Prof. Benjamin Horton Wins European Geosciences Union Award

Prof. Ben Horton teaching a Byrne Seminar, a one-credit course designed to introduce first-year students at Rutgers-New Brunswick to academic life.

Prof. Ben Horton teaching a Byrne Seminar, a one-credit course designed to introduce first-year students at Rutgers-New Brunswick to academic life.

Benjamin Horton, professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, was named the winner of the Plinius Medal by the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The award, which honors scientists for their important contributions to the Earth, planetary and space sciences, will be presented at the EGU 2016 General Assembly to be held in Vienna in April.

Horton’s research concerns sea-level change. He aims to understand and integrate the external and internal mechanisms that have determined sea-level changes in the past, and which will shape such changes in the future.

“It’s such a big moment for me,” said Horton. “As an American scientist, to be recognized by the European Geosciences Union is a great honor.” [Read more…]

With China’s GMO Sector in Limbo, Local Seed Firm Targets U.S.

A Chinese biotech seed firm is aiming to launch the country’s first genetically modified corn products overseas on the home turf of the world’s top agricultural companies, as Beijing’s reticence over GMO food keeps the domestic market off limits… The plan by Beijing-based Origin Agritech to test its technology in the United States, which has dominated the sector with GMO giants such as Monsanto, is the latest effort by a Chinese firm to enter the global industry… "The only way they might be able to break into the market is if their technology fees are going to be cheaper than Monsanto," said Carl Pray, professor at Rutgers University’s agricultural, food and resource economics department… Referring to seed firm Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group’s agreement to test its technology in Argentina, Pray said competition was tougher in the United States. "It’s one thing to do this in Argentina, and another to go into the U.S."

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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…]