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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Awards and accolades

Worthley plaqueAssociate Extension Professor Tom Worthley received the Fred Borman Outstanding Urban Forestry Professional Award from the Connecticut Urban Forest Council on November 7, 2017.

By Patsy Evans

Image of the week

Sign Installation

Horsebarn Hill welcome sign being installed outside of the UConn Dairy Bar (Kevin Noonan/CAHNR photo)

 

CAHNR in the news

newsprintNature published a study called “Creation of forest edges has a global impact on forest vertebrates.” Among the 30 researchers on the project is the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment Visiting Assistant Professor Laura Cisneros. See also UConn Today for a video and article.

The Day mentioned Tessa Getchis and her role in explaining the science behind commercial shellfishing operations. Getchis is an extension educator in the Department of Extension in New London County.

UConn Today reported on research into advertising that made unhealthy products seem healthier to children. The study was published in Pediatric Obesity, and its lead author was Associate Professor Jennifer Harris, who is part of allied health sciences. (more…)

Horticulturist brings patience and perseverance to development of new plant cultivars

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The original plant selected in 2012 to be Prunus x cistena ‘UCONNP001’. The cross was made in 2012. In 2016, the final decision was made to introduce and license the plant, and Brand was able to provide hundreds of plants generated via tissue culture to Monrovia Nursery, the licensee.

It takes years of perseverance and patience to bring a new plant cultivar to market. Mark Brand, professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, has what it takes to plod through this lengthy process. To date, his lab has introduced twenty-seven new cultivars and currently has about a half dozen others in trials, of which he is optimistic several will be licensed in the next year or two.

The first step in launching a new cultivar is choosing a particular species of plant. Some ideas come from grower suggestions, others from a specific need. The latter was the case for Berberis (barberry), a plant that used extensively in commercial landscaping that had become an invasive. Brand developed a sterile version of the plant. Other new plant cultivars come about when an unusual seedling or plant habit is observed, such as a different growth pattern or color, presenting an opportunity to produce something special.

“Occasionally, you find these serendipitous things about a plant,” Brand says. “We originally started working on Buddleia [butterfly bush] because we wanted a sterile version. In Connecticut overwintering Buddleia can be problematic, but in milder climates butterfly bush can be weedy and invasive. With Buddleia, that was our original tactic. But our mutation breeding program produced a dwarf mutant that had a cool form and habit but so-so flower color, so we bred it with other cultivars with strong flower color to get dwarf plants in a range of colors. These plants have been introduced as the Better Homes and Gardens Soda Pop series.” The same mutation breeding program also produced the variegated ‘Summer Skies’ butterfly bush that is part of the Proven Winners® program.

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CAHNR in the news

Students with mobile devicesThe Daily Campus reported about the Major Fair event, which seeks to assist students in exploring majors. It quoted Julia Cobuzzi, who was described as a seventh semester nutrition major.

Hartford Courant listed some of the activities available at Celebrating Agriculture in Woodstock. One of the groups mentioned was UConn Extension.

Time included comments from Nancy Rodriguez about the advisability of eating before exercising. Rodriguez is a professor in nutritional sciences.

NBC Connecticut quoted Thomas Worthley about the progress of fall foliage. Associate Extension Professor Worthley is from the Department of Extension in Middlesex County.