University of Connecticut

CAHNR in the news

newsprintCAHNR people and programs made the news recently. Select the bold text names to see the articles. The roman text links go to additional information.

WNPR News. 1-28-16. Quoted Department of Pathobiology Associate Professor Paulo Verardi, who is working to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. See also, Fox 61. 1-26-16.

Record-Journal (Meriden). 1-27-16. Described the work of John Campanelli, a graduate student in plant science and landscape architecture. Campanelli is encouraging planting native plants along roadsides to increase bee and monarch butterfly populations.

by Patsy Evans

Historical image of the week

Artimon

By Harry L. Garrigus, 1906. From the Dodd Digital Collection.

Meet undergraduate Abby Colburn

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Abby Colburn

Abby Colburn of South Windsor, Connecticut has become an active member of the UConn community through conducting research, studying abroad and taking on a variety of leadership roles. After she graduates in May 2016 with a degree in allied health sciences, Abby hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon in sports medicine. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? I actually did not plan to come to UConn. However, my parents and my brother all attended UConn, it was affordable, and I was impressed by the unique allied health sciences program.

Why did you choose your particular major? I knew that I wanted to be on the pre-medical track, and, initially, I wanted to major in biology. However, when I discovered the allied health program, I liked that it provided many different career options. Also, I had the opportunity to meet a few allied health professors prior to starting UConn, and I decided that allied health was the best fit. (more…)

Plant scientist studies long-term ecological effects of genetically engineered crops

Carol Auer

Carol Auer

On a sunny June day at the Plant Science Research Farm, Carol Auer, professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, stands on the edge of a research field looking over thousands of golden flowers of Camelina sativa. Soon, these flowers will produce a small seed containing a high percentage of oil and protein. Camelina is an oilseed crop that has been cultivated in Europe for thousands of years. However, production in the US has been very limited. But with rapid scientific advances and the demand for renewable fuels, genetically engineered (GE) camelina is likely to produce future products such as jet fuel, dietary supplements and bioplastics. The value of these novel traits could boost GE camelina production on US farms, but it also raises some important questions about long-term ecological effects. That’s where Auer comes in. With the help of a new grant, she has begun gathering information about camelina to understand its pollen dispersal, gene flow and persistence as a weed. This type of baseline data is critical for predicting future ecological impacts. Auer received $436,000 this past September from the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grant Program, an initiative of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “Getting grants is one of the exciting events in academic life” Auer said. “Now my lab can move forward to answer many important questions about camelina biology and ecology.” There are probably few crops with as much potential as camelina because it grows quickly and can be engineered to produce high-value products. The last decade has seen a number of new GE camelina varieties emerge from research programs around the world. One high-profile research project in the United Kingdom has used genes from marine algae to modify camelina so that the seeds store high levels of omega–3 fatty acids. Ultimately, this critical nutritional compound could be harvested from GE camelina for consumption by humans or fish produced in aquaculture facilities.

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Image of the week

Commencement Bratworst