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News from NPARL


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Click here for published ARS news articles on NPARL Research.

2014 - August

ARS Scientist to attend Animal Behavior Society meeting   
ARS ecologist Robert Srygley will attend in the 51st annual conference of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) will be held in Princeton, New Jersey on August 9-14, 2014. This exciting and novel gathering will share studies of animal behavior, including studies using descriptive and experimental methods in and outside of the laboratory, through simultaneous symposia and contributed paper/poster sessions Monday through Thursday. Dr. Srygley will moderate the session ???Predation and Foraging??? and also present ???Diet, migration and immunity of a cannibal??? on Monday, August 11, from 1:45 to 3:15 pm. The program is open to all registered participants.
Dr. Srygley is a member of NPARL???s Pest Management Research Unit.

(Robert Srygley, 406.433.9420,

ARS Scientist to attend Animal Behavior Society meeting 
ARS botanist Dr. John Gaskin was invited to participate in the Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species II meeting to be held August 6-8, 2014 and hosted by the University of Toronto which follows the theme ???Plant Invaders: Friends, Enemies, and Interactions???. The symposium focus is on the ecology, evolution, impacts, and management of plants invading terrestrial systems in Ontario, Canada and surrounding areas. Dr. Gaskin???s presentation is ???Extreme differences in population structure and genetic diversity for three invasive congeners: knotweeds in western North America??? on Friday, August 8 at 8:40 am to registered participants. The organization???s invitation to Dr. Gaskin also included contributed funds towards his registration and lodging.
Dr. Gaskin is the Research Leader of NPARL???s Pest Management Research Unit.

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444,
ARS Scientist to attend the Society for Invertebrate Pathology annual meeting
ARS scientist Stefan Jaronski will attend the 2014 International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control in conjunction with the Society for Invertebrate Pathology (SIP) 47th annual meeting held August 3-7 in Mainz, Germany. This 5-day scientific program will present the recent research in invertebrate pathology, including microbial control of insect pests, diseases in beneficial invertebrates, medical and biotechnological significance of entomopathogens, and fundamental scientific research in host-pathogen interactions.
Dr. Jaronski will make two presentations: "First Isolation of Beauveria and Metarhizium from a wheat stem borer, Cephus cinctus (Hymenoptera: Cephidae) in North America" and "Evaluation of the effectiveness of the entomopathogens for the management of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) on spring wheat".
Dr. Jaronski is a member of NPARL???s Pest Management Research Unit.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486,
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2014 - July

ARS Soil Scientist to attend American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) meeting in Montreal, Canada
ARS scientist Jay Jabro will attend in the 2014 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) meeting to be held July 13-16 in Montreal, Canada. ASABE is 3-day international conference that will host more than 1,500 expected participants from around the world as an opportunity for many scientists and industries to collaborate together under the theme ???Soils Embrace Life and Universe???. Dr. Jabro, soil scientist, will attend technical and business sessions to discuss up-to-date knowledge, recent research results and technological advances in the broad areas of soil, water, irrigation, drainage, evapotranspiration and sensors technology. In addition, the meeting provides opportunities of networking and research collaboration.
Dr. Jabro is a member of NPARL???s Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

(Jay Jabro, 406.433.9442,
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2014 - June

ARS Soil Scientists to participate in 2014 World Congress of Soil Science meeting in South Korea
ARS scientists Drs. Brett Allen, Jay Jabro, and Upendra Sainju will participate in the 2014 ??? 20th World Congress of Soil Science (20WCSS) to be held June 8-13 in Jeju, South Korea. 20WCSS is 5-day international conference that will host more than 2,500 expected participants from over 130 countries around the world as an opportunity for many scientists and industries to collaborate together under the theme ???Soils Embrace Life and Universe???.
NPARL???s agronomist, Dr. Allen, an agronomist for will present research results on dryland cropping systems titled ???Biomass and seed yield of oilseeds in NE Montana for use as a hydro-treated renewable jet fuel???. Domestic sources of renewable jet fuel can potentially offset the demand for foreign sources of petroleum while also reducing the global carbon footprint.
Dr. Jabro, soil scientist, will present up-to-date knowledge on soil science titled ???Crop Water Productivity of Sugarbeet as Affected by Tillage under MESA Irrigation System??? and is also coauthored on another presentation. In addition, Dr. Jabro is serving as an International Scientific Committee member of the 20WCSS.
Dr. Sainju, soil scientist, will disseminate research results on soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration and global warming potential of greenhouse gases as affected by management practices under small grain and bioenergy crops.
All three presentations will aid to enhance further research on soil science while providing expertise to international organizations and promoting ARS as a world leader in soil science. Allen, Jabro, and Sainju are members of NPARL???s Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

(Brett Allen, 406.433.9402,
(Jay Jabro, 406.433.9442,
(Upendra Sainju, 406.433.9408,

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2014 - April

ARS Entomologist to participate in International Wheat Stem Sawfly Conference
ARS Research Entomologist Tatyana Rand was invited to speak at the Sixth International Wheat Stem Sawfly Conference set for April 3-4 at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, MT. Free to the public, the conference will be held in the Procrastinator Theatre in MSU's Strand Union Building. Dr. Rand???s presentation, set for Thursday, April 3, at 10:30 am, is entitled ???Stem solidity reduces parasitism of wheat stem sawfly larvae in resistant wheat lines.??? Other authors on the talk include Deb Waters, also with USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL) in Sidney, MT; Dr. Tom Shanower, USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, Manhattan, KS, and Dr. W.A. Berzonsky, North American Wheat Breeding, Bayer CropScience LP. The conference covered a broad range of topics related to the wheat steam sawfly, a major pest of wheat production in the Northern Great Plains. Research conducted at NPARL and other ARS facilities, at MSU, in France, in Canada, and in other wheat producing states in the US will address both fundamental and applied questions. The Dean and Director of Montana State University???s College of Agriculture/Montana Ag Experiment Station and the Heads of the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences and of the Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology Departments are sponsoring the Conference. Rand and Waters are members of NPARL???s Pest Management Unit.
Tatyana Rand, 406.433.9439,
Debra Waters, 406.433.9491,
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2014 - March

Insect diagnostician to discuss spiders as biocontrol agents at ARS lab, schools. 
Dr. Lauren Kerzicnik, the Insect Diagnostician and Assistant IPM Specialist in the Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology Department at Montana State University in Bozeman, spoke at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Laboratory in Sidney, MT on Friday, March 21, as part of the ARS lab???s annual 2014 Winter BrownBagger speaker series. Dr. Kerzicnik???s talk focused on spiders as biological control agents. The Sidney lab???s Pest Management Research Unit does biocontrol research in the management of weeds and insect pests, which prompted the speaking invitation. Dr. Kerzicnik has a Master???s and PhD in Entomology from Colorado State University and has worked with spiders and biological control for over 15 years. Her background is with integrated pest management and spiders as pest control agents in agroecosystems. In addition to her talk at the Sidney lab, she will also be giving two presentations at area schools arranged by lab personnel. She will be discussing ???Spiders as beneficial predators??? with members of the Sidney High School advanced biology class that morning, followed by a session with the 4th through 6th grade classes at Rau Elementary School. She will also have live spiders and other insects on display for both groups. Her presentation at the Sidney ARS lab begins at noon.
Beth Redlin, 406-433-9427,  

ARS lab to participate in area Ag Expo.
Representatives of  USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT will participate in the annual KATQ 31st annual N.E. Montana Farm Expo in Plentywood, MT on March 14-15. The Sidney, MT ARS lab will have a booth featuring  ongoing research at the lab including cover crop studies in its Agricultural Systems Research Unit and wide-ranging weed and insect pest management studies in its Pest Management Research Unit. The Sidney, MT, ARS lab also participated in three other agricultural shows in the region including MonDak Ag Days in Sidney, MT Jan 9-10, the National Hard Red Spring Wheat Show in Williston, ND Feb. 4-5 and the Glendive Agricultural Trade Exposition in Glendive, MT, Feb. 7-8. NPARL researchers and support staff were also available to answer questions and explain the research at the events.
Beth Redlin, 406-433-9427, 
ARS lab to participate in Ag and Science career expo at Montana tribal college. 
ARS Technician Kimberly Mann represented the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT at the 3rd Annual Ag & Science Expo for high school students held on the campus of the Little Big Horn College on Tuesday March 11, from 10 am to 2pm in Crow Agency, MT.  According to organizers, the goal for the event is to get students excited about science and the career opportunities available through hands on demonstrations and activities, informational booths and presentations by representatives from 20 different agencies, including the Agricultural Research Service, the Forest Service, the Natural Resources and Conservation Service and more. At the Sidney, MT ARS lab booth, Mann will assist students in doing an actual DNA extraction with strawberries and use the hands-on demonstration to discuss research at the Sidney ARS facility using similar molecular techniques to identify invasive weed origins and possible hybridizations in order to determine the best locations worldwide for collecting insects and other natural enemies to be used in biological control of the weed in the United States. Mann and other presenters will also discuss various internships, job opportunities, and career paths, their agencies have to offer. Six regional high schools totaling close to 100 students have been invited to participate. Mann also participated in this event last year.

Kim Mann, 406-433-9428, 
ARS soil scientist to participate in Soil Science Society Conference.
ARS Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju will attend the Soil Science Society of America???s (SSSA) ???Soil???s Role in Restoring Ecosystems Services??? Conference to be held March 6-9, 2014, in Sacramento, CA. The SSSA is sponsoring the single-topic conference along with the following co-sponsors: the Ecological Society of America, U.S. Geological Survey, and the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Sainju???s oral presentation is entitled, ???Improved management practice to enhance dryland crop yields and environmental quality??? and is scheduled for Friday, March 7, at 10:35 a.m. Dr. Sainju is a member of NPARL???s Agricultural Systems Research Unit. The conference is designed to advance the soil science discipline and evaluate knowledge strengths and gaps, encourage cross-disciplinary synergies to accelerate new learning, and prioritize research needs. Attendees include professional and research scientists, consultants, natural resource managers, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students.

Upendra Sainju, 406-433-9408, 

ARS scientist to speak at Great Plains Soil Fertility Conference.
ARS Agronomist Dr. Brett Allen will attend the Great Plains Soil Fertility Conference to be held March 4-5, 2014, in Denver, Colorado. The Conference is sponsored by the International Plant Nutrition Institute which is a global organization that addresses the world???s growing need for food, fuel, fiber, and feed. Dr. Allen will present a poster titled, ???N use Efficiency in Stacked vs. Alternate Year Rotations under Conventional or Ecological Management???. Fellow authors along with Dr. Allen are Andrew Lenssen (Iowa State University), Upendra Sainju, TheCan Caesar, Robert Lartey, and Robert Evans (retired), all of whom are members of NPARL???s Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

Brett Allen, 406-433-9402, 
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2014 - February

ARS plant ecologist attends Tamarisk Coalition meeting.
ARS Plant Ecologist Erin Espeland was invited to present at the Tamarisk Coalition meeting held Feb. 18-20 in Grand Junction, CO. In partnership with The Water Center at Colorado Mesa University and Colorado State University Extension, the Tamarisk Coalition hosted two days of interactive sessions, presentations, and panels highlighting recent advancements and emerging issues in riparian invasive plant management and restoration. Dr. Espeland???s presentation was entitled ???Soils and vegetation change after Russian olive removal in Montana.??? Espeland is a member of the Sidney, MT ARS lab???s Pest Management Research Unit.

Erin Espeland, 406.433.9416, 

ARS scientists to speak at Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Council.

NPARL research scientists Drs. John Gaskin and Erin Espeland are invited to participate in the 3rd Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Council (NRIPC) meeting in Spokane, WA, February 10-13. NRIPC Conference focuses on integrated management and restoration that provides four days of a dynamic and highly participatory interface between research and management of invasive species. In conjunction with the Conference is a USDA NIFA funded 1?? day Symposium on Russian Olive management and also a ?? day Western Regional Integrated Pest Management funded Symposium on Flowering Rush. Dr. Gaskin, ARS biologist, will give a presentation on "Ecology and Plant Genetics" and Dr. Espeland, ARS ecologist, will present two talks titled, "Management of Russian Olive" and the "Competition and facilitation among plants in restoration of disturbed lands".

Both attending scientists are sponsored by the University of Idaho to aid in covering some travel costs.

Drs. Gaskin (Research Leader) and Espeland are both members of NPARL???s Pest Management Research Unit.
John Gaskin, 406.433.9444,
Erin Espeland, 406.433.9416, 
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2014 - January

ARS scientist to speak at Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting.

NPARL Insect Ecologist Robert Srygley will participate in the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) 2014 annual meeting in Austin, TX, Jan. 3-7. The SICB promotes the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge and concepts in integrative and comparative biology, and it adopts and supports policies advancing innovative studies of organisms. The SCIB annual meeting is held in conjunction with the Animal Behavior Society, the American Microscopical Society, and the Crustacean Society. For his contribution, Dr. Srygley will present a symposium talk entitled, "Nutrient intake of nymphal and adult Mormon crickets and its effects on immunity," on Monday, Jan. 6, at 8:15 am as part of the meeting???s Session on "The micro and macro of nutrient effects in animal physiology and ecology". Sessions are open to registered participants. Dr. Srygley is a member of NPARL???s Pest Management Research Unit.
Bob Srygley, 406.433.9420,
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2013 - November

ARS scientists attend Entomological Society of America annual meeting.

ARS research scientists Drs. John Gaskin (Research Leader), David Branson, Stefan Jaronski, and Tatyana Rand will all participate in the Entomological Society of America 2013 annual meeting "Science Impacting a Connected World" Austin, TX, November 9-14. This meeting joins 3,000 professionals and students from around the globe for science networking. Contributions from scientists at the Sidney, MT ARS lab included the following presentations:

NPARL???s Research Leader and Botanist Dr. Gaskin will present a talk titled "Importance of taxonomic support for classical biocontrol programs and the contributions of molecular genetics" on November 12 at 1:50 pm.

John Gaskin, 406.433.9444,
Dave Branson, 406.433.9406,
Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486,
Tatyana Rand, 406.433.9439,

ARS scientists attend joint meeting of science societies.

ARS Research scientists, Drs. Brett Allen, Jay Jabro, Upendra Sainju, and Bart Stevens will all participate in the 2013 Joint Annual Meeting of five scientific societies November 3-6 in Tampa, FL. This year???s theme "Water, Food, Energy & Innovation for a Sustainable World" features six scientific themed programs including specific topics such as Sensing Innovation, Food-Water-Soil Nexus, Climate Change, Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Improved Nutrient Management, and Energy, Soils, and Crops. The societies represented include: Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, the Canadian Society of Agronomy and International Society for Terrain-Vehicle Systems. Contributions from scientists at the Sidney, MT ARS lab included the following presentations:

Brett Allen, 406.433.9402,
Jay Jabro, 406.433.9442,
Upendra Sainju, 406.433.9408,
Bart Stevens, 406.433.9476,


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