Current News

A New, Social Science-based Approach to Improve Weed Management . Click here to see full article.

Biology professors Elsbeth Walker and Madelaine Bartlett provided expert commentary for a news story about gene editing in human embryos.

The 4-year grant will allow Biology professor emeritus Eric Bittman to determine the sequence of duper, a mutation that speeds up the circadian clock and dramatically reduces jet lag by affecting the function of a master pacemaker in the hypothalamus. See the full article here: http://gpls.cns.umass.edu/nsb

If you are fond of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, you will appreciate the research Bryanna Joyce ’20 conducted with honeybees as a summer scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Joyce, a plant and soil sciences major, spent five weeks feeding bees in 55 different hives at a commercial apiary in Barre, Massachusetts, in an experiment to learn if natural pollens can improve the health of honeybees. Each week she hand made dozens of pollen patties—out of sunflower pollen, wildflower pollen, a mixture of both, or a pollen substitute beekeepers often employ. She then measured the prevalence of several parasites and diseases harmful to the bees.

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The William Lee Science Impact Program (Lee-SIP) is a Research Experience for undergraduates (REU) program designed to expand and broaden participation in undergraduate research. The program provides students the opportunity to work on fun, novel, and interesting scientific questions by matching them with faculty members with similar research interests. This years recipients are:

Marzia Maliha - Michele Markstein lab
Kara Conlan - Elena Vazey lab
Jesus Maiiol Diaz - Elizabeth Jakob lab
Javier-Ignacio Escobedo - Elsbeth Walker lab
Sebastian Gomez - Paul Katz lab
Karen Luong - Jeffrey Blanchard lab
Shelby Phillips - Jesse Mager lab

Have a productive summer!

Several bumblebee species have seen their ranges contract and some may face extinction due to several combined stressors, say ecologists Lynn Adler, professor of biology, and her former postdoctoral fellow Scott McArt, with others. Their recent analysis, one of the few to explore the relative importance of multiple factors, found unexpectedly that greater use of fungicides was the strongest predictor of range contraction in declining bumblebee species.