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Tomas in water

Tomas Höök named as the 2021 recipient of the Agricultural Research Award

October 18, 2021

Close to finishing his biology degree at the University of Michigan, Tomas Höök decided to sign up for an ecology class.

Twenty-five years later, lessons from that semester continue to apply to the lifework of the recipient of the 2021 Agricultural Research Award, the highest honor for mid-career faculty members in the Purdue University College of Agriculture.

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Jellyfish banner

Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana: Freshwater Jellyfish

September 15, 2021

Simple and complex are antonyms, but not with jellyfish.

Jellyfish lack brains, bones, hearts and lungs. More than 95% of their bodies are water. Early scientists debated whether jellyfish were even animals, commonly labeling them “zoophytes,” intermediaries between animals and plants.

Jellyfish meet biology’s modern criteria for classification as animals, yet are not fish despite their name. Their lack of backbones makes them members of the phylum Cnidaria, which includes coral and sea anemones.

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Cause of summer songbird deaths remains unknown

September 2, 2021

In early August, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced residents in 76 countries around the state could safely return their birdfeeders and baths to their yards. Earlier in the summer, DNR advised residents in all counties to remove them due to a mystery illness causing fatalities in the state’s songbird population. Since Experts and state officials did not know what the disease was or how it was spread, this was recommended as a precautionary measure.
Months after the initial announcement regarding songbird deaths, the DNR, ornithologists and wildlife researchers still don’t know the source of this illness. Residents of Allen, Carroll, Clark, Floyd, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Lake, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Porter, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe and Whitley counties have all been instructed to keep feeders down until further notice.

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REEU program highlights “Familiar Faces” to increase diversity in FNR

August 19, 2021
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Why Hoosiers need to help birds maintain social distance

July 8, 2021

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.

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Hamilton in lab

Behind the Research: Matthew Hamilton

July 6, 2021

Many people are involved in the remarkable range of programs, services and facilities that undergird research in the College of Agriculture. Collectively they’re integral to the college fulfilling its research mission. “Behind the Research” explores their individual roles. Each academic year, we profile six people whose work supports the College of Agriculture’s global reputation for developing innovative, multidisciplinary solutions to challenges and then putting those solutions into action.

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Ship with city

FNR Alumni Keep History Afloat

July 2, 2021

From 1935 to 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Farm Securities Administration purchased more than 30,000 acres of land in southern Indiana under a program seeking to find land under cultivation that was susceptible to erosion, purchase the land and return it to its proper forest coverage.

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Eel

Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana: American Eel

June 25, 2021

The lives of Indiana’s American eels start and usually end more than 1,000 miles away in the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean. The eels may journey as far north as Iceland or as far south as Venezuela. With such a wide variety of habitats, an American eel rarely feels like a fish out of water. Even when they are traveling out of the water.

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Falcon Diving

Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana: Peregrine Falcon

May 28, 2021

Indiana has a reputation for speed. The Indianapolis 500, known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” is recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. In 1996, the fastest lap in Indianapolis 500 history was recorded at 236.103 mph. While incredibly fast, it still does not surpass the top speed of peregrine falcons: the world’s fastest animal and a native of Indiana.

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6 Winning Teachers and Faculty

Top teachers and mentors recognized for exceptional work with students

May 13, 2021

During the annual Spring Awards Banquet, the College of Agriculture honored students, faculty and staff. The virtual event was a collaborative effort between the Purdue Agricultural Council and the Office of Academic Programs. The following faculty and staff were honored during the event.

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Cicada on leaf

17 Ways to make the most of 17-Year Cicada Emergence

May 12, 2021

“If you like insects, or are even just curious about them, you have a unique opportunity coming up. Get out and enjoy it while you can,” recommended Elizabeth Barnes, an exotic forest pest educator for Purdue Extension Entomology.

The 17-year cicadas of Brood X were last seen in 2004. This spring, they are set to appear across Indiana and in parts of 14 other states.

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Lone tree in sun

Purdue urban arborist discusses the power and beauty of trees

May 4, 2021

When Lindsey Purcell admires a tree – and as the Purdue University urban forestry specialist, he does that a lot – age comes before beauty.

“I don’t play favorites,” Purdue’s urban forestry specialist insists. “However, I do prefer the veteran trees, which have a history. Who doesn’t love big trees?”

The final Friday of April is the traditional date to celebrate Arbor Day and an ideal time to hear from Purcell, who before coming to Purdue in 2008 was a forestry supervisor and city forester for Indianapolis.

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8 Winners

College recognizes top students during Spring Awards Banquet

April 23, 2021

On April 22, the College of Agriculture honored some of the year’s most outstanding students, faculty and staff during the annual Spring Awards Banquet. The virtual event was a collaborative effort between the Purdue Agricultural Council and the Office of Academic Programs.

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Purdue asks livestock producers for help studying losses due to black vultures

April 1, 2021

Vultures play an important role in the ecosystem cleaning up animal carcasses from the landscape. However, although primarily scavengers, some black vultures cause problems for cattle operators in southern Indiana, harassing and even preying on young c…

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How Hoosier BIPOC farmers can change the landscape of agriculture

January 29, 2021

During MLK Jr. Celebration Week, the Colleges of Agriculture and Health and Human Sciences, in conjunction with the Center for the Environment, hosted a Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in Sustainable Farming panel discussion.

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Forestry and natural resources professor helps men craft bright futures

January 27, 2021
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Becca Nixon

Student’s travels and research clarify cost of Pakistanis’ climate change adaptations

January 26, 2021

“As the environment is changing, people are encountering many stressors that are driving them to adapt,” explained Becca Nixon. “I want to help support strategies that align with their values and improve their well-being.”

To achieve her goal, Nixon’s social science research focuses on people whose livelihoods are tied to the Swat and Kabul Rivers in northern Pakistan.

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Mongolian herders

Purdue researchers explore how sound drives Mongolian herder cultural practices

January 20, 2021

By Brian Wallheimer Any trip to Mars, likely to take a year or longer, will require astronauts to grow at least some of their own…

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Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana: Copperhead Snake

January 8, 2021
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Collage of Top Story Images

Purdue Agriculture’s 20 most-read stories of 2020

January 4, 2021

“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.”

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