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News from the Media

  • 4-H Programs Go Virtual During Pandemic

    August 17, 2020

    Young people across Hampden County have not let the coronavirus pandemic stop them from participating in 4-H programs this year. “Western Massachusetts 4-H has not missed a beat in this pandemic,” said Tom Waskiewicz, a Western Massachusetts 4-H educator. (Westfield News 8/17/20)

  • Nature Blossoms in Our Retreat

    August 10, 2020

    Christine Hatch, extension associate professor of geosciences, has written a column about nature’s resurgence while humans have been quarantined due to COVID-19. (Gazette, 8/8/20)

  • Developing a Quicker, Safer Method of Cleaning Peanut Butter Factories

    August 5, 2020

    Lynne McLandsborough, University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientist, has received a grant from the USDA to develop an oil-based system to clean and sanitize food processing equipment without water, reducing the high risk for Salmonella contamination associated with nuts. (Food Safety Magazine, News Medical Life Sciences, 8/5/20;Sound Health and Lasting Wealth, 8/4/20; News Office release)

  • Gardening Lessons in a Time of Pandemic

    August 4, 2020

    Responding to renewed interest in backyard vegetable gardening, a team at the Stockbridge School and UMass Extension has launched a series of how-to articles avaialble on the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment website. (The Sun Chronicle [Attleboro], 8/4/20)

  • Unsolicited Mystery Seeds Mailed to Local Residents

    July 30, 2020

    Amanda Bayer, extension assistant professor in the Stockbridge School, comments on mysterious seeds received in the mail by a Shutesbury resident. This appears to be part of national phenomenon of people receiving unsolicited and unlabeled seeds. (Western Mass News, 7/29/20)

  • Eating Moldy Food, UMass Scientist Discusses Food Safety

    July 15, 2020

    John Gibbons, food science, is interviewed in an article about allegedly moldy jam sold by a high-end Los Angeles restaurant.  He discusses what mold is, how it grows on food, and whether it’s safe to eat. (Grub Street, 7/14/20)

  • Mosquito Season Discussed by UMass Professor Rich

    July 13, 2020

    Stephen Rich, microbiology and director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, is quoted in a report about mosquitos in Western Massachusetts and concerns about Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).  (Republican 7/13/20)

  • Common Food Additive Causes Adverse Health Effects in Mice

    July 8, 2020

    A common food additive, recently banned in France but allowed in the U.S. and many other countries, was found to significantly alter gut microbiota in mice, causing inflammation in the colon and changes in protein expression in the liver, according to research led by Hang Xiao, UMass food science. "I think our results have a lot of implications in the food industry and on human health and nutrition," he said. ( 7/26/20; 7/21/20;;, 6/25/20; News Office release)  

  • UMass Researchers Helped Develop WattScale

    July 8, 2020

    Researchers including faculty members David Irwin, Prashan Shenoy, engineering, and Benjamin Weil, environmental conservation, have developed WattScale, an open-source AI tool that identifies energy-wasting homes. (VentureBeat, 7/7/20)

  • Nanoplastics Can Build up in Plants and Stunt Growth, Xing Discovers

    June 23, 2020

    Research by Baoshan Xing, environmental and soil chemistry, and colleagues in China, is showing direct evidence that nanoplastics can accumulate in land plants. Xing says, “Plant accumulation of nanoplastics can have both direct ecological effects and implications for agricultural sustainability and food safety.”  (BioplasticsNews 7/6/20; Technology Networks, 6/24/20; iCrowdNewswire, 6/23/20  Environmental News Network, ScienceDaily, 6/22/20;  News Office release)

  • NIFA Grant Funds Study on Anti-inflammatory Benefits of Strawberries

    June 18, 2020

    Hang Xiao, food science, has received a federal grant to expand his research into the health benefits of strawberries. Xiao and colleagues will aim to identify the mechanism by which whole strawberries affect the gut in positive ways. (Vegetable Growers News, 6/17/20)

  • UMass Magazine Lists Extension As Gardening Resource

    June 16, 2020

    UMass magazine publishes article about home gardening, touting extension fact sheets as great resource. (UMass Magazine, summer 2020)


  • Ohio Gardening Tip Sheet- UMass Extension Resource Mentioned

    June 16, 2020

    An article in Ohio newspaper offers advice for vegetable gardening and includes a tip sheet from UMass Extension among its list of resources. (Akron Beacon Journal, 6/11/20)

  • UMass Tick-testing Service Temporarily Halted by Work Furloughs

    June 16, 2020

    TickReport, UMass Amherst’s tick-testing service, is closed until June 19 because of staff furloughs. Stephen Rich, professor of microbiology and director of the lab, says one can send ticks in after June 19 when they reopen. (MassLive, 6/10/20)

  • Validating Climate Change Refugia, Morelli Reports in Special Issue

    June 8, 2020

    Conserving biodiversity in a rapidly changing world, Toni Lyn Morelli, UMass Amherst ecologist, along with her team, synthesized refugia science developments to date. (ESAjournal 6/1/20, News Office release 6/1/20)


  • New Evidence on Bed Bug Burden in Urban Neighborhoods, UMass Research Reveals

    June 8, 2020

    In a new study published in People and Nature, researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst found a higher prevalence of bed bug infestations in neighborhoods with lower incomes, higher eviction rates and crowding. (Washington Post, 6/6/20; News Office release)

  • Free Composting Webinar Led by UMass Food Science Research Assistant

    May 28, 2020

    Chris Von Achen, food science research assistant, is one of the organizers of a free webinar on residential composting that will be presented by the Greater Quabbin Food Alliance’s Food Waste Reduction and Composting Working Group on May 29. (Recorder, 5/27/20)

  • Article on Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs Mentions UMass Extension

    May 28, 2020

     An article about the best ways to fertilize various plants, trees and shrubs mentions and links to tips offered by the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry Program. (Markets Insider, 5/27/20)

  • Identify Poison Ivy with CAFE Guidance

    May 26, 2020

    The UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) website can help you identify poison ivy. (Patch, 5/22/20) 

  • Warmed Over Flavor From Cooked Meat Explained by Food Scientist, Decker

    May 21, 2020

    Eric Decker, food science, is cited in an article explaining why re-heated chicken often no longer tastes good. ( [Germany], 2/20/20; Serious Eats, 9/25/19)