Study: Mapping people’s knowledge of bees may aid in pollinator conservation

March 23, 2023

U.S. college students’ knowledge of bees focuses primarily on honey bees and pollination services, according to Penn State researchers, who said findings from their recent study could help in designing campaigns to generate support for protecting threatened pollinators.

Habitat will dictate whether ground beetles win or lose against climate change

March 23, 2023

North American ground beetles play important roles in agriculture. Their response to climate change will largely depend on species traits and habitats and could have significant implications for conservation efforts, according to new research led by Penn State.

‘Manureshed’ management in Susquehanna River basin key to Chesapeake Bay cleanup

March 22, 2023

A novel study by a Penn State-led research team suggests that “manureshed” management in the Susquehanna River basin could make a big difference in the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.

Penn State faculty visit Belize to forge collaborations

March 20, 2023

Over spring break, a group of 14 Penn State faculty visited the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education to explore opportunities to develop long-term collaborative research, education and outreach projects. The multidisciplinary group included faculty from the College of Agricultural Sciences, Eberly College of Science, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and School of International Affairs.

Greening the grey: Engineering natural solutions for stormwater management

March 19, 2023

Concrete is as ubiquitous in cities as it is impervious. Amid worsening storms due to climate change, it only deflects runoff toward the drain, threatening sewer capacities. Lauren McPhillips is partnering with researchers across the commonwealth to engineer stormwater solutions using nature to replace hard surfaces and help control the flow.

Discovery of root anatomy gene may lead to breeding more resilient corn crops

March 16, 2023

A new discovery, reported today in a global study that encompassed more than a decade of research, could lead to the breeding of corn crops that can withstand drought and low-nitrogen soil conditions and ultimately ease global food insecurity, according to a Penn State-led team of international researchers. 

Interactive ‘virtual farm’ website expands access to dairy sustainability topics

March 10, 2023

A new interactive “carbon calculator” tool can help dairy farmers see sustainability principles in action and improve farm management decisions related to climate change. The carbon calculator expands on the existing “virtual farm” website developed by researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension, in partnership with several universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an industry partner, the Dairy Innovation Center, and the creative services team at WPSU.  

Study examines the effects of using insecticides for spotted lanternfly control

March 9, 2023

Neonicotinoid insecticides used to control spotted lanternflies have the potential to harm pollinators, but the degree of risk depends on multiple factors, such as application timing, type of neonicotinoid, the species of tree being treated and pollinator species sensitivity, according to entomologists at Penn State.

Immune cells hold clues to vitamin D absorption, study suggests

March 8, 2023

Vitamin D plays an integral role in regulating immune function, and Penn State researchers have identified immune cells in mice that can be differentiated by whether or not they have vitamin D receptors — a finding that could lead to a better understanding of the link between vitamin D status and autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.  

Engineers awarded NIH grant to heal tendon injuries with ultrasound

March 8, 2023

With a four-year, $2.3 million National Institutes of Health grant, Penn State researchers aim to create a completely non-invasive, tunable method for treating tendinopathies with focused ultrasound.

Habitat split may impact disease risk in amphibians and other vertebrates

March 7, 2023

Habitat split limits movement of organisms between environments. According to new research, this environmental fragmentation impacts amphibian disease immunity, likely due to changes in the composition of skin microbial communities, disruptions to normal immune system development, and increased stress.

Personal connections matter to families taking care of kin during opioid crisis

March 7, 2023

For family members unexpectedly taking care of a relative’s child during the opioid crisis, it can be difficult to navigate the legal waters of assuming custody. The process may be easier — and come with more support — if these caregivers have personal connections to local resource institutions, according to a study conducted by a Penn State faculty member.

Penn State’s Soil Research Cluster Lab offers new research capabilities

March 6, 2023

To help better understand and support healthy soil function, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has an advanced characterization facility — the Soil Research Cluster Lab — under the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

New partnership will address health and food safety challenges in Kenya

March 2, 2023

Representatives from Penn State, Meru University of Science and Technology, and Meru County in Kenya signed a memorandum of understanding in a ceremony in Kenya to formally commence their new partnership. This collaboration also will involve the Technical University of Denmark.

Wasps harness power of pitcher plants in first-ever observed defense strategy

March 1, 2023

As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, turn that tartness into little translucent balls in which to grow your young.” At least, that’s how the saying goes for a tiny insect called a cynipid wasp, whose larvae were recently discovered inducing plant growths called galls that contained acidity levels akin to lemons.

New predictive models developed for bacterial diversity of soils

February 27, 2023

A new set of quantitative models that incorporates pH into the metabolic theory of ecology has been developed by an international team that includes Penn State Assistant Professor of Plant Science Francisco Dini-Andreote. The work is included in a new paper published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Rare insect found at Arkansas Walmart sets historic record, prompts mystery

February 27, 2023

A Polystoechotes punctata, or giant lacewing, plucked from the façade of an Arkansas Walmart by Penn State faculty member Michael Skvarla, is the first of its kind recorded in eastern North America in over 50 years — and the first record of the species ever in the state.  

Processing, like fermentation and roasting, doesn’t cut cocoa’s health benefits

February 24, 2023

It is widely believed that when foods undergo processing, their health benefits are reduced. But that is not true for cocoa, according to a Penn State-led team of researchers, who conducted a new study using a mouse model.

Workers moving products in the U.S. food supply chain at high risk of injury

February 24, 2023

Workers tasked with moving products in the immense U.S. food system are at a high risk of serious injury, according to a new Penn State-led study, and pandemic-caused, supply-chain problems have worsened the situation, researchers suggest.

Social connection key to educational attainment among post-9/11 veterans

February 22, 2023

Post-9/11 veterans who actively participate in veteran centers and veteran-student organizations as they pursue education after military service are significantly more likely to do better in school than those who remain socially isolated, according to Penn State research.  

Pa. private forest landowners want to use controlled fire to manage their woods

February 16, 2023

Managers of public forests in Pennsylvania have been using controlled burns to manage state-owned tracts to promote tree species such as oak, reduce the growth of invasive plant species and even reduce tick populations, for more than a decade. Now a study by Penn State researchers indicates that owners of private forest land in the state would like to use prescribed fire to manage their woods, too.

Free film and panel discussion reveals 'invisible' crisis of the microbial world

February 15, 2023

On Thursday, March 2, Penn State’s Microbiome Center will host a film screening of "The Invisible Extinction," followed by a live scientist question and answer session. Registration for this free event is open now at the State Theatre.

New grant will help empower small farms with sustainable practices

February 14, 2023

The Global Teach Ag Network at Penn State is partnering with the University of Tennessee at Martin on a new project to help empower small-farm owners with sustainable agriculture practices.

Q&A: Is chocolate healthy?

February 10, 2023

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the mind naturally turns to love — and chocolate. To learn more about chocolate and its effects on us, we spoke with Joshua Lambert, professor of food science at Penn State. Lambert’s research focuses on diet, specifically adopting dietary practices to prevent cancer, obesity and inflammation. He has worked extensively with cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate.

Researcher gets $2M grant to test feed additives’ effect on methane emissions

February 9, 2023

Alex Hristov, Penn State distinguished professor of dairy nutrition, has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct studies to determine whether supplementing the feed of lactating dairy cows with either 3-Nitrooxypropanol or a species of red seaweed reduces the amount of methane emitted by the animals in the long-term.

Recalls of fresh meat products may lower customer demand

February 9, 2023

Fresh meats such as chicken and beef are staples of many Americans’ diets, but demand may take a hit after these products are recalled, according to new Penn State research.

Five Penn State faculty elected to 2022 cohort of AAAS Fellows

January 31, 2023

Five Penn State faculty members have been elected to the 2022 cohort of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

Aquatic organisms respond to flooding and drought disturbance in different ways

January 30, 2023

Populations of various species of aquatic insects and other invertebrates respond to flooding and waterway drying due to drought in different ways that can be anticipated, according to a new Penn State-led study that employed a novel method to assess the stability of stream ecosystems.

Deer browsing is just one of many factors shaping North American forests

January 30, 2023

In a study that likely is more notable for how it was conducted than for what it found, a Penn State-led research team discovered evidence that browsing by white-tailed deer had relatively little long-term impact on two tree species in a northern forest.  

Honey bee colony loss in the U.S. linked to mites, extreme weather, pesticides

January 30, 2023

Honey bee colony loss across the United States over the last five years is primarily related to the presence of parasitic mites, nearby pesticides, and extreme weather events as well as challenges with overwintering, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers.

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