Virtually no research has been conducted on dairy cattle diet during the immediate postcalving period. Research in our laboratory demonstrated that rations that are more fermentable and provide more substrate for liver gluconeogenesis improved feed intake and milk production and decreased circulating concentrations of physiological markers related to negative energy balance, indicating improved metabolic health in these cows.
New solutions for insect pest management in crops should be based on a sound scientific understanding of the ecology of plant-insect interactions to reduce our reliance on insecticides. In my lab we are working on the development of new tools for insect pest management based on using plant defense mechanisms such as plant resistance and plant tolerance to herbivore damage, as well as hormonal signals to systemically activate natural plant immune responses, thereby providing innate protection against damage from insect herbivores.
This work investigates the function of binary cis-trans X-Pro conformational switches in innate immunity signaling, and transforms our thinking about the role of Pro-rich sequences and PPIase enzymes in biology.
This project takes an in-depth look at the various venues through which globalization can impact labor standards in developing countries.
I study gene activity in both a harmless roundworm and its harmful relatives. The harmless worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, is easy to dissect, and my colleagues and I work to study how it uses gene activity to make its cells move across the body. We have found new genes needed for cell movement, which we suspect may also be needed in humans and other mammals. I also study the genes of worms closely related to C. elegans, the strongylids, which are worldwide parasites of both farm animals and humans.
Fertilizers prices increase and availability to rural communities in developing countries is a challenge to increasing food production. This project is generating the economic, social and biophysical knowledge base for the development of indigenous fertilizers that provide local business opportunities, are as or more effective and less expensive than imported fertilizers. Resource mapping identifies local food and processing wastes that are rich in nutrients. Innovative yet simple technology based on thermochemical and enzymatic conversion is utilized and acceptance by farmers tested.
The Cornell Small Grains Breeding and Genetics Project has released a new soft red winter wheat variety called Otsego with exceptionally high grain yield, grain quality and disease resistance. This variety is moderately resistant to fusarium head blight and is more sprout resistant than white wheat varieties, thus increasing the efficiency of production for the farmer and thereby resulting in higher profits.
The SELEX protocol is a powerful method for identifying new inhibitors of biological targets. This step is often one of the first in the development of new drugs. In collaboration with the research groups of Profs. John Lis and Harold Craighead, we are using computational biology to optimize the performance and efficiency of this method.
Ecological change in large lakes affects the livelihoods of a large number of people. Food web dynamics is at the heart of these changes, as they affect fish and fisheries. We have developed methods to assess the lower trophic levels on which fish depend and are analyzing the effects of ecological change on the whole food web. We are since 2012 the main EPA grantee for monitoring the lower trophic levels of all five Great Lakes, from Superior to Ontario and share this information with managers in the US and Canada