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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // Oct. 6, 2022 // 4(20)
Feature Story
A New World of Opportunities (click to read)
A New World of Opportunities »

While Sebastian Moreno strengthened his passions for urban ecology and ornithology, the scientific study of birds, as a graduate student in natural resources at the University of Missouri, he also discovered a desire to connect with people on a deeper level.

Research Highlights
CAFNR Research Symposium to be held next week (click to read)
CAFNR Research Symposium to be held next week

We invite you to the first in-person CAFNR Research Symposium, Oct. 12 and 13, presented by the CAFNR Research Council.

We hope you will join us to see how your fellow CAFNR faculty, staff and graduate students are working to solve the biggest problems in our world today – feeding the world and keeping it healthy.

Presentations and posters will come from faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in each of our six divisions, covering ideas as diverse as links between metabolic and cardiovascular disease; insects and their interactions among other organisms and their environment; modeling complex ecological systems, including emerging diseases; how plants recognize and respond to bacterial pathogens; piecing together bird genomes to learn what drives behavioral differences between species; and the economics of food consumption and health, including factors influencing consumer decision making. Hear lightning talks from graduate students and visit with them in the poster display area.

Featured speakers include Charlene Finck, CAFNR alumna and president of Farm Journal, and Rob Myers, director of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture. Events will begin at 1 p.m. each day at Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union; a reception will be held at 4 p.m. on Oct. 12. The schedule is available online, and will continue to be updated. Please let us know if you plan to attend by RSVPing online.

A history of Sanborn Field (click to read)
A history of Sanborn Field »

You may have seen the rotation field at the corner of College Avenue and Rollins Street many times … but did you know those fields are responsible for helping create an antibiotic that has saved millions of lives?

When J.W. Sanborn established the rotation field at the University of Missouri in 1888, Missouri was still a young state. Her people, like most throughout the nation, led lives centered around agriculture. Their livelihood depended on good crop returns and healthy, productive livestock.

To help push the field of agriculture forward and provide practical answers and recommendations to Missouri farmers, Sanborn and his colleagues used the field to demonstrate the value of crop rotations and manure in grain crop production.

Today, the rotation field, which was renamed Sanborn Field in 1926, stands as one of the oldest agricultural research fields in the world. The area hosts 38 plots — many of which have the same crop rotations as they did in 1888. MU faculty, staff and students continue to use the field for hands-on learning, and its research findings have expanded beyond the borders of Missouri to create a global impact.

Grant Tips
Illustrator available for grant proposals (click to read)
Illustrator available for grant proposals

Did you know that the Strategic Proposal Development Service (SPDS) has a Proposal Illustrator who can help with your proposals, at no charge?

Why work with an illustrator?

  • Design is not making something pretty for pretty’s sake.
  • The goal of design is effective communication, not decoration.
  • Research cannot be understood, appreciated or funded without communicating it to outside audiences.
  • Well-designed figures will communicate better.

What’s the process?

  • Put in a request six to eight weeks before the deadline, using the SPDS Proposal Intake form.
  • The illustrator will schedule a Zoom meeting to discuss scope and needs of your project and determine the timeline and due dates for tasks.
  • It’s a collaborative process involving emails back and forth a few times to get things right.
  • Final artwork is delivered digitally, usually a week before the proposal is due to Sponsored Programs.

For more info, contact Sheryl Koenig,, in the CAFNR Grants Office.

Center for Applied Statistics and Data Analysis launched

CAFNR has teamed up with the College of Arts and Sciences (and a few other colleges) to launch the Center for Applied Statistics and Data Analysis (CASDA) at MU. CASDA will provide statistical consulting to CAFNR faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. You can expect pre- and post-award statistical support, experimental design consultation, recommendations for appropriate methods and software, programming support, data analysis support (coding, interpretation), journal methods write-up (excluding graduate student theses), and recommendations for contacts for new methodological development, if needed.

For faculty and postdoctoral fellows who require statistical assistance, please contact Suhwon Lee, Interim Director of CASDA, directly at to set up an appointment. Depending upon your statistical needs, after the initial meeting with Lee, your work may be completed by Lee, other CASDA personnel, or other Department of Statistics faculty with the necessary statistical expertise.

For graduate students who need statistical consultation for their analysis of thesis or dissertation data, please fill out Request Statistical Analysis/Software Help Form. If you are having trouble submitting a request, please email Lada Micheas at

CASDA is committed to providing timely statistical services to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. As with all things research, CASDA encourages you to plan ahead and not wait until the last minute to submit your requests for statistical consultation.

Research Roars

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

Andrew Scaboo, Acquisition of Goods and Services – Mo Soybean Subaward, Agricultural Research Service, 6/1/22-4/30/23, $14,999

Robin Rotman, Understanding Landowner Perceptions, Barriers, and Motivators for Land Conservation, Missouri Department of Conservation, 7/1/22-6/30/23, $47,433

Heike Buecking, HOLL Plus Soybean Variety Development, Agricultural Research Service, 7/1/22-5/31/23, $84,240

Thomas Bonnot, Brown-Headed Nuthatch Monitoring, Avian Bird Counts and Nightjar Surveys, Forest Service, 9/1/22-7/15/23, $1,999.92

Andrew Scaboo, An integrated approach to enhance durability of SCN resistance for long-term, strategic SCN management (Phase III), N Central Soybean Research Program, 10/1/22-9/30/23, $746,948

Henry Nguyen, Improving flood and drought tolerance for soybean in North Central region, N Central Soybean Research Program, 10/1/22-9/30/23, $100,000

Jon Simonsen, Amplifying the relevancy of Financial Benchmarking through Expanded Outreach and Environmental Emphasis to grow the National Database, USDA-NIFA, 9/1/22-8/31/23, $499,961

Kerry Clark, Biopesticide solutions to control invasive pests in West Africa: Agricultural research and regulatory tools to build resiliency in a changing climate, Foreign Ag Service, 9/1/22-8/31/24, $433,299

Deborah Finke, Evaluating the efficacy of Farm Bill conservation plantings for mitigating wild native bee declines in Missouri, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 9/20/22-12/31/26, $89,290

Grant Listings were unavailable for the summer months. We are working to include those grant announcements that haven’t been shared over the next few issues of Research Digest. Below are grants awarded in the month of July:

Derek Brake, What amounts of whole soybeans can be included in diets to optimize lactation, ruminal fermentation and methane emissions in lactating dairy cows?, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, 7/1/22-6/30/23, $55,000

Felix Fritschi, Efficacy of Sound Agricultural Formulations and Nitrogen Practices on the Growth and Yield of Corn, Sound Ag, 4/1/22-3/31/23, $25,935

Morgan Davis, Assess Potential Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions following Anhydrous Ammonia with Centuro® Nitrogen Stabilizer, Koch Agronomic Services, 3/1/22-3/31/23, $57,855

Kerry Clark, Cover Crop Germplasm and Breeding in Support of New Cultivar Development Award Agreement, North Carolina State University, 5/9/22-3/1/23, $44,999.20

Jasper Grashuis, Delivering Intel for Animal Product Direct Marketing, Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority, 9/1/22-8/31/24, $176,612

Jeong-Kyu Koo, Regulation of the early steps of wound-activated jasmonate biosynthesis, NSF Division of Integrative Organismal System, 1/15/22-12/31/24, $846,276

Rebecca North, Retrospective analysis of anthropogenic change in Midwest reservoirs: Integrating earth observing data with statewide reservoir monitoring programs, NASA Science Mission Directorate, 4/1/22-3/31/25, $177,612

Henry Nguyen, Southern Root-Knot Nematode in Maturity Group 4 Soybean: Characterization of Resistance Mechanisms and Breeding for Resistance, University of Arkansas, 4/1/22-3/31/23, $30,000

Reid Smeda, Service Order 139, Bayer Cropscience, LP, 4/15/22-9/30/23, $13,300

Shuangyu Xu, Understanding cave tourism: From the perspective of visitor on-site experience, Cave Research Foundation, 5/19/22-5/18/23, $1,500

Deborah Finke, Screening toxins for efficacy against Bt resistant and susceptible western corn rootworm larvae on diet overlay toxicity assays, Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., 9/30/22-9/30/23, $56,533

Tim Reinbott, Novel Cover Cropping and Rotational Strategies to Improve Economic Profitability and Ecosystem Service Delivery in Transitional Organic Vegetable Systems, Lincoln University, 9/1/21-8/31/24, $60,288

Bradley Wilson, 2022 Axant Flex Stewarded Agronomic Performance Trial (APT) Protocol, BASF Corp., 5/10/22-5/9/23, $10,000

Thomas Spencer, Endometrial Basis for Infertility in Women with Recurrent Implantation Failure and Pregnancy Loss – Year 2, NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human, 7/1/22-6/30/23, $667,624

In the News

Missouri turkey populations still face problems – but don’t blame armadillos
St. Louis Post Dispatch

Drought conditions likely to affect fall vibrancy, says University of Missouri researcher
Columbia Daily Tribune

Missouri farmers to get millions from new grant. The mission? Fight climate change
The Kansas City Star

Keep your hogs heat-stress free
Successful Farmer

Exchange helps match livestock with land

MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Farm gearing up for Missouri Chestnut Roast annual festival
Boonville Daily News