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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // May 19, 2023 // 5(10)
Feature Story
Big Grants, Bigger Impacts (click to read)
Big Grants, Bigger Impacts »

MU researcher Rob Myers talks about how his team secured $35 million in grants to help farmers

Research Highlights
Krishnaswamy Shares Solutions For a Zero Hunger World at AAAS Conference (click to read)
Krishnaswamy Shares Solutions For a Zero Hunger World at AAAS Conference »

Assistant Professor Kiruba Krishnaswamy was invited to be part of the AAAS Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Washington, D.C., to share her ideas about multipronged approaches to ending global hunger

Science2Art Fundraiser Submissions Open Until June 6 (click to read)
Science2Art Fundraiser Submissions Open Until June 6 »

Submissions are now open for the BioNexus KC sponsored fundraiser, Science2Art.

Science2Art is a platform for regional scientists to display and describe their research through visual arts. Each piece tells a personal research story and poetically captures the fieldwork performed by the scientists and their teams. Entries are juried by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art curators, and proceeds benefit STEAM programs across the region.

Click here to read about MU researchers who participated in 2022.

Click here to learn more or submit research art.

Mizzou Resources
Tips From Mizzou Office of Research

Conduct research abroad — Consider applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award for the 2024-25 academic year. The deadline is Sept. 15. Contact Fulbright Liaison David Crespy ( for help with your program and country selection, letters of invitation, recommendation letters and project statement. These Fulbright webinars also are helpful.

Elevate your proposal graphics — The Strategic Proposal Development Service is offering a limited number of spots to work with proposal illustrator Samantha Peters on graphics, illustrations and cover images for publications and journal articles related to a current or previous grant award. First author must be from MU to qualify. Request illustration help.

Tap into Mizzou’s Research Development Network — A team of grant writers, project managers, and funding directors that comprise the MU Research Development Network can help make your proposals more competitive and connect you with researchers across campus to increase interdisciplinary opportunities. Learn more about their services.

NextGen Precision Health to Offer Clinical Research Study Coordinator Bootcamp

The Clinical Research Study Coordinator Bootcamp is a two-day training designed to provide basic knowledge that is beneficial for research coordinators and staff. The program includes lectures, interactive activities, and breakout group exercises. Visit the NextGen Precision Health website for more information or to register.

Graduate Student Spotlight
Alexis Jones, Animal Sciences (click to read)
Alexis Jones, Animal Sciences

What is your research focus?

I study proteins that may play a role in mitochondrial inheritance in semen utilizing our porcine cell free system. One of the most interesting things about my research is that if sperm mitochondria are inherited it can cause mitochondrial diseases such as heteroplasmy which can be passed on from generation to generation. I utilize techniques such as IVF, ICC, Flow Cytometry, western blotting, and our cell free system.

Why does this field interest you?

Reproduction is interesting to me because I have a natural curiosity about how the body and the body systems work. Reproduction is a fundamental process of life and studying it can give a deeper understanding of how organisms function and evolve. I have a fascination with the biology of life and I love how there is always something new to learn!

Why did you decide to come to Mizzou?

I originally came here because I knew that Mizzou had a good veterinarian school. I always thought that because I loved animals then that meant I wanted to be a veterinarian. But as an undergrad I took a reproduction class and fell in love with it. So, I had a change of heart and am now a master’s student studying reproduction.

What are your future career plans?

I hope to become an embryologist and work at a fertility clinic.

Who is your advisor?

Dr. Peter Sutovsky

Research Roars

Sharp Receives UM System’s Jefferson Award

Robert Sharp, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Plant Science and Technology, recently received the UM System President’s Thomas Jefferson Award for his research. The award recognizes one outstanding faculty member annually who has been nationally or internationally recognized for and demonstrated clear distinction in research, scholarship, teaching and public service.

Ahmed Balboula Receives 2023 SSR Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator Award

Ahmed Balboula, assistant professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, received the 2023 SSR Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator Award from the Society of the Study of Reproduction (SSR).

Colby Redifer Recieved 2023 MWASAS Young Scholar Award 

Colby Redifer, PhD candidate in ruminant animal physiology, was honored with the Young Scholar Award at the 2023 Midwest American Society of Animal Science (MWASAS) meeting.

Four CAFNR Students Earn Recognition at Mizzou Show-Me Research Week

Nearly 500 University of Missouri students and postdoctoral fellows presented their research and creativity activity during the inaugural Show Me Research Week April 17-21. The week, which celebrated MU students as creators, innovators, problem solvers and thinkers, culminated with an Award and Recognition Ceremony held at the Bond Life Sciences Center.

The following CAFNR students were recognized for their work during the ceremony, which also praised MU faculty for serving as mentors:

  • Shagor Sarkar, Plant Science and Technology/Mentor: Jianfeng Zhou, second place in Engineering
  • Grace Johnson, Plant Science and Technology/Mentor: Heike Buecking, second place in Life Sciences
  • Olivia Bongiovi, School of Natural Resources/Mentor: Alba Argerich, first place in Physical and Mathematical Sciences
  • Jacob Moore, School of Natural Resources/Mentor: Alba Argerich, second place in Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Nine CAFNR Students among Tigers to Receive MizzouForward Undergraduate Research Teaching Grants

Forty-three University of Missouri students have been awarded MizzouForward Undergraduate Research Training Grants to support their investigations in STEM and National Science Foundation-supported fields and enhance their graduate school applications.

The CAFNR students awarded and their mentors are:

  • Kristen Barwick, Biochemistry, Antje Heese
  • Margaret Beecher, Biochemistry, Donald Burke-Agüero
  • George Frees, Biochemistry and Plant Sciences, Bill Folk
  • Leah Groene, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Jaapna Dhillon
  • Felicity Guttmann, Plant Sciences, Soyon Park
  • Randi Noel, Plant Sciences, Richard Ferrieri
  • Pierce Taylor, Plant Sciences, Peng Tian
  • Demi White, Plant Sciences, Soyon Park
  • Colin Wilburn, Plant Sciences, Paula McSteen

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

Damon Hall, Missouri River Flood Risk and Resiliency Conversations: Brunswick, MO, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 2/1/23-6/30/23, $161,561

Robert Myers, An Integrated Approach to Scaling-Up Climate-Smart Practices for Crop, Livestock and Agroforestry Production, USDA, 4/18/23-3/31/28, $25,000,000

Jon Simonsen, Farm Business Management Analysis Program, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 7/1/23-6/30/2024, $76,996

Heike Buecking, Acquisition of Goods and Services – Plant Genetics Maize FY23-24, Agricultural Research Service, 4/1/23-3/31/24, $119,851

Heike Buecking, Acquisition of Goods and Services: Administrative / Facility Support Services FY 23-24, Agricultural Research Service, 4/1/23-3/31/24, $20,834

Bradley Wilson, Alite 27-Weed Control Flexibility, BASF Corp, 5/1/23-4/30/24, $8,000

Bryon Wiegand, Acquisition of Goods and Services – Animal Genetics- FY23-24, Agricultural Research Service, 4/1/23-3/31/24, $78,464

Jinglu Tan, Acquisition of Goods and Services, Agricultural Research Service, 4/1/23-3/31/24, $259,600

In the News

MO Pastures and Hayfields Are Dry
Brownfield Ag News

FAPRI forecasts falling prices for producers
Today’s Farmer Magazine

Alliance shares ‘breakthrough’ fescue options
Missouri Farmer Today

Cut Hay Now and Cut It High for Best Yield, Persistance
Morning Ag Clips

MU Tools Help Cattle Producers With On-Farm Finishing Budgets

MU Extension to Partner on 5-State Regional Food Business Center
Morning Ag Clips

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