Plant sciences ⋅ Page 1

CAFNR Outstanding Senior: Caleb Quinlan

Quinlan, a plant sciences major, earns prestigious student award

Growing up on his family’s farm, Caleb Quinlan developed a passion for agriculture and drive for success. That passion and drive only became stronger when Quinlan joined the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) four years ago. Now, celebrating his senior year and nearing graduation, Quinlan is planning on taking that passion and drive into…

From City Politics to Plant Pathology

Megan Hall’s viticulture appointment is a partnership between Grape and Wine Institute, Division of Plant Sciences

As an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, Megan Hall would have never envisioned spending her career in various vineyards throughout the United States. Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto, eventually getting involved in city politics in New York. She worked for a city council member in the Bronx – and…

Managing Nitrogen

Curtis Ransom receives NIFA grant to build upon his doctoral research

Curtis Ransom spent his childhood following his father around agricultural fields as his dad worked with farmers to grow a productive crop. The fields Ransom conducts research in now look a little bit different than those previous fields. Ransom was born in Nairobi, Kenya. His father Joel, who serves as an Extension agronomist and professor at North Dakota State University,…

Breeding a Better Bee

CAFNR researchers comb the honey bee genome for resilience against damaging parasite

The honey bee is as busy as ever. From almonds to zucchini, honey bees pollinate more than 90 agricultural crops in the United States — worth more than $15 billion annually. In 2017, the apiculture industry provided pollination services valued at nearly $320 million, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In addition, the bees also produced almost 150…

Battling an Unseen Pest

Melissa Mitchum has devoted her career to researching soybean cyst nematodes

One of the greatest threats to crops lives underground and can’t be seen by the naked eye. Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms that range in size from as small as 250 micrometers, or 0.0098 inches, to a maximum of several millimeters in length. It’s a parasite that Melissa Mitchum has devoted her career to fighting. Mitchum, a professor in…

A Prestigious Program

Biochemistry student selected for Cornell undergraduate research program

Alex Clarke, a junior majoring in biochemistry, has been selected to serve as a summer research scholar at Cornell University. The program will run from May 31 through July 28 and will take place at Cornell’s New York Agricultural Research Station in Geneva, New York. The Ashland, Missouri, native will be working under Marc Fuchs, associate professor of plant pathology…

The Happiest Intern on Earth

CAFNR student works as a plant science intern at Disney World

When the coordinator for the Disney World internship program asked to chat, Sara Thuston thought she only made it through the first round of screenings. She had already gone through an hour-long interview, but when the next call came, she was geared up for another one-hour session. She found a tucked-away spot in the MU Student Center and awaited the…

A Noteworthy Pastime

Plant sciences professor makes music with band comprised of MU faculty members

  It all started in a neighborhood park in 2009, when Peter Scharf, a nutrient management extension specialist in MU’s Division of Plant Sciences, hopped on stage to perform at an open mic event with another MU faculty member at Rock Quarry Park in Columbia. The following year, a guitarist joined them, and this time they invited the entire neighborhood…