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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // December 16, 2021 // 3(25)
Message from the Associate Dean
 (click to read)

As I reflect on 2021, I am in awe of all we have done this past year. I want to thank our incredible faculty, staff, students and stakeholders for driving our research mission forward in high gear despite continued challenges from the pandemic.  I look forward to what is to come in 2022! There will be no issue of Research Digest on Dec. 30, as our office is closed. We will start again in the New Year.

Happy Holidays from all of us in the CAFNR Office of Research!

Best wishes!
Shibu Jose
CAFNR Associate Dean for Research

Feature Stories
Potential for a Warmer Winter (click to read)
Potential for a Warmer Winter »

Tony Lupo's long-term forecast shows mid-Missouri could see a warmer winter

An Untapped Industry (click to read)
An Untapped Industry »

Putting Maple on the Map in the Lower Midwest

CAFNR Research Council Holds Webinar Series

The CAFNR Research Council is hosting a series of webinars featuring speakers discussing timely topics. The next webinar in the series is Thursday, Dec. 16, at 3:30 p.m., and will feature Shibu Jose, CAFNR associate dean for research, with an Agricultural Experiment Station update. Find the link to today’s webinar and previous webinars on the CAFNR Research Council’s page. 

The 13th Annual Agroforestry Symposium

The Annual Agroforestry Symposium, “Food, Fire, & Agroforestry for the Future: Ecological Knowledge for Climate Resilience” is a free event held virtually Jan. 20, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The theme for this year’s event brings attention to the ways intercultural perspectives in land-based sciences are essential as we face current climate realities. To register for the event or submit a poster abstract for the symposium, please see the Center for Agroforestry’s website. 


Graduate Student Spotlight
Dalen Zuidema, Animal Sciences (click to read)
Dalen Zuidema, Animal Sciences

What is your research focus?

I study early fertilization events in mammals. Specifically focused on what happens to spermatozoa during fertilization. Our laboratory focuses on male fertility with an emphasis on spermatozoa function, from sperm development to fertilization, so I’m the guy in the lab focused on the later term events in the sperm “life cycle.”

Why does this field interest you?

I grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota and have always had a passion for animal agriculture. However, I decided rather than being a farmer myself I wanted to find a career where I was able to have a positive impact on producers through research and development. When I narrowed in on how I could do this I found that I had a knack for understanding animal reproduction. I then I decided I wanted to work on male animal reproduction because I believe developing more fertile males and better products in this realm can have a huge impact for producers, particularly in the dairy industry which is the sector of the industry I originally came from.

Why did you decide to come to Mizzou?

Once I had committed to the idea of studying male animal reproduction, I searched out professors who were experts in this realm of study. I was extremely fortunate to find Dr. Peter Sutovsky, here at Mizzou, and he let me join his lab. He is a leader in the male reproductive field and has been an outstanding mentor in this sector of the field. Furthermore, the animal reproduction group here at Mizzou is full of experts in the field so I’ve been fortunate to interact with many huge names in the animal repro field while at Mizzou.

What are your future career plans?

I plan to work for a cattle sire company as a research andrologist in a research and development role upon graduation.

Who is your advisor?

I am advised by Dr. Peter Sutovsky.

Research Roars

David Patterson Honored with the Missouri Livestock Symposium Achievement Award 

David Patterson, Chancellor’s Professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, received the inaugural Achievement Award from the Missouri Livestock Symposium on Dec. 3. Patterson will become a member of the Missouri Livestock Symposium Hall of Fame. The award recognizes livestock industry leaders for career achievements.

Bond LCS Researcher Wins Awards for 45-Year Career in Reproductive Biology

Michael Roberts, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, has received two awards recognizing his career in reproductive biology. Roberts won the Marshall Medal from the UK Society for Reproduction and Fertility and the Gold Medal and Honorable Membership of the Animal Reproduction Branch of the Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine (CAAV).

CAFNR faculty members have received the following recent grants (listed by Principal Investigator):

Henry Nguyen, Development and Releases of High Tocopherol Soybean Germplasm, Southern Illinois University, 10/1/2021-9/30/2022, $56,171

Andrew Thomas, Advancing Organic Agriculture in the Mid-South: Evaluating Systems and Reducing Barriers, Winrock Intl, 10/25/2021-12/31/2024, $58,590

In The News

MU researcher receives two national grants worth over $4 million

Columbia Missourian

MU researchers say it’s time to clean up the Clean Water Act

Environmental News Network

Happy Holidays from the CAFNR Office of Research!