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News from the Media

  • Scott Jackson, Conservationist of the Year

    January 14, 2014

    Scott Jackson, environmental conservation, has been named Conservationist of the Year by the Massachusetts chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Republican, 1/4/14

  • UMass Amherst officials plan 2.4 Mw solar panel array

    January 14, 2014

    UMass Amherst officials are planning to build a solar panel array that would generate 2.4 megawatts of electricity in conjunction with ConEdison Development. The facility would be built on 10 acres the university owns in Hadley. Stephen Herbert, associate dean of agricultural research and outreach at the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, is leading the project. It must secure conservation permits in order to proceed.

  • Richard W. Harper Finds Good News in Cold Weather

    January 13, 2014

    Richard W. Harper, UMass Amherst environmental conservation, says the recent severe cold weather could be good news for local forests because some insect pests, such as the hemlock wooly adelgid, can’t survive long stretches of intense cold. The populations of such pests will recover over time, however, experts say.

  • John M. Clark and Team Seek Source of Body Louse Pathology

    January 8, 2014

    A team of entomologists, including John M. Clark, UMass Amherst veterinary and animal sciences, has found out why the human head louse and the body louse, the same species, differ in their ability to transmit disease to their hosts. They say head lice are smaller and may contain more beneficial bacteria than body lice, which are larger. The larger lice apparently are more likely to get sick from the bacteria and pass it on to a host.

  • Klaus Nusslein Researches Amazon Rainforest: Effects of pastureland conversion

    January 7, 2014

    Klaus Nusslein, UMass Amherst microbiologist, is part of a research team that is studying how the conversion of Amazon rainforest to pastureland has significant effect on microorganism communities that play a key role in the region’s ability to serve as a reservoir for greenhouse gas.

  • Joseph Elkinton Investigates Winter Moth Destruction in Western Massachusetts

    December 16, 2013

    Joseph Elkinton, UMass Amherst environmental conservationalist, is leading efforts to find out if winter moths, destructive insects that have defoliated trees in eastern and southeastern Massachusetts, are moving into this region. He says there are more of them being observed, but so far they haven’t been seen in numbers high enough to cause concern. An online survey of the insects is available to track the insects.

  • Danylchuk Documents Rarely Seen Pre-spawning Behavior in Bonefish

    December 13, 2013

    Bonefish are among the most elusive and highly prized quarry of recreational anglers in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and similar tropical habitats around the world. Now a research team including fish ecologist Andy Danylchuk, Environmental Conservation Department, UMass Amherst, has documented rarely seen pre-spawning behavior in bonefish, which should aid future conservation efforts. Habitat degradation and overfishing by uncontrolled netting threaten the bonefish, yet recreational fishing for this group of fishes is worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually, say scientists. Danylchuk and Aaron Adams, director of operations for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust at the Florida Institute of Technology where Adams is also an assistant research professor, are scrambling to identify and protect critical habitats and identify other ways to conserve the fishery. With others, Adams and Danylchuk recently tracked a school of more than 10,000 bonefish as they completed the final stages of spawning migrations in the Bahamas. Adams recently shared results with the Bahamas Ministry of the Environment and conservation collaborators Bahamas National Trust and The Nature Conservancy.

  • Andrew Danylchuk Documents Rare Sight for Future Conservation Efforts

    December 12, 2013

    A research team including fish ecologist Andy Danylchuk, environmental conservation, has documented rarely seen pre-spawning behavior in bonefish, which should aid future conservation efforts. Bonefish, sometimes called the gray ghost, are among the most elusive and highly prized quarry of recreational anglers in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and similar tropical habitats around the world.

  • Elkinton Comments on Return of Winter Moths

    December 4, 2013

    Joseph Elkinton, environmental conservation, comments in a story about the return of winter moths to parts of eastern Massachusetts. He says some areas will see a heavy infestation of the insects.

  • UMass Cranberry Scientist Featured in Globe Magazine

    December 1, 2013

    Carolyn DeMoranville, director of the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, is featured in a story in The Boston Globe magazine. She says she spends most of her time thinking about ways to make the cranberry industry more sustainable and considering what may happen if the climate becomes warmer.

  • The Berry Whisperer

    December 1, 2013

    Boston Globe Magazine story: "Carolyn DeMoranville, the second-generation director of the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, has spent a lifetime studying the little red fruit.

    Nutritionally, cranberries are really good for you, but in the sense of what I’ve done in my career with them, we’re looking at the nutritional requirements of the plant, what’s needed for it to grow and thrive and produce a crop. I spend most of my time here thinking about what will make the cranberry industry more sustainable. Specifically, I look at water and nutrient use and how those two interact."

  • UMass Entomologist Featured in Front Page Story in Globe

    November 17, 2013

    UMass Amherst entomologist Joseph Elkinton and graduate student Monica Davis are featured in a front-page story in The Boston Globe about the oak crypt gall wasp, an insect menace that is killing black oaks in southeastern Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Rhode Island. Elkinton says little is known about the wasps, but he says they pose a severe threat.

  • Improved Diet Could Hurt Rainforest

    November 10, 2013

    Eric Decker, food science, says efforts to get unhealthy trans fats out of the diet of most Americans could have the unintended effect of causing more rainforest to be destroyed to make room for expanded production of palm oil.

    Sun Sentinel

  • Trying to Control Insect Menacing Cape Cod Trees

    October 10, 2013

    A story on the crypt gall wasp, an insect menace that is damaging trees on Cape Cod, notes that Joseph Elkinton, environmental conservation, and his graduate students, are searching for ways to deliver insecticide that will kill the insects.

  • New Method of Weed Control in Cranberry Bogs

    September 16, 2013

    A team of UMass Amherst scientists, including Wesley Autio, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, Hilary Sandler, Katherine Ghantous and Peter Jeranyama, all of the UMass Cranberry Station, has designed a new method of weed control in cranberry bogs. They use open flames to get rid of weeds. They say this approach works in certain situations and doesn’t damage the cranberry plants

  • Food Scientist Examines Hydrogel Particles

    September 3, 2013

    A study headed by David Julian McClements, food science, looks at how oil-filled hydrogel particles can be used to significantly reduce the level of fat in food products such as sauces. Using this method doesn’t affect the taste or texture of the food, the study says.

  • Microbiologist Funded by Private Philanthropy

    August 16, 2013

    When UMass Amherst microbiologist James Holden launches new studies next month of the microbes living deep in the cracks and thermal vents around an undersea volcano, for the first time in his 25-year career his deep-sea research will not be funded by a government source. Instead, Holden will be funded by philanthropists committed to supporting oceanographic research.

  • Craker Quoted on Medicinal Marijuana Use

    August 12, 2013

    Lyle Craker, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, is quoted in an article examining the recent endorsement of medicinal marijuana use by CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. For years, Craker has been repeatedly denied permission from the Drug Enforcement Agency to establish a research farm to grow marijuana for medical researchers.

  • Spotted Wing Drosophila Damages Fruit Crops

    August 11, 2013

    Sonia Schloemann, UMass Extension, comments in a story about the spotted wing drosophila, an Asian fruit fly that damages fruit crops such as blueberries, cherries, tomatoes and other fruits. She says this insect could be a “game changer” because it damages fruit close to harvest time and reproduces rapidly.

  • On-Farm Bacterial Testing

    August 10, 2013

    Extension Assistant Professor Amanda Kinchla and Assistant Professor Sam Nugen, food science, write a column in which they discuss on-farm bacterial testing as a method of dealing with contamination of fresh food.