Soil nutrients affect how attractive plants are to bees from the ground up

April 4, 2023

Pollination is vital for many plants, and nutrients present in the soil before these plants even sprout may affect how attractive they eventually are to pollinators, according to Penn State-led research.

Foundation grant to fund research on reducing methane emissions from livestock

April 4, 2023

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture has awarded a grant to a team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to fund research aimed at reducing enteric, or intestinal, methane emissions from cows and sheep, using plant and fungal sources.

Innovative method predicts the effects of climate change on cold-blooded animals

April 3, 2023

In the face of a warming climate that is having a profound effect on global biodiversity and will change the distribution and abundance of many animals, a Penn State-led research team has developed a statistical model that improves estimates of habitat suitability and extinction probability for cold-blooded animals as temperatures climb.

Squash bees flourish in response to agricultural intensification

April 3, 2023

A new study led by Penn State found that the squash bee (Eucera pruinosa) has evolved in response to intensifying agriculture — namely squashes in the genus Curcurbita. The research is the first to demonstrate the role of agriculture as an evolutionary force acting on a wild insect pollinator and may have implications for food security.

Is a little-known amino acid concentrated in mushrooms the key to healthy aging?

March 31, 2023

Ergothioneine — or ERGO, an amino acid made primarily by fungi and found in high concentrations in mushrooms — may be a useful tool in fighting these conditions, according to a Penn State researcher.

Wildfire proximity associated with asthma cases in rural Alaska

March 30, 2023

It’s been widely reported that Alaska is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. Penn State researchers are examining the resulting impacts, such as wildfires, and how they affect health conditions like asthma.

The Microbiome Center announces a free bioinformatics resource for Penn State

March 29, 2023

The Penn State Microbiome Center, in coordination with the lab of David Koslicki, is offering free access to the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes to all Penn State faculty, staff and students.

Geography Coffee Hour talk to explore microorganisms and their impact on life

March 27, 2023

Microbes may be tiny, but they play a big role in shaping the world. Seth Bordenstein, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Endowed Chair in Microbiome Sciences and professor of biology and entomology at Penn State, will offer insights into his research on microbiomes and their impact on the world in his talk, “Why We Look Down (To the Microbes) For Wonder, Impact and Discovery,” on March 31.

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.

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