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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // September 12, 2019 // 1(15)
Research Highlights
An Investment in Agriculture (click to read)
An Investment in Agriculture »

University officials announce $6.5 million investment in MU’s Agricultural Experiment Station, network of Research Centers

Turning Data into Insights (click to read)
Turning Data into Insights »

Partnership puts MU at forefront of precision agriculture technology

Agricultural Research Centers
Research Center Field Days (click to read)
Research Center Field Days

To showcase the vast research taking place at the Agricultural Research Center, there will be numerous Field Days during the next several months. Upcoming Field Days include:

Photo slideshows from recent Field Days:

Please Join Us

The lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation is one of the most devastating crises in the developing world. Hear how is using micro-finance to address this problem. co-founder Gary White will be speaking on Friday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Bush Auditorium in Cornell Hall. This presentation is jointly sponsored by The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, the College of Engineering, and the School of Natural Resources within CAFNR. The event is free. Registration is requested but not required.

Research Roars

Molecule of the Month: Nanodiscs and HDL

The work of Tara Marcink and Steven Van Doren, biochemistry, on nanodiscs and how they can be used to conveniently package a small piece of membrane for experimental studies is featured as the “Molecule of the Month” in this month’s issue of PDB-101.

Extraordinary Professors

Scott Peck, professor of biochemistry, and Robert Sharp, professor of plant sciences, have been appointed as Extraordinary Professors in the Department of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. This will facilitate joint supervision of UWC graduate students and collaborative research projects. Their UWC colleague Ndiko Ludidi is interested in applying to the Fulbright African Research Scholar Program to spend six months at MU with Professors Peck and Sharp.

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

Stephen Anderson, Support for Soil Health Lab and Deliverables, 9/1/2019 – 9/30/2021, $100,000, Department of Agriculture

Thomas W. Bonnot, Development of Landscape Health Index for Priority Geographies, 12/1/2018 – 6/30/2020, $46,000, Missouri Department of Conservation

Kerry Clark, FY19 Africa SPS TBT Scientific Exchanges, 8/30/2019 – 8/30/2021, $399,807, Foreign Agricultural Service

Kerry Clark, BFP 19 Bangladesh (Hasan) PH @UMissouri, 8/1/2019 – 7/31/2021, $49,977, Foreign Agricultural Service

David D. Diamond, MDC Cooperative Agreement 377: Staff GIS Position for Development of the Comprehensive Conservation Strategy FY17, 7/1/2016 – 6/30/2020, $74,000, Missouri Department of Conservation

Felix Fritschi, AgResearch Task Order, 6/29/2017 – 12/31/2019, $39,154, AgResearch

Ingolf Gruen, Optimization of Cocoa Roasting During Chocolate Manufacture to Minimize Bitterness, 8/15/2018 – 8/14/2020, $36,000, Professional Manufacturing Confectioners’ Association

Patrick Guinan, Update and Improve a Storm Weather Alert System for Agricultural Producers, 8/26/2019 – 9/30/2021, $65,000, Department of Agriculture

Jie Li, Understanding Pathways to Engage Youth to Act on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, 2/1/2019 – 12/15/2020, $10,000, North American Association for Environmental Education

Gerald Miller Jr., Strengthening IPM for Agriculture and Communities in Missouri, 9/1/2017 – 8/31/2020, $203,612, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Azlin Mustapha, BFP 19 Vietnam (Kim Dinh) AH @UMissouri, 12/30/2019 – 5/1/2021, $49,988, Foreign Agricultural Service

Robert Myers, Improving Soil and Crop Management Decisions With Proximal-Sensing Assessments of Soil Health and Soil Planting Conditions, 9/1/2019 – 8/31/2020, $52,432, Agricultural Research Service

Craig Paukert, Coordinating Aquatic Conservation Tools to Connect Priority Geographies and Guide Landscape-Level Conservation, 1/1/2020 – 6/30/2020, $54,342, Missouri Department of Conservation

Randall S. Prather, National Swine Resource and Research Center 1, 8/1/2019 – 7/31/2020, $408,004, NIH Office of the Director

Kenneth C. Schneeberger, BFP19 Vietnam (Luu, Q.H.) @UMissouri FS, 8/15/2019 – 2/28/2021, $49,535, Foreign Agricultural Service

Michael C. Stambaugh, Oak Woodlands & Forests Fire Consortium 2019 to 2021, 8/26/2019 – 7/1/2020, $5,000, Forest Service

Thomas Spencer, Biological Role of Uterine Glands in Pregnancy, 8/15/2018 – 5/31/2020, $321,625, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

William Stevens, Improving Irrigation Practices, Irrigated Crop Production, and Water Quality in Southeast Missouri, 9/29/2015 – 9/28/2020, $24,500, Agricultural Research Service

William Stevens, Effects of The Introduction of Feed Grains Into Mid-South Soybean Production Systems, 10/2/2016 – 12/31/2019, $20,800, Mississippi State University

Allen Thompson, CEAP Watershed Assessment Study: Improvement and Testing of the NRCS Soil Vulnerability Index, 9/2/2019 – 9/30/2022, $190,000, Department of Agriculture

Ranjith Udawatta, Evaluate the Benefits of Cover Crops, 9/1/2019 – 9/30/2022, $84,258, Department of Agriculture

Wesley Warren, Collaborative Research: Comparative Genomics of Host-Specific Adaptation and Life History Evolution in Brood Parasitic Birds, 9/15/2018 – 4/30/2022, $454,317, NSF Division of Environmental Biology

Mitchell Weegman, Integrated Population Model Investigating Population Trends and Demographic Parameters of Interior Snowy Plover, 9/1/2019 – 9/30/2021, $88,999, Fish and Wildlife Service

Joanna Whittier, Evaluating Information Needs to Develop Comprehensive Biocriteria for Missouri Stream Fish Communities, 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020, $65,888, Missouri Department of Conservation

Provided by the MU Office of Research

Funding Agency News
New Senior Faculty Awards Administrator

Are you interested in applying for a national faculty award?

Kim Duncan, Sr. Faculty Awards Administrator, was recently hired in the Provost’s Office to promote awareness of available faculty award opportunities, create a culture that encourages award applications, and assist faculty in developing and submitting applications for awards. Besides meeting with departments to discuss potential awards for their faculty, she is also available to assist individual faculty with their applications. You can contact Kim at or 573-882-6677.

Finding Funding With New Database

MU has a subscription to Pivot, a funding opportunities database that is free to anyone who sets up an account while on campus (using a campus IP address). Pivot continuously updates a list of keywords that are carefully matched to each funding opportunity listed. The listings include grants offered by federal agencies, foundations, societies and more. Feel free to explore on your own or contact Sheryl Koenig,, if you have questions or want more info on how to use the database.

In the News

Southwest Missouri Research Center One of Several on ‘Ground Floor’ of New Hemp Industry
Springfield News-Leader

MU Creates Camera System to Monitor Crop Temps
Brownfield Ag News

Beef cattle key topic during Thompson Research Center Field Day

University of Missouri to Invest $6.5 Million In Its Network of Ag Research Centers

The photo featured in the header showcases diverse synthetic populations for testing QTL models and conducting breeding experiments in maize. Science Night at Jefferson Farm and Garden will return next week with another evening of scientific discussion Thursday, Sept. 19, with a focus on plant genetics – specifically, corn. The event, titled, “Plant Genetics – Where Our Food Comes From and How We Got To Where We Are,” will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A tour of the corn genetics demonstration field will go from 5:30-6 p.m., and a round-table discussion will follow at 6 p.m. Another tour of the corn genetics demonstration field will last from 7-7:30 p.m. The Missouri Maize Center will be part of Science Night at Jefferson Farm and Garden as well, which is free and open to the public. Photo courtesy Sherry Flint-Garcia.