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.

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.

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.

Snapshot USA: First-ever nationwide mammal survey now published

The results of the first national mammal survey, now publicly available online, provide the framework to answer a variety of questions about wild animal populations and conservation strategies for threatened species. The survey, which involved researchers from across the country including a biologist at Penn State, is made up of data from 1,509 motion-activated camera traps from 110 sites located across all 50 states.

PlantVillage team lauded for projects to protect food supply amid COVID, locusts

Penn State researchers responsible for PlantVillage, a mobile app that helps farmers diagnose crop diseases and monitor pests, have been lauded for their work to help African farmers overcome challenges related to desert locusts and COVID-19.

Penn State biologist and colleagues receive $4M to identify heat-tolerant corals

An international team that includes Penn State biologist Iliana Baums has been awarded a $4 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to identify corals that are naturally resilient to climate change. This is one of four newly funded projects supported by the foundation that are focused on the conservation and restoration of coral reefs in the context of the climate crisis.