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News from the Media

  • Boutt to Study Hydrological Cycle in Franklin and Hampshire Counties

    August 9, 2017

    The University of Massachusetts Amherst received a grant from the state to help waterways and habitats in Franklin and Hampshire counties. David Boutt, associate professor of geoscience, UMass Amherst, will study water samples to understand impacts of drought. Boutt is looking for samples from wells and streams across the region. To contribute a sample, call 413-545-2724, or email (Gazette 8/8/17)

  • 4-H Horse Clubs and Beyond

    August 7, 2017

    Leadership skills, community service outreach and more taught through the 4-H Horse Calvary Club. (Country Folks 8/4/17)

  • Turf Research Field Day Held

    July 27, 2017

    More than two hundred people gathered at UMass’ South Deerfield research campus for a “Turf Research Field Day.” UMass turf professor Michelle DeCosta discusses turf benefits with TV22.

  • Poisonous Weeds and Plants in Western Mass.

    July 18, 2017

    UMass Extension weed specialist Randy Prostak interviewed by TV22 in spot on poisonous plants and insects. TV22 Springfield, 7/18/2017

  • Unlocking Genetic Secrets of Flower Diversity

    July 12, 2017

    Madelaine Bartlett, a biologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is hoping to unlock the genetic secrets of flowering plants — information that could be used to grow better crops. (Globe 7/12/17)


  • Gypsy Moths Defoliation Almost Over Observes UMass Professor Elkinton

    July 3, 2017

    This summer, you may have noticed that many trees and shrubs are being defoliated by gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) caterpillars. The good news, sort of, is that this year’s defoliation is almost at an end. (Daily Hampshire Gazette 6/29/17)

  • Subsidy for Cape Tick Testing Runs Out

    June 26, 2017

    A subsidized program that allowed Cape Codders to have ticks tested at a university laboratory for a fraction of the cost has exhausted its funding. Residents of Barnstable County now have to pay full price to have ticks evaluated for pathogens at the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Rich at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Cape Cod Times 6/24/17)

  • Garlic Mustard Threatens Native Plants, UMass Assistant Professor Comments

    June 26, 2017

    Garlic mustard may look innocuous, but the plant exudes a chemical that kills fungi needed by tree seedlings and other forest plants to survive, according to researcher Kristina Stinson at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.(Globe 6/22/17)

  • Dressings, Dips, Sauces Come Under Scrutiny by UMass Food Scientist

    June 26, 2017

    AMHERST — University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientist David Julian McClements will lead a team that has received a three-year, $444,550 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the possibility that eating food nanoemulsions found in dressings, dips or sauces might increase the amount of pesticides absorbed from co-ingested fruits and vegetables, thus increasing risk of adverse health effects. (Recorder 6/22/17; News Office (6/19/17)

  • UMass Professor Elkinton Weighs in: Rain is Good Sign for Gypsy Moth Control

    June 18, 2017

    Elkinton said he is hopeful this year’s rain and entomophaga maimaiga fungus will “wipe out the problem and make it a non-problem” and “drive the system to low density again.” (South Coast Today 6/18/17)

  • Gypsy moth caterpillars can put trees at risk for other problems

    June 13, 2017

    Gypsy moth eggs were first seen hatching near the Quabbin in late April. They have settled there, because of the abundant oak and maple trees. UMass entomologist Tawny Simisky explained how defoliation affects our trees.

    “That can weaken the trees and make them more susceptible to secondary invaders- so, other organisms that really aren’t a big problem unless the tree is otherwise unhealthy,” Simisky said. (WWLP 6/12/17)

  • Bee health is topic of new pollen research at UMass Amherst

    June 13, 2017

    AMHERST, Mass. – Biology professor Lynn Adler at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an expert in pollination and plant-insect interactions, recently received a three-year, $1 million grant from a special "pollinator health" program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to study the role that sunflower pollen may play in improving bee health. (San Francisco Chronicle, Charlotte Observer, McClatchy, D.C., Western Mass News, WWLP-TV 22 [All from AP], 6/11/17;, 6/8/17 ScienceMag 6/8/17; News Office 6/8/17).

  • Mystery illness killing white pines

    June 10, 2017

    It is taking place in parking lots, along the sides of roads and anywhere their roots have been unable to spread: diseased white pine trees. UMass Extension comments. (Sun Chronicle 6/10/17)

  • Fungus could limit damage from gypsy moth infestation

    June 6, 2017

    A cold, wet and dreary spring may energize a biological control that will limit damage to trees from gypsy moths. Tawny Simisky, a UMass Extension entomologist, comments. (Worcester Telegram 6/4/17)

  • Gypsy moths bring unwelcome rash for some: UMass Extension entomologist comments

    May 23, 2017

    The gypsy moth caterpillar’s hairs are typically not an issue for most individuals. Tawny Simisky, entomologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension, comments. She said, "For the majority of the population, gypsy moth caterpillars do not cause allergic reactions. This can be dependent upon an individual’s amount and duration of exposure, as well as their own sensitivities." (Cape Cod Times 5/23/17)

  • Northeast in for Peachy Summer, UMass comments

    May 15, 2017

    BOSTON (AP) — A year after the peach crop in the northeastern United States hit the pits, growers and agricultural experts are anticipating a healthy rebound in 2017. "There was no peach crop in Massachusetts last year," said Jon Clements, a fruit specialist at the University of Massachusetts Extension. (5/14/17 USNews, Boston Herald, Concord Monitor)

  • Spray away gypsy moths? Two UMass Amherst professors give advice: let nature try first

    May 7, 2017

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Should New England states spray insecticides to kill gypsy moths before they cause another year of widespread tree defoliation? Some politicians want the government to help eradicate the pests, though entomologists, including Joseph Elkinton, entomology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, say forests will be better off if nature takes care of itself. (5/7/17 Sun Chronicle)” Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension, says a natural fungus has been killing some of the gypsy moths since 1989. (WWLP-TV 22, 5/8/17)


  • What Are Those Flowering Trees/Bushes I Drive By Every Day?

    May 5, 2017

    Photo feature shows flowering trees in bloom now in western Massachusetts. Author credits UMass Extension Assistant Professor Amanda Bayer. (Advocate, 5/5/17)

  • Tick-borne illnesses can include rare Powassan virus

    May 4, 2017

    AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – They are known for spreading Lyme disease, but ticks can also spread another serious illness. It is called Powassan virus, and it affects the brain. Dr. Stephen Rich, director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass Amherst explained for 22News the danger that this disease poses.

  • Mass. bill would ease tax hit on inherited farmland

    May 1, 2017

    Under legislation proposed by Rep. Kate Hogan, D-Stow, and Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, farmland that is transferred upon the death of a farm owner would be assessed at its agricultural value as long as it stays farmland. Analysis of agricultural census on CAFE website is cited. (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 5/1/17)