Biota of economic importance are moving long distances in the lower atmosphere. These biota include weed seeds, fungal spores, pollens, and migrating insects. Several research projects have been conducted that focus on the movement of various important biota over the past several years. The increased knowledge about each of the systems studied has had a beneficial impact on management.
Grape fruits are being analyzed to better understand disease resistance.
The project focuses on educating agencies, public officials, and other stakeholder groups about issues surrounding invasive, non-native forest pests. The potential social, economic, and ecological impacts of these forest pests is staggering. Decisions need to be made to manage pest populations in order to minimize impacts. Effective outreach and extension activities that communicate accurate and up-to-date scientific knowledge are necessary to facilitate this decision making process.
Three 3-year fellowships will help train plant breeders to use modern techniques to improve the abundance and safety of the U.S. food supply in a sustainable way.
Through our outreach efforts we have attempted to raise awareness among the general public and policy makers, such as the New York State Department of Health, about the issues and complexity of the West Nile virus (WNV) transmission cycle. Our research to date has provided new ideas and methods for prevention and control of these medically important mosquitoes. This information may contribute to public knowledge in New York state about how to avoid infection and reduce dangerous mosquito populations on private property.
Because recreational harvest of hard clams is so popular, and the economic impact of commercial hard clam harvest is primarily local, every Long Island resident is a stakeholder in the effort to revitalize the coastal bays and the hard clam populations. The proposed research will put a high-throughput molecular assay for measuring hard clam larval abundance into the hands of restoration managers and make adaptive restoration and fisheries management more effective. The most immediate impact of this project will be to reveal aspects of hard clam larval biology that have been opaque.
The Milk Quality Improvement Program (MQIP) utilizes a voluntary shelf life (VSL) program to analyze the sensory, chemical, and microbiological characteristics/profiles of dairy products manufactured in NYS. This program is designed to evaluate the overall quality and shelf life of grade A dairy products and to encourage and provide support to dairy plants to maintain and improve product quality. In addition, we use our molecular microbiology capabilities to better research dairy-related bacteriological issues and solve specific problems related to contamination issues.
Our research group has conceptualized, developed and patented a new, high-pressure extrusion process for generating expanded microcellular food matrices at low temperature and low shear. This has opened up possibilities for creating new generations of foods as well as nonfood materials. The technology also lends itself to continuous manufacturing of leavened dough without yeast fermentation and rice of improved nutritional quality. New developments in reactive supercritical fluid extrusion have produced new directions for research.
My program emphasizes research and extension on the biology and control of virus diseases of vegetable and fruit crops. A primary research goal is to understand how viruses cause diseases by studying the molecular and genetic basis of virus-host interaction and virus-vector relationship as well as genetic diversity of virus populations. Increasing our knowledge of the mechanisms of virus infection will facilitate the design of more effective and environmentally friendly control strategies.
The Naturalist Outreach Program sends Cornell undergraduates and graduate students to local classrooms and community groups to give free presentations about natural history, ecology and conservation. By presenting lively, STEM presentations, the program helps open the world of backyard biology to young people, enrich local second-grade to high-school science instruction, and simultaneously train Cornell students to communicate effectively about science.