflies is an iconic summer experience for many people living in North America, but the flickering beetles are on the decline. A new study by a team that includes Penn State researchers has identified factors that may be contributing to declining populations.

Kissing bugs, vector for Chagas disease, successfully gene edited for first time

April 22, 2024

New research from an international team, including a Penn State researcher, demonstrates — for the first time — the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in kissing bugs and opens the door to research on applied strategies for Chagas disease control.

Grüner veltliner white wine could be the toast of Pennsylvania, study suggests

April 22, 2024

States that are associated with signature varietals of wine can realize an economic benefit — some examples are regions in California linked with zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, Oregon with pinot noir and the Finger Lakes region of New York with riesling. Now, a new study by Penn State researchers suggests that a wine grape called grüner veltliner could potentially do the same for  Pennsylvania.

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600