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News from the Media

  • UMass Tawny Simisky Discusses Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Issues on WBUR

    June 22, 2018

    When that rain-like sound in your oak trees is actually gypsy moth caterpillars pooping, and what you can do about it. (WBUR 6/22/18)

  • Mass leads Nation in Wildland-Urban Interface, UMass Professor Remarks

    June 18, 2018

    With changes in habitat, animal adaptation, restrictions on hunting and trapping, and the strategic reintroduction of extirpated wildlife, wild animals have become a fact of life in many communities around Greater Boston. "Because of the way Massachusetts is settled, growing wildlife populations are particularly likely to come into contact with humans," said Paige Warren, an associate professor of environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Globe 6/15/18)

  • UMass Testing Mosquitos for National Science Foundation

    June 18, 2018

    The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ), better known for its national tick-borne disease testing service, has begun mosquito testing with the arrival of 15,000 vials of mosquitoes collected from 47 sites across the continent as part of National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project, says microbiologist and LMZ director Stephen Rich. (WFXTV-25, News Office 6/6/18)

  • Dual-use Solar Panels and Crops Story Notes UMass Pilot Program

    June 11, 2018

    A story about dual-use farms, where crops are planted around and under solar panels, notes that one pilot program at UMass Amherst grows a variety of plants, including kale, peppers, beans, cilantro and tomatoes, below solar panels elevated between 7.5 feet and 9 feet above the ground. (Scientific American 6/6/18)

  • UMass Research: Common Antimicrobial Ingredient Linked to Bowel Cancer

    May 31, 2018

    A large research team led by senior author Guodong Zhang at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reports that the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan, found in hand soaps and toothpastes among other products, could have adverse effects on colonic inflammation and colon cancer by altering gut microbiota, the microbes found in our intestines. (Jordan Times 7/2/18; Sky Chronicle 6/11/18; Medicalnewser 6/10/18; ChemicalWatch 6/7/18;, Science and Technology Reserach News, Health Care Purchasing News 6/4/18;  Salon 6/3/18, Minneapolis Star Tribune, LA Times, Popular Science,, CBS Boston, The Patch 5/31/18, Daily Mail [UK],  Stamford Advocate [The Conversation] 5/30/18;,,,, 5/31/18; News Office Release)

  • UMass Amherst is Ground Zero for Tick Research

    May 26, 2018

    Stephen M. Rich, microbiology and director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology and the Tick Testing Lab, is quoted in an article highlighting the dangers of tick bites. UMass Amherst, the report says, “is ground zero for tick research. Every week, thousands of people from across the country send ticks to its TickReport program to be tested for diseases." (CNN 5/26/18)

  • A Serious Tick Season is Here, Just Like Always, Professor Rich Comments

    May 15, 2018

    Prof. Stephen Rich, a microbiologist at UMass-Amherst and the director of its Laboratory of Medical Zoology, says there’s no such thing as a light tick season. They’re all bad. (The Sun Chronicle 5/14/18)

  • Using Biodiversity to Weather a Changing World, UMass Weighs In

    May 9, 2018

    UMass extension educator and “Fruit Advisor,” Jon Clements advises commercial fruit growers across the state on the best practices to cultivate their crop and turn a profit against the reality of a changing climate. (Gazette 5/9/18)

  • Tens of Thousands Likely to Get Tick-borne Disease in MA This Year

    May 8, 2018

    A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns of a recent surge of tick-borne disease incidence in the United States said microbiology professor Stephen Rich, director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A new $100,000 grant from the state’s public health department, using CDC funding, will help to subsidize the cost of tick testing for Massachusetts residents through a contract with the LMZ. ( Berkshire Eagle, Keene Sentinel [via Cape Cod Times], 5/21/18;  WFXT-TV 25, WPRI-TV 12, Medicine News Line, 5/9/18;, WWLP-TV 22, 5/8/18; News Office; Globe 5/7/18)

  • Richard Peltier Examines Causes of Air Pollution and Human Health Impacts

    May 7, 2018

    Richard Peltier, UMass Amherst, environmental health sciences, examines the causes of air pollution and its adverse impact on human health. (The Conversation, 5/7/18)

  • UMass Amherst Food Scientists Discover How Obesity Could be Linked to Colon Cancer

    April 30, 2018

    University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have identified an enzyme that might be responsible for increased colon inflammation in obese people — and they’re hoping that, by inhibiting it, they might someday prevent colon cancer, said Guodong Zhang, a food science professor at UMass Amherst. (Globe New China 4/30/18)

  • Quebec Cree Camp Hosts UMass Students

    April 30, 2018

    UMass professor Paul K. Barten, environmental conservation, takes annual trip with students to the James Bay region of Quebec where they visit a Cree culture camp. “The Cree in particular, how self-reliant and resourceful they are, by any standard measure it defines what conservation and sustainability really is,” Barten says. (CBC [Canada] 4/27/18)

  • Vegetable Growing Season Set Back By Cold Spell

    April 24, 2018

    The cold, wet weather this month has set the vegetable growing season behind, according to Katie Campbell-Nelson, a vegetable expert with the UMass Extension in Amherst. (NEPR, 4/24/2018)

  • Faba Fix for Corn's Nitrogen Need, UMass Tests Cover Crop

    April 17, 2018

    Masoud Hashemi and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst tested faba bean as a cover crop before planting sweet corn with good news for growers. (Science Newsline 4/12/18)

  • UMass Amherst Food Science Study Cited in Article About Clean and Dirty Foods

    April 10, 2018

    A news story on the cleanest and dirtiest fruits and vegetables mentions that a recent study done at UMass Amherst found that soaking produce in a solution of baking soda and water does a good job of removing pesticides. (Food Safety, 4/10/18)

  • Dr. Oz TV show Features Bacteria Detection Tool Being Developed by UMass Food Science

    March 26, 2018

    Food scientists at UMass Amherst report that they have developed a new, rapid and low-cost method for detecting bacteria in water or a food sample. Once commercially available, it should be useful to cooks using fresh fruits and vegetables, for example, and aid workers in the field responding to natural disasters. The new process is featured in “The Next Big Thing” segment of the Dr. Oz show. (Dr. Oz Show, 3/26/18)

  • Less Mowing Helps Bees According to UMass Researcher

    March 13, 2018

    Homeowners concerned about the decline of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects need look no further than their own back yards, says UMass ecologist Susannah Lerman, environmental conservation and the USDA Forest Service. In new research, she and colleagues suggest that homeowners can help support bee habitats in suburban yards, specifically their lawns, by changing lawn-mowing habits. (Science Friday [NPR] 3/30/18; Global News Connect, 3/21/18,  Tribune-Review [Pittsburgh], 3/13/18; News Office release)

  • Study Suggests Native UK Pine Martens (Weasels) Help Control Invasive Gray Squirrels

    March 6, 2018

    An international research team including Christopher Sutherland, Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, along with others in Scotland and Ireland, report that native pine marten (weasel) suppression of the invasive gray squirrels in Scotland is helping recovery of native red squirrel populations. (HortWeek 3/8/18, Globe, Daily Mail [U.K.], Science Codex, 3/6/18; News Office release)

  • Elkinton Says Number of Winter Moths Damaging Trees is Declining

    February 27, 2018

    Experts say the number of winter moths damaging trees in New England has fallen after years of growth. UMass Amherst professor Joseph Elkinton says the population has hit a record low in Massachusetts. (USNews & World Report, WBUR, 2/26/18)

  • The 100-year flood: Building ‘RiverSmart’ Communities for Flood Resiliency in the Connecticut River Valley

    February 15, 2018

    Christine Hatch, extension associate professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, comments on planning for the real potential for more powerful and frequent storms due to climate change. "There can be more than one '100-year flood' in a decade," she says. (Gazette 2/14/18)