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Kumar receives Atkinson Center award

Shanthanu Krishna Kumar

Shanthanu Krishna Kumar

Shanthanu Krishna Kumar, a Ph.D. student in Greg Peck‘s lab, received a 2020 Sustainable Biodiversity Fund award from the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

Shanthanu’s research goals involve enhancing biodiversity in cider apple production by increasing the concentration of polyphenols and micronutrients which were more plentiful in older cider apple cultivars.

With support from Sustainable Biodiversity Fund, Shanthanu plans to identify genetic markers for polyphenolic compounds which will speed development of new cultivars for the burgeoning cider market.

The Sustainable Biodiversity Fund  supports innovative research by Cornell graduate students and postdoctoral researchers on the most pressing questions in protecting biodiversity.

Weekly turf webinars in response to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19 emergency, the Cornell turfgrass team is taking its outreach online with webinars via Zoom for turfgrass professionals:

The topic for all 3 webinars this week will be: “Best Management Practices for COVID-19, and what lies ahead in the essential care of plants.” We are hoping to keep these relatively short, around 15 mins, and then open up for questions at the end. The link will stay the same every week. No need to register, and of course no registration fee. We are recording and posting webinar videos to YouTube after the live session as we understand many people won’t be able to attend the live webinar every week.

Find links to these recordings on the Cornell Turfgrass Webinars page.

Kao-Kniffin Lab featured in Cornell Research

kao kniffin and lab staff with soil samples

The work of Jenny Kao-Kniffin and her team is featured in an article on the Cornell Research website, Ecosystems of Plant Roots and Soils.

Kao-Kniffin’s groundbreaking studies look at the effect of manipulating the bacteria, fungi, and soil that surround plant roots, and how that manipulation can help control weeds and increase crop yields.

“I think this way of modifying the ecosystem by altering microbiome functions has a lot of potential in the future. We need to get away from this routine of relying on genetically modified crops and their paired herbicides,” she says.

Read the whole article.

Seminar video: New Developments in Municipal Arboriculture

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, New Developments in Municipal Arboriculture,  with Jeanne Grace, Ithaca City Forester, it is available online.


More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Seminar video: Invaders on our doorstep: Spotted lanternfly biology and management

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Invaders on our doorstep: Spotted lanternfly biology and management,  with Betsy Lamb, NYS Integrated Pest Management Program, it is available online.


More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Additional information from Betsy:

Based on some questions in the seminar, I looked for additional information on spotted lanternfly.  The information on native range seems to vary quite a bit, including where it was found and when, and the temperature range .  I’ve included some references here for anyone interested in learning more.

University of Florida Entomology and Nematology page on spotted lanternfly

From Lifecycle section of Wikipedia entry on spotted lanternfly:

Some researchers believe that a severe cold interval is required for the eggs to develop past a certain point, however this has not yet been confirmed.[11] Testing has been done to determine how overwintering affects the eggs of the species. The minimum temperature that will kill eggs was estimated by South Korean researchers to be between −12.7 and −3.4°C (9.1 and 25.9°F) on the basis of mean daily temperatures during their winter of 2009/2010.[15] This estimate contrasts with eggs having survived the much colder winter 2013/14 temperatures in Pennsylvania, United States.[16] Another study done in South Korea suggested that -25°C is about the temperature in which no eggs are hatched, while 15°C still had limited hatching, depending upon how long they were chilled and where they were kept.[17]

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