NJAES Tree Fruit Breeder Joe Goffreda Named “Inventor of the Year” for Patented Peach

Joe Goffreda standing in front of a new selection that was derived from a cross with ‘NJF16’, the variety invention that earned him the "Inventor of the Year" honor from the NJ Inventors Hall of Fame. Photo credit: Brandon Cantarella.

Joe Goffreda standing in front of a new selection that was derived from a cross with ‘NJF16’, the variety that earned him the “Inventor of the Year” honor from the NJ Inventors Hall of Fame. Photo credit: Brandon Cantarella.

Joseph Goffreda, associate professor of plant biology and pathology and director of the Rutgers Fruit and Ornamental Research Extension Center was one of seven individuals honored with the “Inventor of the Year Award” by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame on Oct. 22.

Goffreda shared the spotlight with two other Rutgers professors, Peter Lobel and David Sleat, professor and associate professor in the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, who received the organization’s “Innovators Award” for developing the first-ever effective method to deliver therapy for a progressive childhood illness known as Batten Disease.

Goffreda was honored for breeding a hybrid peach (NJF16) marketed under the name TangOs®, which has a combination of attributes attractive to commercial producers and consumers, yet is resistant to major diseases, particularly bacterial spot.

“I feel honored to receive this award on behalf of all the past breeders that have contributed to the tree fruit breeding program since its inception in 1907,” said Goffreda. “Tree fruit breeding is a long and arduous endeavor that is tremendously rewarding when everything comes together.” [Read more…]

Mark Robson Named Distinguished Service Professor by Rutgers Board of Governors

Mark Robson. Photo: Matt Rainey.

Mark Robson. Photo: Matt Rainey.

Mark Robson, professor and chair of the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, has been named a Distinguished Service Professor by the Rutgers Board of Governors (BOG). Robson, who was presented with a resolution at the board meeting on Oct. 14 by BOG chair Greg Brown, was recognized for “sustained and exceptional service to the University, to the academic profession, to the state or nation, or to the broader community by a faculty member at the full professorial rank.” Executive Dean Bob Goodman introduced Robson at the meeting.

“I am so proud to be a professor at Rutgers and it is an honor to provide service to our students and the university, but especially serve the community beyond the university,” said Robson, upon getting the award.

Robson thanked Bonnie McCay, distinguished professor emerita of the Department of Human Ecology, for nominating him for this special recognition in a letter to Dean Goodman. “In addition to his university, state, and national service, Mark’s service also includes an impressive global component. He has made significant impacts globally with his NIH and USAID projects,” wrote McCay.

In expressing his gratitude to the BOG and to Dean Goodman for the honor, Robson underscored his strong roots and support at Rutgers that have enabled him to reach into and serve the community, both here and abroad.

“Rutgers has been the path for all my adult life, first teaching me what it is to be a good servant and then allowing me to take that knowledge and share it with places like Aceh, Indonesia, or Rangsit, Thailand or Cuttington, Liberia.” [Read more…]

Rutgers Scientists Awarded More Than $300,000 For Bat Disease Research By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Brooke Maslo banding little brown bats at a maternity colony to examine their survival in the years following the outbreak of White-nose Syndrome.

Brooke Maslo banding little brown bats at a maternity colony to examine their survival in the years following the outbreak of White-nose Syndrome. Photo credit: Mick Valent.

Three Rutgers researchers, assistant professor and extension specialist in wildlife ecology Brooke Maslo, molecular ecologist and assistant professor Malin Pinsky, and epidemiologist and associate professor Nina Fefferman at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, received funding of more than $300,000 dollars from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate strategies to fight White-nose Syndrome, a fungal disease in bats.

“We are thrilled to be among the recipients of federal funding to advance our understanding of White-nose Syndrome, which is threatening U.S. bat populations,” Maslo said.

Maslo, along with fellow Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources faculty members Pinsky and Fefferman, were awarded over $292,000 for the project, “Are bat populations infected with White-nose Syndrome undergoing rapid natural selection?,” which examines the evolutionary potential for bats infected with White-nose Syndrome to tolerate the disease.

The award to the Rutgers scientists is part of a new round of funding worth $2.5 million for research, management and communications projects recently announced by the federal agency in an international and wide-ranging strategy to combat White-nose Syndrome.

Maslo won a second award of more than $21,000 for a demographic analysis of a federally listed bat, in a project titled, “Annual survival of Indiana bats after White-nose Syndrome and its implications for population recovery.” In this project, Maslo will work in partnership with Chris Sanders of Sanders Environmental, Inc., a firm specializing in environmental surveys and solutions for issues that deal with bats and birds. [Read more…]

Rutgers GeoHealth Workshop Offered Students Mapping Tools to Promote its Broad Application to the Health Field

David Tulloch instructs participants inthe GeoHealth Worksop held at CRSSA on the Cook Campus. Alejandrina Canelo Villafana, Ph.D. canidate from Columbia University, looks on..

David Tulloch instructs participants in the GeoHealth Workshop held at CRSSA on the Cook Campus. Alejandrina Canelo Villafana, Ph.D. candidate from Columbia University, looks on..

A unique GeoHealth Workshop at Rutgers over the summer engaged over a dozen students in exploring spatial technology and what it reveals about health in the urban landscape.

Held at the Rutgers Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) on the Cook Campus, the workshop was facilitated and conducted by David Tulloch, associate director for program development and GIS applications program leader at the center.

Participants were a mix of high school and college students, ranging from high school freshmen to a doctoral candidate, and included several undergraduates from Rutgers–New Brunswick and Rutgers–Newark, Kean University, Jersey City University and Union County College.

In addition to giving them a head start on understanding the options and hands-on skills related to geospatial and mapping technology, one broad objective of the workshop was to demonstrate to the students that the health field is more than the clinical, said Tulloch.

Over the course of the workshop, participants spent each morning learning some mapping skills, using some pre-loaded data from CRSSA’s extensive databank as well as using and creating new data. In the afternoons, a guest speaker was invited to speak to the students on real health issues in the field.

“The goal here was to try to help the students think about health in the absolute broadest terms,” said Tulloch. [Read more…]

Rutgers Scientist Michael Kennish is Editor of International “Encyclopedia of Estuaries”

Mike Kennish.

Mike Kennish.

Michael Kennish, research professor in the Rutgers Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, is the editor and a contributing author of the Encyclopedia of Estuaries, an international volume of the most comprehensive and multidisciplinary research knowledge and advances in estuarine science, to date.

Newly published by Springer (Dordrecht, The Netherlands), it contains nearly 270 articles and short contributions on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of estuaries. It also features an impressive collection of about 200 color illustrations.

“There are more than 225 contributing authors from around the world, including a number from Rutgers,” said Kennish, who was particularly pleased at the exposure of the university’s estuarine and coastal research to a worldwide audience.

In addition to Kennish, contributing authors from Rutgers included Ken Able, distinguished professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and director of Rutgers University Marine Field Station; Joanna Burger, Rutgers Division of Life Sciences behavioral ecologist affiliated with the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources; and Judy Weis, estuarine ecologist and emeritus professor of biological sciences at the Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Sciences. [Read more…]