Faculty Achievement ⋅ Page 1

Analyzing Insect Performance

Researchers looking at the role neonicotinoid insecticides play in arthropod performance

Pollinators and other beneficial insects play an important role in the agricultural world, especially in terms of economic value for growers. A study conducted by Cornell University showed that crops pollinated by those beneficial insects contributed $29 billion to farm income in 2010. Unfortunately, several of those insects are facing population declines due to a variety of factors. A team…

Breeding a Better Bee

CAFNR researchers comb the honey bee genome for resilience against damaging parasite

The honey bee is as busy as ever. From almonds to zucchini, honey bees pollinate more than 90 agricultural crops in the United States — worth more than $15 billion annually. In 2017, the apiculture industry provided pollination services valued at nearly $320 million, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In addition, the bees also produced almost 150…

Battling an Unseen Pest

Melissa Mitchum has devoted her career to researching soybean cyst nematodes

One of the greatest threats to crops lives underground and can’t be seen by the naked eye. Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms that range in size from as small as 250 micrometers, or 0.0098 inches, to a maximum of several millimeters in length. It’s a parasite that Melissa Mitchum has devoted her career to fighting. Mitchum, a professor in…

Regional Honors

Prather, Stacey recognized by prestigious St. Louis science academy

Two of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ distinguished professors added a new accolade to their careers last week. Randy Prather, Curators and Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Biotechnology in the Division of Animal Sciences, and Gary Stacey, Curators Distinguished Professor of Plant Sciences and Joint Curators Professor of Biochemistry, were both honored by the Academy of Science of…

Directing Strategic Partnerships

Scott Brown tapped to build on and establish affiliations with Missouri agriculture stakeholders

Scott Brown, assistant extension professor of agricultural and applied economics, has been named Director of Strategic Partnerships for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. His appointment was effective March 1. “This is a new position in our college and Dr. Brown is the ideal person to fill it,” said CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert. “CAFNR is…

Joining the Ranks

Michael Chapman selected to chair Department of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri

Michael Chapman has been named chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri, effective July 16, 2018. Biochemistry is a joint academic unit within the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and the School of Medicine at MU. The department is noted for interdisciplinary research and effective instruction. Chapman is the Richard T. Jones Professor…

Fighting a Global Pest

Susanta Behura researching mosquitoes and their genetics

A global issue, dengue fever kills more than 20,000 individuals every year, most of whom are children, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Forty percent of the world’s population live in areas with a risk of dengue transmission. The World Health Organization reports that 50 to 100 million infections occur each year. Dengue fever is something Susanta Behura…

The Miracle Bean

Scientists develop additional soybean reference genomes

When the Human Genome Project began in 1990, the goal was to sequence and map all of the genes that make up the human DNA. That project was completed in 2003 – and genome projects on many other species followed in subsequent years. Several crops grown in Missouri soon underwent genetic sequencing and mapping, including soybeans. The first soybean cultivar…

Improving Heifer Development

Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program celebrates 20 years

The Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program has enrolled more than 135,000 heifers on more than 850 farms during its 20 years of existence. The program, developed and spearheaded by David Patterson, a professor of reproductive physiology in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), celebrated its 20th anniversary during the Missouri Cattle Industry Convention and…

Transferring Technology

Division of Animal Sciences receives grant to develop national center

The Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) boasts many strengths, including its vast research and work with beef cattle reproduction and genetics. The faculty, who have responsibilities not only in research, but also in teaching, extension and economic development, are experts in taking their findings and sharing them with…