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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Three Receive Research Awards at April 23 OARDC Annual Conference

April 24, 2002

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Three Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center scientists were honored for their achievements at the center’s 2002 annual conference yesterday (April 23) in Wooster. Parwinder Grewal of the Department of Entomology received the Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award. Clive Edwards, also of Entomology, earned the Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award. And Matthew J. Cannon, a recent doctoral graduate of the Department of Animal Sciences, took home the William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Research. The awards were presented as part of a day-long program featuring a range of scientist-speakers and a “stakeholder” panel of farmers and others. The theme of the conference, held in the Arden Shisler Center for Education and Economic Development on OARDC’s Wooster campus, was “Food, Agriculture and Environment in the New Millennium: Opportunities and Challenges.” OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Grewal joined the center in 1997 as an assistant professor in the field of turfgrass entomology and on July 1 will be promoted to associate professor with tenure. He was honored for his research on biological control using nematodes, tiny worms that often are parasites of plants and animals. “Finding alternatives to chemical insecticides is urgent, and nematodes offer a reasonable alternative,” OARDC Director Steve Slack said in announcing the award. “Dr. Grewal’s research offers promising alternative methods for reducing insecticide usage in turf and other agricultural systems and has had direct impact on homeowners, nursery managers, golf course superintendents, vegetable growers and grape growers in controlling grubs, weevils and other pests.” Grewal has published 30 peer-reviewed papers and has obtained some $500,000 in extramural funding through U.S. Department of Agriculture competitive grants programs. He has been an invited participant in many national and international meetings, has organized several national and international symposia, has advised nine graduate students, and was selected to serve on USDA’s 2001 Entomology/Hematology Competitive Grants Panel. Edwards, a professor in the area of soil ecology and ecotoxicology, was recognized for his efforts to understand how managing soil biological processes and populations of soil organisms can improve the fertility and productivity of soils and, conversely, how agricultural practices and chemicals affect these processes and organisms. His soil ecology research program, initiated in 1988, is ranked as one of the top three soil ecology programs in the United States. He was chairperson of the Department of Entomology from 1985 to 1990 and since 1990 has coordinated the Interdisciplinary Program in Sustainable Agriculture in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Together with Charles Francis of the University of Nebraska, he was responsible for all extension training in sustainable agriculture in the U.S. North Central Region from 1996 to 2000. Recently, he has teamed with scientists from Germany, Russia, England, Portugal and the Netherlands on using integrated laboratory soil microcosms for predicting the environmental impacts of chemicals in soil ecosystems. He is an international authority on earthworms and wrote the standard reference book on earthworm biology and ecology. He has generated $5.6 million in extramural funding; has supervised 24 graduate students; has written 156 scientific publications, including 22 books, 28 chapters and 106 peer-reviewed papers; and is editor-in-chief of the journals Applied Soil Ecology and Advances in Agroecology. Grewal and Edwards each received a plaque, $1,000, and a one-time funding supplement to their research programs. Cannon, whose advisor was Joy Pate, professor and associate chairperson of the Department of Animal Sciences, was honored for his dissertation titled “Expression of Cellular Components Necessary for Antigen Processing and Presentation in the Bovine Corpus Luteum.” He received a plaque, a $1,000 honorarium and travel expenses. The corpus luteum forms in the ovary after an ovum (egg) is discharged. If the egg is fertilized, the corpus luteum secretes progesterone, a hormone, which is needed to maintain pregnancy. Potential benefits of Cannon’s work include better ways to control fertility in livestock and humans and insight into human autoimmune diseases. OARDC scientists Saskia Hogenhout (chair), Michelle Jones, Rich Pratt, Mark Morrison and Mark Failla comprised the Krauss award selection committee.

Kurt Knebusch
Steve Slack