News & Announcements

Jedaidah Chilufya Awarded Travel Grants by Wild and Tamed Phytobiomes and SACNAS

Jedaidah Chilufya, Graduate Student

Jedaidah Chilufya has been awarded a travel grant by the "Wild and Tamed Phytobiomes" to attend and present a short talk and a poster during the '21st Penn State Plant Biology Symposium' at Penn State in State College, PA.  (June 19th to 22nd, 2018). 

In addition, she also was awarded a travel scholarship by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) to attend and present a poster at this years's 'National Diversity in STEM Conference in San Antonio, Texas (October 2018).

Bees’ Medicine Chest Should Include Sunflower Pollen, UMass Amherst Study Suggests

A new study by Jonathan Giacomini and his former advisor, evolutionary ecologist Lynn Adler at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with others, found that eating sunflower pollen dramatically and consistently reduced a protozoan pathogen infection in bumble bees and reduced a microsporidian pathogen of the European honey bee, raising the possibility that sunflowers may provide a simple solution to improve the health of economically and ecologically important pollinators. Read more

Kristen M. DeAngelis Interviewed on the NPR Program "Science Friday" 

Professor Kristen M. DeAngelis

Professor Kristen DeAngelis discusses her work on a soil-warming experimental plot of hardwoods in Central Massachusetts and its effect on carbon loss. The segment begins at 5:50. Read more

Elizabeth Vierling Featured in CNS' "Science Scene: ‘How does nitric oxide regulate plant growth?'"

Professor Elizabeth Vierling

Elizabeth Vierling receives a four-year, $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for her work on nitric oxide effects in plants. The project will determine how nitric oxide (NO) modulates important aspects of plant growth, development and seed yield, processes critical to food security and plant biomass production. Read more

Annual Plant Biology Potluck

Plant Biology Potluck 2018

The Annual Plant Biology Potluck will be Friday, September 21, 2018.  The potluck will start at 6pm.  Professor Elizabeth Vierling has agreed to host the potluck this year.  For more information, please contact Jimmy Wright (

Special IDGP Workshop for Graduate Students and Post-Docs: Hands-on workshop aimed to help students get creative about ways they can market their skills and knowledge

Katherine Onk

Plant Biology Graduate Student Samantha Glaze-Corcoran will host Katherine Onk from LinkedIn, who will lead a workshop targeted towards IDGP Graduate Students and Post-Docs.  
French Hall, Room 209
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 at 10am

Kristen DeAngelis recognized by the NSF with its Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award

Kristen DeAngelis

Microbial ecologist Kristen DeAngelis has been recognized by the National Science Foundation with its Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, a five-year grant that will support her research and teaching on soil microbes and their response to a warming environment. Read more

A Splashy Welcome for Incoming Graduate Students

Incoming students in the interdisciplinary graduate programs in the life sciences (MCB, NSB, OEB and PB) enjoyed a day of whitewater rafting on the Deerfield River. Several faculty, staff and current students joined the group. The rafting adventure was a great way to get to know one another and have a ton of fun at the same time.

IDGP Student and Faculty BBQ August 28, 2018

New IDGP Student Outing

Please join us for an all student and faculty BBQ mixer to welcome the incoming Fall 2018 cohort!

IDGP New Student Reception BBQ
Date: August 28, 2018
Time: 5:00pm start time
Location: Durfee Lawn (the lawn just north of French Hall, near the pink pillars and Durfee greenhouse)
Please RSVP by August 20

Hope to see you there! The BBQ will include vegetarian food options and a cash bar will be available.

We are pleased to announce the following PB PhD thesis defense

David Chan-Rodriguez
Friday, August 3, 2018
10:00 AM
LSL, Room S330
Thesis Title: Grass-specific mechanisms of iron uptake: investigation of phytosiderophore transporters and discovery of novel iron deficiency loci
Thesis Advisor: Elsbeth Walker