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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // May 18, 2022 // 4(10)
Feature Story
Mizzou Leverages Research Discoveries (click to read)
Mizzou Leverages Research Discoveries »

Innovators, including those from CAFNR, are working with the Office of Technology Advancement and industry partners to bring discoveries to the marketplace

MFS Director Named

Jeff McHugh has been named the Director of the Missouri Foundation Seed (MFS) program, effective May 23.

Jeff has served as a Research Specialist at MFS for the past nine months. Prior to that he worked as a Project Manager for Cherokee Country Club and as an Extension Assistant for the University of Tennessee. Jeff received both his BS (Biological Sciences) and MS (Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences) from the University of Missouri.

We thank Andrew Biggs for his outstanding leadership as interim Director of MFS for the past nine months. Andrew will return to his position as Assistant Director of Cropping Systems for the Central Missouri Research, Extension and Education Center.

International Opportunities
 (click to read)

University of Missouri Signs Agreement with Uzbekistan 

MU International Programs was pleased to host representatives from two new international partners in Uzbekistan. On Monday, April 25, Aziz Abduvasikov of Tashkent State Agrarian University (at right in photo above) and Sanjar Adilov of the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Center of Knowledge and Innovation in Agriculture (at left) signed general cooperation agreements with MU. Also pictured is Mary Stegmaier, MU International Programs.

During their visit, Abduvasikov and Adilov met with faculty and leadership in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and visited several research centers. CAFNR currently has a USAID grant project focusing on curriculum development with Tashkent State Agrarian University.

CAFNR International Programs Awards Special Funding with CGIAR International Research Centers

CAFNR International Programs offered a special funding call in spring 2022 for development of collaborations with the CGIAR International Research Centers. Working with CGIAR centers helps MU faculty develop solutions to global problems and brings their research to the world stage.

Funding recipients and projects are:

Hoa Hang, Division of Applied Social Science: Partnership on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions with the International Rice Research Institute

Robin Rotman, School of Natural Resources: Water Governance in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Teng-Teeh Lim and Cuong Manh Duong, Division of Plant Science and Technology: Development of a decision-support tool for co-digesting swine manure and industrial waste in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry and Hanoi University of Industry

Mark Morgan, School of Natural Resources: Development of novel fish protein with WorldFish.

Graduate Student Spotlight
Jessica Wilson, Natural Resources (click to read)
Jessica Wilson, Natural Resources

What is your research focus? 

My research focus is unique; I study a complex stream ecosystem that is not only contaminated by heavy metals from legacy lead and zinc mining in the Tri-State Mining District, but the stream lies in a suburban area within the City of Joplin, Missouri. Specifically, my research is looking at the influence of mine drainage on stream functional processes in an urban stream. Stream functional processes can be thought of as how streams use nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus as well as the production and consumption of oxygen by primary producers such as algae and bacteria.

Why does this field interest you? 

Stream functional processes offer a novel approach to determining a stream’s health because they can identify changes within streams that may serve as early warning signals to stream biota and aid in better understanding of how streams transform and transport matter and energy such as carbon to downstream waters and terrestrial ecosystems. Stream functional processes have the potential to be used as a metric in pre-existing local and state aquatic ecosystem health assessments.

Why did you decide to come to Mizzou? 

Mizzou is a well-known, respected Research-1 University with illustrious researchers and professors such as my advisor, Dr. Alba Argerich. Dr. Argerich is a distinguished aquatic scientist, and it is an honor to of received her guidance over these past years. Additionally, the Water Resources Program in the School of Natural Resources is new, and I saw the developing program as an opportunity to contribute towards building a research foundation for future students and aspiring faculty.

What are your future career plans? 

Through my journey as a doctoral student at Mizzou and the many collaborations with other researchers and state and federal agencies, I aim to direct my research focus towards the remediation of heavy metal contaminated streams through a post-doctoral position within the University system or federal agency such as the U.S. Geological Survey. By understanding how stream ecosystems function, I hope to develop and implement remediation strategies that will leave contaminated streams and residential communities living around these areas cleaner than how I found them.

Who is your advisor? 

My advisor is Alba Argerich. I am a PhD candidate in the School of Natural Resources and part of the University of Missouri (MU) Limnology Laboratory.

Grant Team Tips

2023 NSF GRFP Application Boot Camp: Register by June 15!

The Graduate School is partnering with other campus divisions to provide a summer workshop series to give students a strong start to developing a 2023 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) application. The workshop will guide students to write the first draft of their NSF GRFP application by July 26. Participants will also learn helpful strategies for developing their NSF GRFP application in consultation with their faculty research advisor(s).

Research Roars

CAFNR Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (C-DRIG) Winners Announced 

The CAFNR Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (C-DRIG) are offered through the CAFNR Office of Research. The C-DRIG grant supports up to $2,000 or partially support dissertation research projects proposed by doctoral students in the College. Eligible students will have completed their coursework and have advanced to candidacy or will advance to candidacy within six months of the C-DRIG awards.

The 2022 C-DRIG recipients are as follows:

Colby Redifer, advised by Allison Meyer, How does nutrient restriction during late pregnancy affect circulating amino acids in beef cows? 

Tayaton Pongspikul, advised by Laura McCann, Transaction Costs of Establishing a Desalination Plant 

Jose Costa Netto, advised by Felix Fritschi, Soybean Genetic Gain: How did breeding for higher yields change plant hydraulic pathway characteristics? 

Jessica Wilson, advised by Alba Argerich, Impacts of legacy mining on stream functional processes in an urban stream

Katy Stoecklein, advised by Sofia Ortega and Randy Prather, Cytokine supplementation to improve developmental competence of bovine embryos following slow-rate freezing 

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

Alba Argerich, 2022 National Lakes Assessment (NLA3) Survey, MO Department of Natural Resources, 4/1/2022- 8/31/2023, $100,390

Kevin Bradley, Evaluating the Impacts of Weed Electrocution of Earthworms, Soil Health, Microbe Activity and Soybean Cyst Nematodes, MO Soybean Merchandising Council, 3/1/2022- 2/28/2023, $70,000

Ryan Milhollin, Training Farms to Navigate Today’s Tight Labor Market, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 4/1/2022, 9/30/2023, $48,979

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