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News from the Media

  • 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)

  • Wendell to Get Solar Planning Help Thanks to UMass Amherst Clean Energy Extension Grant

    May 20, 2020

    Wendell is one of three Western Massachusetts communities set to benefit from a 15-month grant awarded to a team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Clean Energy Extension that will lead development of solar siting and financing procedures. (Recorder 5/19/20, News Office)

  • Leaf Lily Beetles Video Released by Simisky

    May 15, 2020

    Tawny Simisky, UMass extension entomologist, is cited extensively throughout a gardening column about lily leaf beetles, which feed on tiger lilies, Asiatic and Oriental lilies and martagon lilies, ans well as a few other plants. (Gazette, 5/13/20)

  • Bumble Bee Disease, Reproduction Shaped by Flowering Strip Plants

    May 11, 2020

    Rows of plants known as flowering strips are designed to be pollinator-friendly, but a new study co-authored by Lynn Adler, biology, suggests they have some drawbacks. In the study published in the journal PNAS, Adler and colleagues at North Carolina State University report that they have found that while flowering strips can help boost bumble bee reproduction, they also facilitate higher rates of disease.  (MassLive, SciTechDaily, Vegetable Growers NewsNews Office Release 5/14/20; 5/13/20,, Science Daily, PNAS, 5/11/20  )

  • CNS dean Tricia Serio Identifies Key Protein in Group of Fatal Diseases

    May 11, 2020

    Research by Tricia Serio, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, might lead to a cure for a group of fatal diseases, including mad cow disease. (Feedstuffs, BioSpace, 5/8/20; Sound Health and Lasting Wealth, News Office release 5/6/20)