News from Campus – Spring 2019
AG AND BIOSYSTEMS ENGINEERING #1
Iowa State University’s graduate program in agricultural and biosystems engineering has reclaimed the top spot in U.S. News and World Report magazine’s latest rankings of graduate programs. Iowa State’s program shares the top spot with Purdue University.
ANTI-GMO SENTIMENT HAS REPERCUSSIONS FOR DEVELOPING WORLD
Anti-GMO sentiment may be holding back the progress of farmers in some African countries, but Walter Suza, an adjunct professor of agronomy, hopes a new study upholding the safety of Bt corn may help policymakers in Africa implement the technology to fight an emergent pest. The review included a risk assessment that found delaying the adoption of genetically modified crops such as Bt corn in the developing world presents risks to both humans and the environment.
BOOSTING BIOREACTOR BACTERIA WITH CORN COBS
With funding from the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Michelle Soupir, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, is exploring the next generation of bioreactors. Soupir is assessing the potential of corn cobs as a carbon source to fuel helpful bacteria to denitrify water. She and colleagues monitor nitrate-nitrogen and phosphorus levels in water as it enters and exits the bioreactor.
ISU RECOGNIZED NATIONALLY FOR RESEARCH TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
Two Iowa State University scientists and a U.S. Department of Agriculture research partner have received a national honor for their roles in a multistate research collaboration finding solutions to water quality challenges related to agricultural drainage. The 2018 National Excellence in Multistate Research Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture was presented to the North Central Extension Research Activities 217 Committee on Drainage Design and Management Practices to Improve Water Quality. Representing Iowa State on the team are Rameshwar Kanwar, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering; Matt Helmers, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, extension agricultural engineer and director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center; and Dan Jaynes, a soil scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and affiliate professor of agronomy.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF MEAT SCIENCE
Iowa State University’s Department of Animal Science celebrated 100 years of meat science in November. One of the country’s first land-grant meat science programs, Iowa State University has become well-known internationally for leadership in research, teaching and extension. The 100-year-old program celebrated a new milestone this year with the addition of a graduate certificate in meat science, expanding opportunities for working students.
ISU RESEARCHERS SEQUENCE GENOME OF SOYBEAN CYST NEMATODE
ISU researchers have sequenced the genome of the soybean cyst nematode, paving the way for better management practices to combat the number one pest that threatens Iowa soybeans. The research was published recently in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Genomics.
ACKER HONORED BY WORLD FOOD PRIZE FOR INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION
The World Food Prize presented the inaugural “Inspiring the Next Generation” award to CALS Associate Dean David Acker. Presented during the Laureate Award Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Iowa State Capitol, this award recognizes the tireless dedication Acker has shown in encouraging students, through the World Food Prize youth programs, to follow in the footsteps of Iowa hero Norman Borlaug.
Susan J. Lamont, interim director, Egg Industry Center
Patrick Hatting, farm management specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
Beth Reynolds, beef program specialist, Iowa Beef Center
Charles Sukup (’76 ag engineering, ’82 MS), associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
James Schrader, agricultural specialist, Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Center
Sue Blodgett, professor and chair, Departments of Natural Resource Ecology and Management and Entomology, retired in May
Elwynn Taylor, climatologist, ISU Extension and Outreach, retired in January
Hongwei Xin, C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences; director, Egg Industry Center; CALS assistant dean for research; took a new position at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in April
Tong Wang, professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, took a new position at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in April