Technology Comes to the Aid of Famed Kashmiri Apples

Imagine Kashmiri apple with an American twist! Jammu and Kashmir government is starting a trial test of a US patented technology to increase the shelf life of the apples in the non-controlled room temperature environment… Jammu and Kashmir is targeting to transform its Rs.3000 crore apple industry into a whopping Rs.15000 crore business over the next five years by rejuvenating orchards and adopting the high-density plantations… Prof Nazir Mir, a Kashmir-born scientist working in Rutgers University, New Jersey, who has done a pioneering research in 1-MCP, said given the volume of production, this technology is going to be very cost-effective.

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Brittany Graf (GSNB ’14) Will Host RUAA Tour of Cuban Natural Medicine Research Facility

Brittany L. Graf

Brittany L. Graf

Now that diplomatic relations have been restored between the United States and Cuba, Rutgers University Alumni Association is planning to explore the mystique of the island nation, with two trips planned for 2016.

Among the many activities on the agenda, travelers will visit Cuba’s natural medicine research facility, managed by Fulbright scholar Brittany Graf GSNB’14 who is working with Cuban natural medicine specialists to explore potentially life-saving botanicals as part of Rutgers-GIBEX. The Global Institute for BioExploration is a global research and development network that promotes ethical, natural product-based pharmacological bioexploration to benefit human health and the environment in developing countries. Rutgers professor Ilya Raskin’s laboratory serves as the headquarters for GIBEX. Read more at Rutgers Magazine.


Students Help SEBS Fulbright Professor Document Changes in Local Fishing Community in Ghana

Augustus Chan (r), Coryanne Mansell and Heidi Hausermann with students from Ghana's University of Mines and Technology in front of the Bui Dam.

Augustus Chan (at left), Coryanne Mansell (standing, fourth on right), Heidi Hausermann (standing, second on right), a student from the University of Chicago, four students from Ghana’s University of Mines and Technology and other locals. They are pictured standing in front of the Bui Dam in Ghana.

Heidi Hausermann, professor in the Department of Human Ecology and recipient of a 2015-2016 Fulbright Scholar Grant for research in Ghana, took two Rutgers University students with her on a field trip to Africa this past summer. The students’ participation was made possible by funding from Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs and the School of Environmental and Biological Science’s (SEBS) Department of Human Ecology, among other sources.

Augustus Chang (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School ’19) and Coryanne Mansell (SEBS ’15) worked alongside a student from the University of Chicago and four Ghanaian students from the University of Mines and Technology, located in the western region of Ghana. During the two-week trip, the seven students conducted fieldwork to gain an understanding of the effects of the Bui Dam on the local community. The group mainly shared rooms in rural guesthouses for the duration of their stay.

“It was fun to watch the students dive into the project and get to know each other. They are truly an amazing group of people who exceeded my expectations on how well they worked together as individuals,” said Hausermann. [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…]

Solving the Cassava Crisis in East Africa

Think about all the potato dishes you eat: mashed potatoes with gravy, Hasselback potatoes with chives, french fries on the side. Now imagine if these dishes suddenly became a rarity due to a potato scarcity. This is essentially what’s happening in some African countries where the cassava crops – a staple tuber root as essential to African cuisine as the potato is to American cuisine — are being overtaken by the Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD)… NC State recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (NSF-PIRE) which will allow a team of professors and researchers to visit Kenya and Tanzania to find the factors that influence how the viruses that cause CMD change and evolve… The principal investigators in this project are Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, a William Neal Reynolds distinguished professor of plant and microbial biology George Kennedy, a William Neal Reynolds distinguished professor of entomology, and Siobain Duffy, an assistant professor of ecology, evolution and natural resources at Rutgers University. There are five other professors as well as five East African partners on this project.

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