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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // March 28, 2019
Research Highlights
Studying behavior could lead to sustainability solutions (click to read)
Studying behavior could lead to sustainability solutions »

Damon Hall is an assistant professor jointly appointed to Mizzou Engineering’s Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering Department and the School of Natural Resources in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The research he conducts takes place at the intersection of engineering, natural resources, policy and social science — particularly when it comes to water and sustainability.

Hall’s research is attempting to discover how to shift attitudes toward the technology and policy that could help improve sustainability. Understanding how people view shifts and new technology can help engineers design technological advances to make them more likely to be widely adopted. Read More >>

Agricultural Research Centers
Graves-Chapple Research Center (click to read)
Graves-Chapple Research Center »

With 90 percent of the Missouri River in Atchison County flooded, the Graves-Chapple Research Center (Rock Port) has received many inquiries about the condition of the Center. We feel extremely fortunate that the main headquarters have been spared. Our west side plots are flooded, but only the southern third of the east side, where the buildings are located, is flooded. By all accounts from long-term residents and landmarks, this is historic. The water is even deeper than the flood of 1952 and surpasses what we dealt with in 2011. Early estimates say that more than 40,000 acres have been flooded in the county. River levels are finally starting to drop, but water is continuing to pour through the levee breaches and it will take time for it to subside and recede. Moreover, the annual wet season, where we deal with the snowmelt in Montana and the Dakotas, has not even started yet. By all estimations, every levee from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to the south end of Holt County, Missouri, has been overtopped and breached.

The recovery in the county will be a long one. Depending on rainfall, snowmelt, funding, etc., it may be two years before everything is completely repaired, and Iowa and Nebraska took it worse than we did. We have to wait for the river to fall below the level of the holes in the levees, then for the water to all drain out before we can even begin to assess the damage. With heavy rain forecast in Nebraska this past weekend and the spring rise coming, water will be going in and out of the breaches until mid-summer. Then the ground has to dry enough to support equipment for repairs. Everyone is safe but the work is just beginning. We will be heavily involved in mitigation and recovery in the area as we were in 2011.

– From Jim Crawford, superintendent of the Graves-Chapple Research Center

Visit the MU Extension website for information about how the University is helping flooded communities and flood-related resources

Funding Agency News
National Science Foundation — When to Apply?
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) has many funding opportunities that do not have a deadline, so when is the best time to submit a proposal? The NSF Program Directors (PDs) tell us that the best time to submit is as soon as you think your proposal is ready. PDs are not required to have panels during specific times of the year. Instead, they can convene a panel as soon as they feel they have a sufficient number of proposals in a particular area to do so. There is no reason to rush to submit relative to the end or beginning of the fiscal year.
  • Karen Cone, NSF Program Director, suggested when she was on the MU campus recently that anyone thinking of submitting a proposal to NSF should start with writing a one-page description of their research. Send it to the Program Director who you think might be interested in your science. If they think that your research won’t fit in their area, they will forward your one-pager on to someone else. Finding the best “home” for your project will make all the difference in whether you receive an award or not.
Research Roars

Scott Peck named Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists

Scott Peck has been awarded the Fellow of ASPB Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists. Peck is a professor of biochemistry whose lab is principally concerned with how plants respond to bacterial pathogens and how plants grow when they have little access to water. The award recognizes Peck’s distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology, particularly focused on plant defense and proteomics and his service to the Society, which includes, among other things, service as an editorial board member for more than 10 years for The Plant Cell, one of the top journals for plant biology research.

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

Kevin W. Bradley, Weed control and crop tolerance in Midwest LL-soybeans, 1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019, $6,624, AgriMetis

Pengyin Chen, Breeding Soybeans for Resistance to Mature Soybean Seed Damage, 1/1/2019 – 9/30/2019, $50,000, Mississippi State University

Daniel Downing, 2019-2020 – MO State Plan of Work, 1/1/2019 – 12/31/2020, $150,000, University of Minnesota

John Kruse, Increasing the Profitability of Missouri Crop Farmers through Improved Marketing Strategies, 4/1/2019 – 9/30/2020, $50,000, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Thomas R. Lock, Evaluation of Urease and Nitrification Inhibitors in Tall Fescue, 3/1/2019 – 12/31/2019, $24,328, Koch Agronomic Services

Calvin Meeks, Cotton Incorporated-Cotton Specialists Partnerships: Large-Plot, Replicated Variety Evaluations-MO, 1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019, $6,000, Cotton Inc.

Henry Nguyen, Gene-to-field characterization of the regulation and function of qWT_Gm03/SAUR-FT in waterlogging tolerance and yield stability in soybean, 3/15/2019 – 3/14/2022, $410,323, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Gary Stacey, Physiological and Molecular-Genetic Characterization of Basal Resistance in Sorghum, 9/1/2015 – 8/31/2019, $163,687, North Carolina State University

Frank R. Thompson, A Proposal to the Department of the Interior to Establish the Northeast Climate Science Center, 3/1/2018 – 7/31/2019, $21,161, University of Massachusetts

Wesley Warren, Genetic and Epigenetic Annotation of the Domestic Cat Genome, 9/1/2018 – 8/31/2021, $61,393, Texas A&M University

Wesley Warren, Enhanced Development of the Xiphophorus Model System, 10/1/2018 – 5/31/2020, $75,270, Texas State University

Mitchell Weegman, A multi-species analysis of landscape effects on individual decision-making and fitness in wetland-dependent migratory shorebirds, 4/1/2018 – 3/31/2020, $3,750, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Mitchell Weegman, Behaviour and breeding success in white-fronted geese, 4/1/2018 – 3/31/2020, $7,000, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Joseph M. Zulovich, Development of Technical Tools and Publications to Implement Energy Conservation in Animal Production Facilities, 3/23/2018 – 3/30/2020, $16,300, Clemson University

Provided by the MU Office of Research

Featured Photo

The photo featured in the header is a bluegrass billbug, one of the two most common types of billbug species in Missouri. Billbugs can cause massive damage to numerous turfgrass species but are a pest golf course superintendents may not even know about. CAFNR researchers are working to learn more about this small, nocturnal insect. Photo courtesy of Robert Sites and Bruce Barrett. Learn more about the research on CAFNR’s news site