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News from the Media

  • 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)

  • Reports Detail the Health of School Cafeterias, UMass Food Scientist Comments

    February 5, 2018

    According to state law, local health inspectors must inspect school cafeterias at least twice a year. Amanda Kinchla, a food safety expert in food science, says corrective actions are the most important item to note when reviewing inspection reports.(Western Mass News 2/5/18)

  • Massachusetts Success Stories Featured in USDA SNAP-Ed Connector

    January 29, 2018

    UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program (NEP) program partnered with Pernet Family Health Service of Worcester. Various program elements are showcased in national online publication. (SNAP-Ed Connection 1/2018)

  • Hurricane Irene: It Wasn’t the Wind, it was the Water, UMass Professor Explains

    January 29, 2018

    Christine Hatch, UMass extension associate professor of water resources and climate change, pens editorial about the devastating weather event of August 28, 2011.“Tropical Storm,” Irene’s official designation, doesn’t do justice to what occurred in watersheds along the mid-Atlantic coast, Connecticut River Valley and tributaries: a catastrophic flood. (Gazette 1/26/18)

  • UMass Food Scientists Developing Low-cost Tool to Detect Bacteria in Food, Water

    January 23, 2018

    Food scientist Lili He and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts 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, He says. ( 3/1/18, 2/23/18, wellandgood 2/22/18,  WFCRKPCC 2/19/18, NEPR 2/6/18,  Wonderful Engineering 1/27/18,  Cooking Light, News Medical Life Science 1/25/18, The Tribune [India], 1/25/18, The Health Site, Morning Ag Clips, The Baltimore Sun, Swiftnary, Deccan Chronicle [India], R & D magazine, Feedstuffs, 1/24/18, Science Codex,, Daily Meal 1/23/18)

  • Katie Kahl Named Extension Assistant Professor at UMass Amherst’s Gloucester Marine Station

    January 22, 2018

    Gloucester resident Katie Kahl was named to a newly created position, extension assistant professor in sustainable fisheries and coastal resilience, at UMass Amherst’s School of Earth and Sustainability at the Gloucester Marine Station. Kahl will serve as a contact between community interests and the university’s research resources. (Globe 1/19/18; News Office)

  • Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association Names First Female President

    January 16, 2018

    The Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association elected Joanne M. DiNardo as its first female president at its recent annual business meeting. UMass Extension educator Jon Clements, said, “In this day and age, gender difference is not what it used to be, although farming and apple growing were largely male-dominated. That is changing now and most apple growers just view Joanne as an extremely competent, well-versed advocate of apple growing.” (Telegram 1/3/18)

  • Experts Dash Hopes That Frigid Temps Will Kill Local Ticks

    January 13, 2018

    Ticks have a natural antifreeze system that helps them survive cold — even severe cold — weather. "Ticks lying underneath the snow pack could be larvae, nymphs or adults,” said Dr. Stephen Rich, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Adults will be active as soon as the snow melts and temps warm,” he said. “Nymphs will follow in late May/June.”  (Cape Cod Times 1/13/18)

  • MassWildlife Proposes Limits on Dogs in Preservation Areas, UMass Professor Weighs in

    January 10, 2018

    After repeated complaints regarding negative and unsafe encounters with unleashed dogs and issues with dog waste, MassWildlife is now taking action. They’ve proposed regulations that require dogs to be leashed and their waste to be removed from wildlife management areas. UMass professor Paige Warren offers comments. (Hampshire Gazette 1/9/18)

  • Release of 1 Million Gallons of Sewage into Nantucket Harbor a 'Serious Concern,' UMass Professor comments

    January 8, 2018

    The release of over 1 million gallons of raw sewage into Nantucket Harbor following a sewer main break on Thursday could cause significant harm to the harbor's ecosystem and shellfish populations, according to a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor of environmental conservation, Timothy Randhir. (Masslive 1/6/18)

  • Winter Moth May Become a Non-Pest Says Professor Elkinton

    January 3, 2018

    “We are in the process of turning the winter moth into a non-pest,” said Joe Elkinton, professor in the Agricultural Engineering Department at UMass Amherst, who heads an effort to control the winter moth with the Cyzenis albicans fly. (Wicked Local Ipswich 12/27/17)

  • UMass Amherst Food Scientists Find Transient Effects on Gut Microbiome

    December 20, 2017

    Antimicrobial compounds added to preserve food during storage are believed to be benign and non-toxic to the consumer, but there is “a critical scientific gap in understanding the potential interactions” they may have with the hundreds of species of microbes in our intestines, say David Sela, a nutritional microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues. (Globe, 12/20/17; Technology Networks, 12/19/17; News Office release)

  • UMass Chemist Tracy Allen and Staff Analyze Soil Across the U.S.

    December 18, 2017

    Tracy Allen, chemist and supervisor, UMass Soil Laboratory, discusses soil samples the lab tests for and amendment recommendations made across the country. (Gazette 12/15/17)

  • Developing a New Mosquito Control District in the Pioneer Valley, Stephen Rich Comments

    December 13, 2017

    Rich says the biggest health threat from mosquitoes is the spread of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which is very rare but untreatable and often fatal. (Gazette 12/13/17)

  • Some Trees Are Not Dropping Leaves, Richard Harper Explains Why

    December 11, 2017

    This year, the balmy weather has scrambled the classic autumn script.

    As a result, some tree species, particularly Norway maple, oak, and pear, are “not giving up the ghost in terms of winding up the growing season,” said Richard W. Harper, extension assistant professor of urban forestry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Globe 12/8/17)

  • Prashant Shenoy named to Fellows of American Association for Advancement of Science

    December 5, 2017

    University of Massachusetts professor, Prashant Shenoy, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his “efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.” Professor Shenoy is the Principal Investigator of the Massachusetts Energy Extension Initiative. (Gazette 12/5/17, News Office 11/20/17)