“My community, friends and peers are the reason I am making it through graduate school,” Katherine Rivera-Zuluga said. “One hundred percent.”
Rivera-Zuluga is a Ph.D. student in botany and plant pathology. She is one of four Colombian students currently pursuing a doctorate in the plant sciences and one of many Colombian students in the college and university at large. This community of countrymen and women has been a key support system for Rivera-Zuluga and many others, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were all away from home in the middle of a pandemic where everyone is getting sick and is scared,” she continued. “It was hard and depressing, but we gathered together when we could, we tried to keep each other safe in many ways. Most of us didn’t travel home over Christmas, but we had each other.”
How do you make access to scientific knowledge more democratic for people around the world?
How can we be inclusive of diverse groups in the creation of that knowledge?
And, finally, how can we equitably transfer that information to those who speak different languages, may not read or write or live in hard-to-reach areas of the world?
These questions have guided the organization Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) since its founding in 2011. Co-founded by newly hired agricultural sciences education and communication assistant professor Julia Bello-Bravo and Barry Pittendrigh, Purdue’s Osmun Endowed Chair of Urban Entomology and director of the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management, SAWBO has created a research and highly scalable outreach program that uses the power of animation to disseminate scientific knowledge around the world.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began and the technologies necessary to combat it came into focus, testing was immediately identified as being top on the list.
Mohit Verma, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering (ABE), had been working for years on developing a diagnostic tool to detect Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) in cattle using nasal swabs. Verma and his colleagues identified nucleic acids specific to different pathogens that cause the disease and developed a paper-based testing device that was cheap to manufacture, accessible and accurate.
Jayson Lusk, agricultural economics professor and department head, breaks down why and how COVID has led to an increase in domestic food prices. In the Q&A below, he answers some commonly posed questions.READ MORE
Sometimes nature mirrors society in eerie in unexpected ways. That is happening now with Indiana’s songbird populations, which are suffering from a yet unidentified illness.
Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and experts like forestry and natural resources professor Barny Dunning advise these precautions to slow the spread of this illness. This includes taking down birdfeeders, birdbaths and any other man-made devices for attracting birds.
Starting in the 2011-12 growing season, a powdery orange fungus called coffee leaf rust spread like wildfire throughout Latin America and Central America, damaging crops on 70% of farms and causing more than $3.2 billion in damage. The epidemic stemmed…READ MORE
Milk, meat, fresh cheese, vegetables, fruit and more packaged into a single box are helping Indiana families survive job loss, higher food prices and other pandemic-related events affecting food availability.
As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) collaborated with distributors to package and transport fresh produce, dairy and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations.READ MORE
For thousands of years, humans have altered — often negatively and inadvertently —microbial communities in a quest to improve agricultural crops. In recent years, knowledge…READ MORE
Technology doesn’t stand still, which means neither does Agriculture Information Technology (AgIT).
As a department that supports a technological operations throughout the College of Agriculture and Extension offices, AgIT is always innovating, always thinking at least a few steps ahead.READ MORE
The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) has received funding from the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist Indiana-based companies to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.READ MORE
In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, as governments issued lockdown orders and stay-at-home advisories, grocery store shelves went bare. Shoppers scooped up flour and yeast, canned goods, frozen vegetables, meats and any other staples that they…READ MORE
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many people practicing better hand-washing and sanitation practices in their homes to stop the spread of the virus. A team of food scientists led by Purdue University believes that poses an opportunity to thwart foodbor…READ MORE
Starting in a new position during the middle of a pandemic is challenging. For Caitlin Proctor, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering (ABE) and environmental and ecological engineering, it was also in keeping with an already tumultuous year.
Proctor began in her position this semester, after two years as the Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow in the College of Engineering. During her fellowship, Proctor researched drinking water and the ecological and biological interactions that affect its safety.READ MORE
“2020 was a year unlike any other, with numerous challenges, opportunities and accomplishments across our college,” said Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture. “Through it all we were proud to share Purdue Agriculture’s stories with the incredible community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and so many other supporters.”READ MORE
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many faculty scientists to come in from field work and leave their labs for makeshift home workspaces. Those disruptions have affected faculty differently.READ MORE
Paul Ebner, Purdue University professor of animal sciences, will co-lead a project to decrease risk posed from foodborne pathogens in Cambodia.READ MORE