News & Announcements

Kelly Allen Awarded 2018 Summer Gilgut Fellowship

Kelly Allen

The Plant Biology Scholarship Committee is also pleased to announce Kelly Allen, an incoming PhD student of Plant Biology, was chosen for the Summer Gilgut Graduate Research Fellowship. Thank you to all who applied, the committee reported all the applications were outstanding!

Congratulations to the 2018 Plant Biology Ray E. Torrey Scholarship Awardees:
Kara McNamara and Akaansha Rampal

The Plant Biology Scholarship Committee, a sub-Committee of the GOC, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Ray Ethan Torrey Scholarship.

They are:

Kara McNamara, major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Akaansha Rampal, a rising senior major in Biology.

This year the applications for the Ray E. Torrey Scholarship were outstanding and the committee was impressed by all the applications.  Thank you to all who applied.

Patricia Wadsworth, incoming Director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Programs (IDGP), Awarded the 2018 CNS Outstanding Service/Engagement Award

Patricia (Pat) Wadsworth, Professor and Associate Chair of Biology, who will become the Director of IDGP in June 2018, has been awarded the 2018 CNS Outstanding Service/Engagement Award. CNS Outstanding Achievement Awards recognize excellence and honor faculty and staff members and students who have made important contributions to their discipline, department, college, and university. Recipients are presented with their awards at a special ceremony in the spring. Read More

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