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Plant & Microbial Biology Student News:
Study Abroad Scholarship Available – China Summer 2017 – Plant Resources, Ecology, and Culture. Click here for more information.
Growing up in one of North Carolina’s poorest counties, Brooklynn Newberry, now a senior Plant Biology major, knew her high school’s shortage of Advanced Placement courses and extracurriculars would make college applications a challenge. Since arriving on campus, Brooklynn has worked as an assistant in a plant molecular biology laboratory, and spent 10 weeks in Brazil investigating the interplay of vegetation, climate and fire. See the interview with Brooklynn at https://cals.ncsu.edu/news/i-am-cals/.
Plant & Microbial Biology Department News:
Behind the Scenes in the Vacular Plant Herbarium: Faculty Focus – Dr. Alexander Krings. For the full featured article, please click here. Dr. Krings is the vascular plant herbarium director and assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology and is charged with maintaining and growing this collection. He’s also responsible for developing tools – including books, websites and even mobile apps — that make it possible for scientists, students, farmers, Extension agents, environmental educators, landowners and others to correctly identify plants. The mission of our herbarium is to document and understand plant diversity and to transfer that knowledge to users who depend upon it.
2016 Sino-US Biodiversity Workshop/Symposium Held in Hangzhou View Pictures
The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the United States National Natural Science Foundation (NSF) funded a 2016 Sino-US Biodiversity Symposium. The workshop was held on October 19-25 at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. The symposium was jointly organized by Zhejiang University, North Carolina State University, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhejiang Botanical Society, and Zhejiang Ecology Society. The theme of the workshop was “New theories and methods of biodiversity research”. The symposium was co-chaired by Prof. Ma Keping, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Brian Wiegmann and Prof. Jenny Xiang from North Carolina State University, USA, and Professors Cheng Lei and Fu Chengxin from Zhejiang University. More than 70 biodiversity scientists and graduate students/postdocs from more than 30 institutions attended the workshop, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, Fudan University, Sun Yat-sen University, Sichuan University, Yale University, University of Florida, Duke University, Washington University, North Carolina State University, and Smithsonian Institution. These symposia played important roles in promoting collaborations between the two sides in the field of biodiversity. At this symposium, a total of 41 research talks were organized in six sessions. Participants focused on new theories and methods of biodiversity research, community phylogeny, dynamic forest monitoring, phylogeny of major taxa, Eastern Asian-North American discontinuity distribution, and other topics.
NSFC-NSF’s research directions, collaborative project proposals, forms of cooperation between China and USA, and data sharing in the next five to 10 years in the field of biological diversity research were discussed. It was recognized that the scientific questions should aim to promote integrative, multidisciplinary, and multidimensional studies. On the building of basic science platform, promote construction of a large sample network, data sharing, and digitalization of specimens and genetic resources. On the building of research capacity, strengthening training of young researchers/students in research design, data analysis, writing, project management, etc., continue academic exchanges through Sino-US biological diversity seminars, establish support for international exchange programs, build online wiki website for information sharing and exchanges. For the schedule and further information on the workshop click here.
Researchers from NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill are launching a project to develop next generation greenhouses with built-in solar cells that make use of the entire spectrum of solar light. The project is supported by a four-year, $3 million grant from a new National Science Foundation program called Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS). Brendan O’Connor is the primary investigator (PI) of the project and an engineering researcher who studies organic electronics. In addition to O’Connor, the project has five co-PIs: Harald Ade, a distinguished professor of physics at NC State; Heike Sederoff, a professor of plant and microbial biology at NC State; Joe DeCarolis, an associate professor of environmental engineering at NC State; Carole Saravitz, director of the Phytotron at NC State; and Wei You, an associate professor of chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. Story at https://news.ncsu.edu/2016/09/next-generation-greenhouses-2016/.
Congratulations to JoAnn Burkholder, Alexander Krings, Chad Jordan, and Tom Wentworth on their recognition by the Office of Faculty Development’s Thank-a-Teacher Program! The Office of Faculty Development administers the Thank a Teacher Program as a way to honor NC State faculty who have made a difference in students’ lives. Faculty members in your department or unit have been recognized by their students for their efforts and positive impacts as teachers in the Spring 2016 semester. For their efforts, they have been recognized with a formal letter from the Provost.
Jenny Xiang & Brian Wiegmann announce the international workshop in Hangzhou China on October 19th through October 25th, 2016. The workshop: “Building US-China Collaboration in Biodiversity Studies – Frontier Issues, New Approaches, and Opportunities” is hosted by Zhejiang University with sponsorship from the USA NSF grant and NSF China. Participants are from both the US and China. The National Science Foundation of both the United States & China sponsor the workshop to lay the foundation for multi-institutional collaborations that will lead to advances in frontier issues, new approaches, and opportunities for additional collaborative research on biodiversity. For the schedule and further information on the workshop click here.
Congratulations to Sirius Li for being the 2016 recipient of the Arthur C. Neish Young Investigator Award from the Phytochemical Society of North America. The award is given each year by the PSNA to outstanding early career scientists. (6/23/2016)
Alexandria Szakacs has been awarded one of two graduate research grants given by the Society of Herbarium Curators this year for her proposal: A Guide to the Phytolith Assemblages Produced by the Vascular Flora of Picture Creek Diabase Barrens (Granville Co., NC): A precursor for understanding vegetation history of a remnant Piedmont prairie community. The $500 award will help support an undergraduate research assistant to assist her in the field and lab. (3/7/16)
Jenny Xiang & Brian Wiegmann hosted an international workshop: “Building US-China Collaboration in Biodiversity Studies – Frontier Issues, New Approaches, and Opportunities“. The National Science Foundation of both the United States & China have supported the workshop to lay the foundation for multi-institutional collaborations that will lead to advances in frontier issues, new approaches, and opportunities for additional collaborative research on biodiversity. The workshop was held at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, 121 Jones St, Raleigh, North Carolina from October 16th to 18th, 2015. For the schedule and further information on the workshop click here. The workshop will happen again in Hangzhou China on October 19 to 25, 2016 and will be hosted by Zhejiang University and sponsored by the USA NSF grant and NSF China, with participants from the US and China
Congratulations to Bob Franks, for being recognized by the Thank a Teacher Program. The program recognizes faculty who have gone beyond their standard teacher roles and made a positive impact on the lives of NCSU students. (9/30/15)
Congratulations to Linda Handley-Bowdoin, along with George Kennedy (Entomology), Ignazio Carbone (Plant Pathology), Trino Ascencio-Ibanez (Biochemistry) and Timothy Goodale (STEM Education)on funding of a $5 million NSF PIRE (Partnerships for International Research and Education) proposal entitled “U.S. – East Africa Research and Education Partnership: Cassava Mosaic Disease, A Paradigm for the Evolution of Insect-Transmitted Plant Virus Pathosystems”. The project will build a research and education partnership with scientists in East Africa to study viral evolution in relationship to the host, the insect vector and the environment with a focus on Cassava mosaic disease. Partners include Rutgers University, Auburn University, NC A&T University, the BecA-ILRI Hub in Kenya, and MARI in Tanzania. (8/12/15)
Congratulations to Jose Alonso, Anna Stepanova and Cranos WIlliams along with Steffen Heber in Computer Science on the funding of their $3.2 million NSF Plant Genome proposal entitled “Identification of Translational Hormone-Response Gene Networks and cis-Regulatory Elements”. The work will investigate changes in translation efficiency in Arabidopsis and tomato in response to hormones ethylene and auxin, and uses ribosome footprinting and dynamic modeling of translation-based gene regulatory networks to identify the so-called “genetic hubs” that connect hormone perception with the control of plant growth. (8/12/15)
Congratulations to Terri Long and Ross Sozzani on funding of a $500,000 Bilateral BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council)- NSF/ Bio grant entitled “Modelling Cellular Differentiation in Plants”. The grant is a collaborative effort with Yrjo Helariutta of the Sainsbury Lab in the United Kingdom to use mathematical modeling to explore the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic signals on molecular processes involved in root vascular differentiation. (8/12/15)
Congratulations to Terri Long, Amy Grunden, and Colleen Doherty on being highlighted in the summer 2015 Perspectives magazine: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/news-center/perspectives/seeding-north-carolinas-future/ (8/12/15)
Congratulations to Ross Sozzani who is featured in the NCSU Results publication focused on the faculty clusters: http://research.ncsu.edu/results/2015/08/work-that-matters/ (8/12/15)
Congratulations to Prof. JoAnn Burkholder, recipient of the Fred A. Harris Fisheries Conservation Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. It is the highest award in the NCAFS, for service and commitment to the fisheries and aquatic resources of North Carolina. (5/14/15)