SAFES seed funding boosts agricultural research data capabilities

May 2, 2022

Four research teams in the College of Agricultural Sciences have tapped in to the computing and software engineering expertise at the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) to improve research workflows.

Energy, environmental seed grants awarded to 21 interdisciplinary teams

April 29, 2022

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) awarded seed grants to 21 groups of interdisciplinary researchers at Penn State for the 2021–22 cycle.

Novel study of small fish in Icelandic waters sheds new light on adaptive change

April 28, 2022

Innovative research showing that populations of a small fish that live in both Iceland’s lakes and marine waters, respond more quickly and differently to predators after they invade new freshwater lakes, demonstrating how some animals can adapt rapidly to changes in their environments and may be able to adapt to climate change.

Student wins award, will present work on water and nutrient management solutions

April 27, 2022

Penn State student Dana Sanchez will advance her interest in environmental education when discussing water and nutrient management solutions for Pennsylvania farms impacting the Chesapeake Bay as a presenter at a national conference.

PlantVillage Team awarded $1M in Elon Musk XPRIZE Carbon Removal Competition

April 25, 2022

An international team led by David Hughes, founder of Penn State’s PlantVillage project, has been named among 15 milestone winners of the latest round of the XPRIZE and Musk Foundation’s Carbon Removal Competition. The prize comes with a $1 million award funded by Elon Musk, which the PlantVillage team will use to demonstrate their capacity to draw down one billion tons of carbon per year in a sound and economically attractive way that benefits low-income farmers in Africa.

Plant scientist gets grant to study how climate change will affect forage crops

April 18, 2022

A Penn State plant scientist has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team studying how changes in temperature associated with climate change affect the establishment, persistence and performance of perennial forage crops and their associated weedy plant communities in the U.S. Northeast.

Study examines if there is something 'fishy' happening with seafood imports

April 5, 2022

Reducing tariffs on imported goods is meant to remove trade barriers, but it doesn’t seem to be helping the seafood industry, which has experienced the same — if not more — import rejections and notifications at borders, according to research guided by an agricultural economist, Linlin Fan.

Cover crops more effective than insecticides for managing pests, study suggests

April 4, 2022

Promoting early season plant cover, primarily through the use of cover crops, can be more effective at reducing pest density and crop damage than insecticide applications, according to a Penn State-led team of researchers.

Pa. funds pollinator research to aid honey production

March 29, 2022

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by the dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to highlight nearly $1 million in state investments to strengthen the competitiveness of Pennsylvania specialty crops.

Red-backed salamanders possess only limited ability to adjust to warming climate

March 28, 2022

If average temperatures rise as projected in eastern North America in coming decades, at least one widespread amphibian species likely will be unable to adjust, and its range may shift northward, according to a new study led by Penn State scientists.

The Fight to Save the Embattled Monarch Butterfly

March 23, 2022

In the depths of the Californian winter, an ember of hope has flickered for the monarch butterfly, the charismatic and beloved visitor that has seemingly been on a graceful descent into oblivion.

Researchers to devise new, innovative strategies to manage Philadelphia’s soils

March 21, 2022

A team of Penn State researchers will develop recommendations and protocols for the testing and management of soils for safe production of garden and food crops in urban settings, funded by a $100,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

New Goddard Chair finding Pennsylvania connections to his international work

March 4, 2022

Christopher Scott’s career is as varied as the many places he has lived and worked, such as Nepal, Mexico, Argentina and India. His expertise is in water, and much like water, his work connects to many areas, including climate change, energy, policy, sustainability and agriculture.

Soil tillage reduces availability of ‘longevity vitamin’ ergothioneine in crops

February 28, 2022

Soil tillage on farms may significantly reduce the availability in crops of ergothioneine (ERGO), an amino acid produced by certain types of soil-borne fungi and bacteria that is known as a “longevity vitamin” due to its potent antioxidant properties, according to new research by an interdisciplinary team at Penn State. The study is among the first to demonstrate that soil disturbance can directly impact a key dietary factor associated with long-term human health.

Omicron detected for first time in white-tailed deer

February 24, 2022

Some white-tailed deer living in Staten Island, New York, are actively infected with the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2, according to new research led by scientists at Penn State. The team also found neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in one of the Omicron-infected deer, suggesting that, like humans, deer can be reinfected with the virus.

Warming climate to result in reduced corn production; irrigation blunts effect

February 22, 2022

No matter which of the widely accepted global circulation models ultimately comes closest to predicting the amount of warming caused by climate change, corn production will be reduced, according to a new study by Penn State researchers.

Study examines connection between availability of healthy food options, health

February 16, 2022

Limited availability of affordable and healthy foods can contribute to poor health outcomes, especially for residents of rural and low-income regions. That is one of the conclusions of a study conducted by an agricultural economist at Penn State who examined the food environment for residents in the Mississippi Delta, a region that has one of the highest obesity rates in the U.S.

Penn State names 21 new distinguished professors for 2022

February 15, 2022

Penn State's Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs has named 21 distinguished professors for 2022. The distinguished professor title recognizes outstanding academic contribution to the University. This special academic title is bestowed upon a limited number of outstanding professors for whom endowed chairs or professorships are otherwise unavailable.

Student receives Fulbright to study honey bee health, behavior in Kenya

February 15, 2022

In East Africa, beekeepers set up empty hives hoping that migrating swarms of honey bees will take up residence and provide them with honey. However, it is difficult for beekeepers to predict when migrating swarms will arrive and leave and when to harvest honey. Darcy Gray, a graduate student in Penn State's intercollege graduate degree program in ecology, has received a Fulbright Study/Research Award to help beekeepers by examining how habitat and weather patterns drive bee migration and honey production in Kenya.

Soil tillage reduces availability of ‘longevity vitamin’ ergothioneine in crops

February 8, 2022

Soil tillage on farms may significantly reduce the availability in crops of ergothioneine (ERGO), an amino acid produced by certain types of soil-borne fungi and bacteria that is known as a “longevity vitamin” due to its potent antioxidant properties, according to new research by an interdisciplinary team at Penn State. The study is among the first to demonstrate that soil disturbance can directly impact a key dietary factor associated with long-term human health.

Consumer support of food-waste solutions focus of agricultural economist's study

February 4, 2022

Agroforests in the tropics provide key conservation landscapes for amphibians

January 27, 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.

Penn State gets grant to teach private forest owners to adapt to climate change

January 24, 2022

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will use a newly awarded $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work with 13 other land-grant universities in the eastern U.S. to create an education program that would help private forests owners adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Farmers in 14 counties will be surveyed on their use of conservation practices

January 19, 2022

If you're a farm operator in 14 central Pennsylvania counties, you now have a chance to highlight what steps you have taken to protect and enhance water quality for your local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

Integrated modeling of climate impacts on electricity demand and cost

January 18, 2022

Around the world, energy systems are increasingly impacted by the effects of a changing climate. Energy systems, especially the electric-power system, are vulnerable to natural stressors such as wildfires, severe storms, extreme temperatures and long-term disruptions of the hydrological cycle.

Entomologists to study how climate change may influence pollinator stressors

January 17, 2022

A Penn State-led team of researchers will use a newly awarded $682,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to examine how climate change may influence and interact with various stressors that affect the health of pollinators.

Dairy farmers can adapt to climate change

January 5, 2022

Dairy farmers in the Northeast — facing a warming climate that exacerbates nutrient pollution but lengthens the growing season — can reduce the environmental impact of their operations and maximize revenues by double cropping and injecting manure into the soil, rather than broadcasting it.

College of Ag Sciences helps students offset carbon footprint when traveling

December 2, 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.

College of Ag Sciences professor elected president of professional association

November 29, 2021

Karen Fisher-Vanden, professor of environmental and resource economics and public policy in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been elected president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

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.