Baskin uses new software tool to investigate root growth

Kannappan Palaniappan, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Missouri, has developed a software tool that could help UMass Biology professor Tobias Baskin give farmers greener thumbs. The tool could help enable farmers develop crop cultivars that are drought resistant, ensuring roots can reach falling water tables, adapt to warmer temperatures and be more resilient to environmental changes.

The video processing tool uses high resolution microscopy imaging to quantify plant root growth at sub-micron scale precision. The biomedical image analysis software is almost fully automated and gives researchers a peek inside the complex processes happening within various zones of a root.

Baskin is using the software to study the impact of temperature on cells within specific zones. The team has been collaborating for more than a decade and recently received a new grant from the National Science Foundation for their work on dynamic zonation in the plant root.

The research could help usher in a second green revolution, allowing farmers and growers to adjust root systems to increase plant yield. The first green revolution, which happened in the 1960s and 1970s, involved selecting for specific properties of plant shoots, specifically breeding lines that grew shorter but stronger without lodging, preventing the large crop losses from fast growing lines that fell over before harvest.

The attached photo is a picture of roots at various temperatures.

Now Hiring – Full-Time, Tenure-Track Assistant Professor

The Department of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst ( invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor position in animal physiology, beginning September 1, 2022.

The successful candidate will be expected to establish a high caliber, externally funded research program, effectively teach and mentor both graduate and undergraduate students, and contribute to service in support of the department and college. Of particular importance, the successful candidate will have a demonstrated understanding of the strength that is brought to science through diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility. Candidates must have a Ph.D. degree or equivalent in Biology or a related field with relevant post-doctoral experience.

For more information and to submit an application, click here.

Evaluation of applications will begin on November 1, 2021 and may continue until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

Now Hiring - Full-time Lecturer in Physiology

The Biology Department invites applicants for a full-time (9-month academic year), non-tenure-track lecturer for classroom instruction in physiology, beginning September 1, 2022.

Primary responsibilities include classroom instruction in Introductory Physiology (Biol 288), which is one of the core second-year courses in the Biology curriculum. The teaching load also includes 1-2 other courses.

Applications received by November 3, 2021 will receive priority consideration. For more information and to submit an application, click here.

Justin Roch's Photo Selected in Calendar Contest

Lynn Adler's incoming MS student Justin Roch just had a photo selected for the Entomological Society of America’s 2022 World of Insects Calendar contest

Caro Munoz Agudelo awarded an NE SARE Grant

Lynn Adler's PhD student, Caro Munoz Agudelo, has just been awarded a $15K NE SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) graduate student grant for her research, “Interactive effects of pesticides, drought, and pathogens on the common eastern bumble bee Bombus impatiens.”

Photo credit: Ben Barnhart