News & Announcements

Arabidopsis Flower Image by Ahmet Bakirbas Selected for Research Art-Science Exhibition (RASE)

Ahmet Bakirbas

An Arabidopsis flower image taken by Plant Biology Ph.D. Graduate Student Ahmet Bakirbas was selected to be exhibited at the W.E.B. DuBois and CNS Research Art-Science Exhibition (RASE).  The exhibition was designed to  emphasize the relationship between art and science. To capture the Arabidopsis flower image, Ahmet used a Nikon SMZ18 Stereomicroscope in IALS' Light Microscopy Core Facility at UMass Amherst.  Mounted images from the exhibition will be displayed in various locations around campus over the course of a year. Read More

UMassGives: Fundraiser to Support The Ray Ethan Torrey Botanical Greenhouses

UMass Amherst Greenhouse

UMassGives is a campaign to raise money for targeted efforts on campus that lasts two days - April 26th and 27th. We're soliciting donations to support the The Ray Ethan Torrey Botanical Greenhouse, located at the south end of the Morrill science complex, which houses a fantastic collection of living plants.  This collection has been assembled with an eye to representing plant diversity - in terms of morphology, phylogeny, and ecology. This focus on basic science and plant systematics helps set it apart. We have a really special collection of plants, including many botanical curiosities that most students would never have the opportunity to learn about if it weren't for this collection. With your support, we'll be able to build exhibits that highlight some of this diversity, like a 'walk through time' in one of the houses. Read More/Make a Donation


Upcoming OPD Workshop: Strategies and Tools to Secure External Funding 

Goodell Building

Wednesday, May 16th - 2:30-3:30pm
LSL N610

Searching for Funding: Interdisciplinary Graduate Programsd in Life Sciences (IDGP)

Would you like to have external funding to support your research, and bolster your CV? Get started by learning about basic tools available to UMass graduate students and postdocs to help find grants and fellowships. Dr. Heidi Bauer Clapp, Assistant Director for Grants & Fellowships in the Graduate School Office of Professional Development, will present an external funding workshop to IDGP Students, Post-Docs, and Faculty We’ll discuss common funding sources for students in the life sciences, how to search for funding as an international student, and strategize how to align funding applications with your graduate career. 


Xiang Li Awarded a Distinguished Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship

Xiang Li

Plant Biology Graduate Student Xiang Li, who works in the Caicedo Lab, has been awarded a Distinguished Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship.  Xiang and three other graduate students (Ira Male, Karlstrom lab, MCB; Alison Fowler, Adler lab, OEB; Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez, Gerson lab, OEB) were selected by the UMass Biology Graduate Fellowship Committee to receive Distinguished Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships to support their research over the summer.  Biology Graduate Research Grants were awarded to Emma Dauster, Vazey lab, NSB and Josh Moyer, Irschick lab, OEB.  




A team of researchers headed by Masoud Hashemi, UMass Extension, says using faba, a legume, as a cover crop helps farmers raising nitrogen-hungry crops such as corn save up to half the cost of fertilizer.

Masoud Hashemi

Researchers have good news for growers. Farmers raising a nitrogen-hungry crop like sweet corn may save up to half of their nitrogen fertilizer cost. The key: using a faba bean cover crop.

Faba bean is an ancient crop increasingly used as a cover crop. Cover crops are grown in the months between main crops when the soil would otherwise be bare. Cover crops can control erosion, build soil, and suppress weeds. Grasses, legumes, and other non-grassy plants are the most commonly used cover crops. Read More

Wang Awarded Support as Visiting Scholar at Arnold Arboretum

Dong Wang

Dong Wang, biochemistry and molecular biology, has been honored with one of Harvard University’s two 2018 Sargent Award for Visiting Scholars at the Arnold Arboretum. The award will support his further research on bacteria known as rhizobia. They live in nodules on the roots of legumes to fix nitrogen from the soil, which nurtures the host plant. Read More

We are pleased to announce the following PB Master's thesis defense

Taylor Aguiar
Monday, April 9, 2018
LSL, Room N610
Thesis Title: Transposable Element Analysis during Infection & Testing Growth Inhibition with Pepper Extracts using Fusarium oxysporum
Thesis Advisor: Li-Jun Ma

Outreach and Public Engagement Summit: Wednesday, April 11

Are you interested in finding a larger audience for your research or pursuing a career in outreach and public engagement? If so,then please attend the April 11th Outreach and Public Engagement Summit, which will help you make the connections and provide you with information necessary to achieve your goals.  Pre-registration is requested:

We are pleased to announce the following PB Master's thesis defense

Levi Lilly
Thursday, April 5, 2018
10:00 AM
Paige Lab, Room 202
Thesis Title: Impact of Oyster Mushroom Mycelium on the Growth of Kale and Forage Radish
Thesis Advisor: Geunhwa Jung

UMass Amherst Biologist Elsbeth Walker Will Study Plants’ Iron Regulating System

Elsbeth Walker

A decade or so ago, scientists discovered genes they thought could be turned on to make plants take up more iron from the soil, enriching cereals, grains and other staple foods that feed millions of people around the world an iron-poor diet leading to iron deficiency anemia, says molecular biologist Elsbeth Walker at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “But it didn’t work,” she adds. “Somehow the plants downregulated our efforts, and we don’t understand how.”

Now Walker has a three-year, $870,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics program to learn how plants thwarted those past efforts and further, how plants firmly control iron in their systems. Read More