News

Popular perennial flowering plants can attract diverse mix of pollinators

Popular species of perennial flowering plants vary widely in their attractiveness to pollinators, but homeowners and landscape managers who select certain perennial cultivars can support a diverse community of pollinators in their own backyards, according to a new study from a team of Penn State researchers.

Scientists uncover the genetic pathway that colors bumble bee stripes

While most people in the U.S. may think of bumble bees as the standard yellow and black variety, there are an estimated 260 bee species that sport about 400 different color patterns. One reason many people associate bumble bees with distinct colors is because evolution can influence multiple bee species to share similar color patterns in specific geographic regions, which scientists call mimicry.

Warm, wet autumn could mute and delay foliage display in Pennsylvania

Because of the warm, wet summer, trees in Pennsylvania are mostly in great shape. But for the state’s forests to exhibit their most vibrant colors, conditions need to be cooler and drier in the next few weeks, according to a Penn State expert.

Long-distance relationships for endangered corals

Flash-frozen sperm collected from corals in Florida and Puerto Rico was used to fertilize coral eggs from hundreds of miles away in Curaçao. The technique could be used as a conservation tool by introducing genetic variation into endangered corals and potentially accelerating their adaptation to climate change.

Global food security professor named to 'Most Creative People in Business' list

Entomologist David Hughes has been named to Fast Company's 2021 list for his innovative, impactful PlantVillage project.

Total Fresh Staple Crop Production - Africa 2019 (FAOSTAT, 2021)

PlantVillage University Seminar Summary - Dr. James Legg and Cassava Viruses

PSU IBC graduate student fellow Kwadwo Amoah shares some of the research of Dr. James Legg from IITA-Tanzania. Dr. Legg's full lecture on vector-borne diseases of cassava can be viewed on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd7S2BLNHro

Benefits from Agroforestry System (Image from renature.co)

Agroforestry for Food Security and Climate Change in Africa

PSU IBC graduate student fellow Kwadwo Amoah shares some of the research of Dr. Phokele Maponya from the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa. Dr. Maponya's full lecture on agroforestry practices in Africa can be viewed on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEBeUBbCRks

Macalady named Ecology Institute director

Microbe expert Jennifer Macalady replaces outgoing director Erica Smithwick, who oversaw the research unit for the past five years.

David Hughes named Chair in Global Food Security

David Hughes, professor of entomology and biology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and creator of PlantVillage, a knowledge platform that helps farmers combat pests and adapt to climate change, has been named the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Global Food Security in the University’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Weird warbler reveals genetics of its mismatched colors

An incredibly rare hybrid warbler with mismatched color patterns has allowed researchers to disentangle the genetic drivers of two traits that usually come as a package deal — the black face mask and the black throat patch in blue-winged and golden-winged warblers.