OARDC announces award winners at annual conference

OARDC Annual Conference

OARDC presented the following awards during its 2016 Annual Research Conference in Wooster on April 21.

Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award

Dan Herms is a professor in the Department of Entomology, based on the Wooster campus. He was recognized for his influential work in understanding the ecology and evolution of tree resistance to insects, studying the impact of invasive insects on forest ecosystems, and developing integrated programs for managing pests in ornamental landscapes and nurseries.

Herms has been a leading researcher of the ash tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB), studying the interactions between ash and EAB from a co-evolutionary perspective in an effort to develop resistant ash trees. Herms also created a highly accurate degree day-based phenological model for predicting the development of 54 key insect pests of trees and shrubs, available at oardc.ohio-state.edu/gdd.

Dan Herms

Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award

Pierce Paul is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, based on the Wooster campus. He was recognized for his research on the epidemiology and management of diseases of wheat and corn.

Paul’s research has significantly increased the scientific community’s understanding of Fusarium head blight (FHB), a disease that has caused billions of dollars in losses to the small grains industry. Over the last seven years, Paul has been the leader of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded national project to develop integrated management programs for FHB and its associated toxin, deoxynivalenol, in wheat and barley.

Pierce Paul

Director’s Innovator of the Year Award

This year’s award was presented to Daral Jackwood and Linda Michel, both based on the Wooster campus. Jackwood is a professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program (FAHRP) and is the founder and CEO of LARAD Inc. Michel is a research associate in FAHRP and the project director for LARAD.

A startup company established in 2013 in the BioHio Research Park on the Wooster campus, LARAD develops and commercializes proprietary virus-like particle technology for the creation of vaccines and diagnostic tests for infectious diseases of food-producing animals.

Daral Jackwood and Linda Michel

OARDC Multidisciplinary Team Research Award

The Interdisciplinary Team of Soybean Research, or SoyRes Team, is a group of Wooster and Columbus scientists whose work tackles many of the problems facing Ohio soybean producers “from the field to the bench and back again.”

Team members include Anne Dorrance, Feng Qu, Terry Niblack and Chris Taylor, Department of Plant Pathology; John Finer, Laura Lindsey and Leah McHale, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science; Andy Michel, Department of Entomology; and Rouf Mian, formerly with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and now an adjunct professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.

SoyRes Team (from left): Feng Qu, John Finer, Chris Taylor, Anne Dorrance, Andy Michel, Leah McHale. Not pictured: Rouf Mian, Terry Niblack, Laura Lindsey.

William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research

Travis Calkins, a doctoral graduate of the Department of Entomology, was the lead author of “Pharmacological and Genetic Evidence for Gap Junctions as Potential New Insecticide Targets in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti,” which appeared in the September 2015 issue of the journal PLOS ONE. His adviser was Peter Piermarini, assistant professor in the department.

The Krauss award honors the best published paper by an OARDC-supported Ph.D. student.

Research Poster Competition

Ph.D. students

  • First place: Travis Calkins, Entomology, “Pharmacological and Genetic Evidence for Gap Junctions as Potential New Insecticide Targets in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti”; Peter Piermarini, adviser.
  • Second place: Erin O’Brien, Entomology, “Can Insecticides Conserve Ash Regeneration in Forests Invaded by Emerald Ash Borer?”; Dan Herms, adviser.
  • Third place: Christopher Okonkwo, Animal Sciences, “Optimization of 2,3-Butanediol Production by Paenibacillus polymyxa DSM 365”; Thaddeus Ezeji, adviser.

Master’s degree students

  • First place: Yang Geng, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, “Understanding Health and Safety Practices of Ohio Farmers with On-Farm Grain Storage Facilities”; Dee Jepsen, adviser.
  • Second place: Xuewen Jiang, Food Science and Technology, “Sustainable Methods for Microcystin Decontamination for Water and Food Applications: Cold Plasma and UV with Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)”; Jiyoung Lee, adviser.
  • Third place: Amanda Luoma, Animal Sciences, “The Effect of Synbiotic Supplementation on Immune Parameters and Salmonella Colonization in Layer Hens Pre and Post Salmonella Challenge”; Ramesh Selvaraj, adviser.

Postdoctoral researchers

  • First place: Chia-Hua Lin, Entomology, “Effects of Exposure to Seed Treatment Insecticides on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Colonies During Corn Planting”; Reed Johnson, adviser.
  • Second place: Frances Sivakoff, Entomology, “Effects of Lead Contamination in Sunflowers on Pollinator Behavior”; Carol Anelli, adviser.
  • Third place: Xiang Gao, Food Animal Health Research Program, “Recognition of HBGA-Like Carbohydrates in Lettuce by Human GII.4 Norovirus”; Qiuhong Wang, adviser.

Research assistants and associates

  • First place: Vinayak Shedekar, The Ohio State University South Centers, “A Soil Organic Matter Based Decision Tool for Managing Soil Health”; Rafiq Islam, adviser.
  • Second place: Linda Michel, Food Animal Health Research Program, “Mutations that May Be Contributing to Antigenic Drift in Very Virulent Infectious Bursal Disease Viruses”; Daral Jackwood, adviser.
  • Third place: Nicole Hoekstra, Entomology, “The Influence of Soil Nutrients and Metal Burdens on Community Composition in Urban Vacant Lots”; Mary Gardiner, adviser.

The first-place winners in each poster competition category received $500; the second-place winners, $300; the third-place winners, $150.

The main part of the conference featured administrators’ updates on OARDC and the college and presentations and a panel discussion on a theme of “Microbiomes and Their Role in Plant and Animal Health and Disease.”

The full conference agenda can be seen at go.osu.edu/OARDC2016conference.