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Matthew Lucy Serves as Editor-in-Chief of New Journal

The first issue of JDS Communications, a new journal from the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), is now available. Matthew Lucy, a professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, serves as the editor-in-chief of the new publication.

JDS Communications will offer a fresh and different publication option for dairy scientists,” Lucy said. “We are interested in high-quality research studies that are focused, hypothesis-driven and designed to answer a specific question on the production or processing of milk or milk products intended for human consumption.”

Lucy added that the publication will serve as a home for short communications, technical notes and hot topics that are currently published in the Journal of Dairy Science, where he served as the editor-in-chief for the previous six years.

“Our vision is much broader than a simple transfer of articles from one journal to another,” Lucy said. “We plan to expand the short research paper type through the creation of this unique journal. JDS Communications will be specifically designed for today’s authors who have limited time and a need to publish their focused, high-impact research. Our goal is to create a publication home for succinct, well-designed studies that are limited in scope but nonetheless important to the dairy sciences.”

Along with serving as editor-in-chief for an ADSA publication, Lucy received the ADSA Award of Honor earlier this year. The award recognizes unusually outstanding and consistent contributions to the welfare of the Association or distinguished service to the Association. The award is primarily for services to the American Dairy Science Association.

John Tummons Receives 2020 NAAE Region IV Outstanding Service Citation

John Tummons, assistant agricultural education and leadership teaching professor, received the 2020 Region IV Outstanding Service Citation from the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) earlier this summer. The award, sponsored by Goodheart-Willcox, recognizes those who have provided services to agricultural educators, agricultural programs or agricultural student organizations and have attained leadership in professional organizations.

Michael Cook Receives Best Paper Award for Co-Authored Study

Michael Cook, agricultural and applied economics professor and Partridge Chair of Cooperative Leadership, co-authored a study that received a Best Paper, Strategy Division award at the Academy of Management 2020 annual meeting in August. The paper, titled “From Instrumental to Normative Relational Strategies: A Study of Open Buyer-Supplier Relations,” takes a case study approach to examine the open vertical and horizontal relational strategy used by Natura, a company in the cosmetic industry.

Henry Nguyen Named Editor of The Plant Genome

The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) recently announced three appointments/reappointments of journal editors. Henry Nguyen, professor in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) Division of Plant Sciences, was named the editor of The Plant Genome.

“I am honored and inspired to take on a new role as editor of The Plant Genome,” Nguyen said in the announcement. “I was involved in the development of this journal as former chair of the C-7 Division (Genomics, Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology) and have served on the editorial board for several years. It has been gratifying to see the success and growth of The Plant Genome, and I look forward to working with CSSA members and the editorial board to expand its global impact. Being associated with the Wiley publishing group, we have a new opportunity to take The Plant Genome to the next level among Wiley’s highly recognized plant-related journals such as Plant Biotechnology and The Plant Journal.”

Nguyen has been a member of the CSSA and ASA for more than 40 years. His appointment begins Jan. 1, 2021, and he will serve a three-year term.

According to its website, The Plant Genome is a gold open access journal that provides the latest advances and breakthroughs in plant genomics research, with special attention to innovative genomic applications that advance our understanding of plant biology that may have applications to crop improvement.

Nguyen has a research program in molecular genetics, genomics and biotechnology. His long-standing research interest is abiotic stress adaptation and tolerance in plants with a current emphasis on soybean. Nguyen is part of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG) at the University of Missouri. The IPG is one of CAFNR’s Programs of Distinction, a select collection of programs that exemplify CAFNR’s drive to distinction. Those programs define CAFNR’s current impact on Missouri’s agriculture and natural resource economies, providing understanding for how CAFNR is addressing challenges facing Missouri agriculture and natural resources.

IPG Graduate Student and Postdoc Receive Awards for CROPS Seminar Presentations

The regional Collective Research Organization of Plant Scientists (CROPS) virtual seminar series, organized by graduate students and postdocs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, took place over the summer, wrapping up the final sessions earlier in August.

On Aug. 18, biochemistry PhD student Shannon King and plant sciences postdoctoral fellow Jian Kang received awards for Graduate Student Presentation and Postdoc Presentation, respectively. King, who works in the labs of Scott Peck, Felix Fritschi and Robert Sharp, was awarded first place for graduate student presentation, and Jian Kang in the Robert Sharp and Mel Oliver labs, was awarded third place for Postdoc presentation. These awards were based on presentations given by all participants throughout the entire summer series and were presented in a virtual ceremony as the regional event concluded.

Samniqueka Halsey Publishes Letter in Nature Ecology and Evolution

Samniqueka Halsey, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and CAFNR Faculty Fellow, is the lead author on a letter published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. “Elevate, don’t assimilate, to revolutionize the experience of scientists who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour” (SharedIt PDF version) outlines suggestions for how minoritized individuals can not only survive but thrive in ecology and evolutionary biology. The letter’s authors, five Black women who started as doctoral students at the same university, used their shared experience to develop a list of eight strategies. The strategies include: expect and use external support, build your community and reframe academic privilege.

Halsey earned her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University; her master’s degree from Chicago State University; and her PhD in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on computational ecology, long-term data sets, geographic information systems and remote sensing, biodiversity conservation and emerging wildlife diseases. She uses computational approaches to understand the mechanisms involved in the patterns we see in nature. On the teaching side, Halsey’s undergraduate emphasis area is in natural resource science and management, and her graduate emphasis area is in fisheries and wildlife sciences.

As the CAFNR Faculty Fellow for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity, she is developing and implementing strategies to help CAFNR become a more compassionate, diverse, inclusive and equitable community for all students, faculty and staff across the college.

Ray Massey Receives 2020 C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award

Ray Massey, Extension professor of agricultural and applied economics in the Division of Applied Social Sciences, received the 2020 C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award as part of the UM System President’s Awards. The C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award recognizes a University of Missouri faculty member who demonstrates commitment, dedication and effectiveness in advancing the land-grant mission through Extension, international education and agricultural economics programs.

In these respects, Massey has performed at the highest levels throughout his career, according to the UM System. His work in agricultural economics has improved lives worldwide, and he is recognized for his contributions to Missouri producers and MU students. Since beginning work at the University of Missouri in 1995, he has provided farmers and agribusinesses with timely and relevant risk management information, won numerous awards for his work, and developed relationships with the Republic of Korea, the Czech Republic, Scotland, China and Argentina.

Notably, his efforts with the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service in Argentina built an ongoing and mutually beneficial relationship with the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange and facilitated important study abroad experiences for 20 MU students. Massey has also distinguished himself by working at the forefront of creative thought for agricultural risk management and bringing Midwest farmers insight into behavioral economics to enhance their own decision-making. Enthusiastic recommendations from university leaders, major Missouri agribusiness stakeholders, USDA partners and international colleagues speak to Massey’s considerable impact. As an educator and researcher who has shared knowledge widely and effectively, Massey is undoubtedly the measure of a Ratchford Fellow, according to the UM System.

In 2003, Massey received the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ J.W. Burch State Specialist Agricultural Extension Award. This honor recognizes state specialists for their effectiveness of program leadership with field staff, quality of Extension publications, presentations and other educational materials, and recognition by state and national peers for their program quality.

Sofia Ortega Named Zamorano AGEAP USA Alumni of the Month

Sofia Ortega, assistant professor of reproductive physiology in Animal Sciences, has recently been recognized as the AGEAP USA Alumni of the Month. Ortega’s interest in reproductive physiology began at Zamorano (Class of 2003), through her work in Honduras. She received her MS in Animal Sciences from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, and she completed her PhD at the University of Florida in 2016 in Animal Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Her CAFNR team utilizes a systems biology approach to optimize cattle fertility, using CRISPR knockouts to study preimplantation bovine embryo development. Ortega has published more than 17 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals in reproductive biology. She also contributes to the advancement of animal and reproductive sciences, serving as an Associate Editor of the CABI Agriculture and Bioscience Journal, as well as a reviewer for eight scientific journals and through numerous national and international speaking engagements.

Charles Nilon Named the Newest Holder of the William J. Rucker Professorship in Fisheries and Wildlife

Charles Nilon, professor of urban wildlife management in the School of Natural Resources, was recently named the newest holder of the William J. Rucker Professorship in Fisheries and Wildlife. From its inception in 1944, the William J. Rucker Professorship in Fisheries and Wildlife’s purpose has been for the “instruction of youth upon the subject of the value and preservation of wild life.” Funds are used primarily to support graduate research assistant stipends.

“I have known Dr. Nilon almost since the start of my MU career, when I arrived in 1999,” said Pat Market, interim director of the School of Natural Resources. “He has always been a thoughtful colleague, who has the School’s and our students’ best interests at heart. Dr. Nilon is a widely respected scholar with more than 5,000 citations. His expertise makes him a clear choice for this distinction.”

Nilon has been a faculty member in SNR since June 1989. His research focuses on urban wildlife conservation and urban ecology, human dimensions of wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. Since 1997, Nilon has been a co-principal investigator on the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), one of two urban ecosystems included in the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research program. He and his students study how ecological and socioeconomic factors influence wildlife species composition and abundance. Because urban areas are homes to people as well as wildlife, Nilon’s research also considers the role of nature as part of an individual’s day-to-day environment, and environmental justice issues associated with access to nature.

Since 2010, Nilon has been a principal investigator on three different synthesis projects that are compiling data from more than 150 of the world’s cities. The projects seek to understand global patterns of biodiversity in cities, the filters that shape species composition in cities, and the social and ecological factors that shape patterns of abundance in cities, and apply that information to management, conservation and planning programs. He teaches courses on urban wildlife conservation, human dimensions of natural resources and environmental justice, and is a co-investigator on MU’s THRIVE Project which seeks to develop a culture of inclusive excellence in the natural sciences.

Randall Miles Receives 2020 Thomas Jefferson Award

Randall Miles, associate professor emeritus of soil science in the School of Natural Resources, received the 2020 Thomas Jefferson Award as part of the UM System President’s Awards. The Thomas Jefferson Award is reserved for faculty who rise above excellence and demonstrate clear distinction, not only in their career, but also in service to the University of Missouri and humankind.

Over his career as a beloved instructor at MU, Miles has made a major impact on student education. Beyond that, his profound passions for soil science, human health and community well­being have led him to make fundamental contributions to the development of small rural towns. He has leveraged his expertise in wastewater treatment to help smaller municipalities to recycle water back into the local watershed while recycling nutrients for onsite crop utilization and generate income through the installation of low-cost irrigation systems that promote biofuel production. He has also elevated the reputation of the university by establishing the Missouri Onsite Wastewater Training and Research Center, which has served as a major educational resource for regulators, soil scientists, installers, engineers, designers, land-use planners, home inspectors, and homeowners.

Miles has earned numerous awards from CAFNR, including the Dana Brown Haynes Distinguished Service Award in 2018 and the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1993. He served as the director of Sanborn Field for several years as well.

As an expert in both teaching difficult concepts and putting them into action, Miles is a rarity. The fact that he has applied his considerable talent to elevate the quality of life in small-town America make him exceptional, and worthy of the Thomas Jefferson Award, according to the UM System.