Tag Archives: Auburn University College of Agriculture

Take 5 with Ryan McGehee

10 Nov

Ryan McGehee, a master’s student in Biosystems Engineering and a Graduate Student Ambassador, is featured in this week’s Take 5.
Click here to read the interview with Ryan: http://bit.ly/1zGHdNy.


Graduate students honored by Southeastern branch of Entomological Society of America

28 Mar

Three Auburn graduate students in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology won high honors in competitions held as part of the Southeastern branch of the Entomological Society of America’s 2014 annual meeting in Greenville, S.C.

Tolulope Morawo, a Ph.D. student in entomology professor Henry Fadamiro’s program, won the Robert T. Gast Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Oral Presentation in his category with his talk on parasitoid attraction to herbivore-damaged cotton versus undamaged cotton.

Fellow Ph.D. student Feng Liu, who works under entomology professor Nannan Liu’s direction, claimed second place in another category with his presentation on the mechanisms involved in the repellant effects of DEET in bedbugs.

In the artistic category of the annual insect photo competition, master’s student Scott Clem’s picture of an unknown species of cave crickets on the ceiling of a Paint Rock Preserve cavern in Jackson County won first place. Clem’s major professor is entomology associate professor David Held.

Two-time Auburn graduate elected president of National Association of County Agricultural Agents

24 Oct

Henry Dorough

Henry Dorough, a regional Extension agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, was recently elected president of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) during NACAA’s 98th Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference and Galaxy Conference, held in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Dr. Gary Lemme, ACES director, says Dorough will be a great asset to NACAA and its members.

“NACAA will benefit from Henry’s expertise and leadership, much as the farmers, producers and others he has worked with over the years in Alabama have benefited,” says Lemme. “He will bring the knowledge, commitment and passion to his tenure as NACAA president that he gives daily to the citizens of Alabama.”

Dorough previously served NACAA as secretary for three years, followed by two additional years serving the association as vice president and president-elect. He was one of more than 500 Cooperative Extension Service agricultural agents and their families who attended the week-long professional improvement program. In addition to the agricultural agents, more than 1,700 Extension Service employees specializing in 4-H, Family and Consumer Science, Natural Resources and Community Development attended the Galaxy Conference.

Dorough holds two degrees from Auburn University. He received a B.S. degree in Animal Science in 1987, and a Masters in Animal Nutrition in 1990.

Click here to read the full story.

Auburn to offer master’s in soil, water and environmental science beginning in 2014

27 Sep

An online master’s degree program in soil, water and environmental science at Auburn University has gained final approval and will officially launch spring semester 2014, giving working professionals in fields related to natural resource management the opportunity to further their education and build their expertise via distance education.

The fully online program, which the Alabama Commission on Higher Education approved Sept. 13, is a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary program offered through the Agriculture Interactive Distance Education Alliance, or AG*IDEA, a consortium of universities offering distance education programs and courses in agricultural disciplines. In addition to Auburn, participating AG*IDEA institutions include the University of Georgia, North Carolina State University and Texas Tech University.

Through the consortium, students interested in the soil, water and environmental science master’s degree choose a home university where they apply and register for courses and from which they are awarded their degrees, but the required and elective courses they take are taught online by top faculty from all of the participating institutions.

Click here to read the full story.

E.T. York Distinguished Lecturer to address agriculture, immigration

12 Sep

The Auburn University College of Agriculture will launch its 2013-14 E.T. York Distinguished Lecturer series Monday, Sept. 23, when Philip Martin of the University of California, Davis delivers the fall lecture, “Agriculture and Immigration: What’s Next?” Martin will speak at 7 p.m. in the Auburn University Student Center Ballroom.

“Labor and immigration policies are of great importance in the agricultural sector,” said Paul Patterson, the college’s associate dean for instruction and chair of the York Lecturer speaker selection committee. “Alabama has enacted its own immigration laws, and immigration reform has been the topic of recent contentious debate in Washington. It’s a crucially important topic that needs to be discussed by the public and policymakers.”

Martin’s selection as guest speaker also coincides with Auburn’s 2013-14 Common Book program, which features “Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy” by award-winning journalist John Bowe.

Click here to read the full story.

Auburn researchers investigating what makes bedbugs tick

6 Jun

Outstanding Graduate Student honoree Zach DeVries is researching how bedbugs’ metabolic rates are affected by feeding and starvation and what is at play metabolically that enables bedbugs to survive a year or longer without feeding.

The first thing that Zach DeVries does when he opens the door to a new hotel room is to put his luggage in the bathtub.

“I’m not being paranoid,” DeVries says. “I’m being cautious.”

It is a caution born of insight that DeVries has acquired over the past couple of years as an Auburn University master’s-level entomology graduate student whose research is aimed at discovering basic biological information to add to the relatively shallow body of scientific knowledge about bedbugs.

So there is method to his madness: He puts his bags in the tub so that, if his subsequent examination of the bed and everything around it reveals the tell-tale signs of bedbugs – mainly fecal and blood stains in the seams and crevices of mattresses – he can grab that luggage and scram.

“All it takes is one female bedbug that has been mated getting into your luggage and going home with you, and you could have a real problem,” DeVries says, noting that the insects can lay as many as 500 eggs in their lifetimes.

Working under the guidance of Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology head and professor Art Appel, DeVries is studying bedbug metabolism – specifically, how the tiny pests’ metabolic rates are affected by feeding and starvation and what is at play metabolically that enables bedbugs to survive a year or longer without feeding.

Click here to read the full story.

Licensing deal moves AU-patented kiwifruit into marketplace

5 Mar

AU Golden Sunshine kiwifruit is among the Auburn-patented varieties now available.

Auburn University–patented kiwifruit varieties are now on the market, offering home gardeners across central and south Alabama a new and refreshing fruit possibility and the region’s produce farmers a promising high-value specialty crop.

Included among those varieties are a “traditional” kiwifruit—the fuzzy, egg-shaped fruit with bright-green, seed-studded flesh and a distinctive sweet-tart taste—and a couple of yellow-fleshed varieties characterized by smooth skin and a smooth, sweet flavor. They are the “goldens.”

“The first gold kiwi I had, as soon as I tasted it, I knew it was something that would be a hit,” says Wayne Bassett, owner of Beck’s Turf and The Wildlife Group in Macon County. So strongly did he believe in the fruit’s potential that, working through Auburn’s Office of Technology Transfer, he licensed the patented varieties and now has exclusive rights to sell the kiwifruit vines through a newly established entity, Gold Kiwi Group LLC.

Spearheaded by now-retired horticulture professor Billy Dozier, Auburn’s kiwifruit research project was aimed at determining whether the subtropical fruit could be grown in Alabama, not merely in home landscapes but as a commercial crop for fruit and vegetable producers.

The initial research was limited to traditional green-fleshed kiwifruit varieties, but in the early 1990s, Dozier and team added two golden varieties—Dragon and Sunshine—that had been developed at Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Institute of Fruit and Tea in China to the scientific trials. As was the case with the green-fleshed varieties, the goldens proved, and continue to prove, hardy and prolific.

Read the full story here.