Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series

Fall 2023 Seminars

Seminars will be in person, streamed live and recorded at 3:30 p.m. CST/CDT in Keim Hall, Room 150, unless otherwise noted.

Join via Zoom at:

Seminar Series Schedule Poster
December 1, 2023

Tough Pests Call for Team Solutions: Building a Coalition for Wheat Stem Sawfly

Katherine Frels, Assistant Professor, Small Grain Breeding and Genetics, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture; Jeff Bradshaw, Director, Doctor of Plant Health Program; Amanda Easterly, Research Assistant Professor, Crop Performance Testing Program, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture; and Cody Creech, Associate Professor, Dryland Cropping Systems, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Wheat stem sawfly is an emerging crisis in the Northern High Plains. With the potential to affect wheat production, but also to disrupt standard crop rotation and management practices, wheat stem sawfly is a challenge that cannot be solved by one research discipline. This pest is an opportunity to engage in unique, interdisciplinary, multi-state research while simultaneously working towards solutions with our stakeholders.

December 8, 2023

One Health: Linking Human, Animal, Plant, and Ecosystem Health in Nebraska and Beyond

Director, Nebraska One Health, Associate Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

One Health brings together people with diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives to improve the health of humans, wild and domestic animals, plants and our shared environments. From zoonotic diseases and pesticide contamination to connections between biodiversity and health, VanWormer will share updates on interdisciplinary One Health research, teaching and community engagement.

December 15, 2023

Experiential Learning and Community Engagement in SCIL 101

Associate Director for Undergraduate Education, Associate Professor in Science Literacy, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln


September 8, 2023

Experiences and Lessons in Growing an Impactful, Local On-Farm Research Program in South Central Nebraska

Cropping Systems Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

This presentation will highlight the steps Sivits has taken and the lessons learned in her role as a Nebraska Extension Educator growing a locally dynamic on-farm research presence over six to seven years in south central Nebraska as part of the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network.

September 15, 2023

From Data Mining to Pleiotropic Effects, Environmental Interactions, and Phenomic Predictions of Natural Genetic Variants in Sorghum and Maize

Assistant Professor of Quantitative Genetics and Genomics, South Dakota State University

Crop yield hinges on genotype variation, environmental responses, and genotype x environment interactions. Understanding links between plant traits and yield across diverse environments is crucial for predicting performance. Mural will discuss how while leveraging plant quantitative genetics, he and researchers compiled data from a maize super-panel, 1,118 accessions, with 100+ traits and 17M genetic markers using community association populations. This presentation will offer insights into genetic correlations, pleiotropy, and the genetic control of genotype-environment interplay.

September 22, 2023

Scaling On-Farm Research in Image-Based Fertigation with Customer-Driven Development

Founder and CEO, Sentinel Fertigation, Lincoln, Nebraska

Translating research to a commercial product is challenging. Doing so without involving customer-driven development, even during the research phase, is nearly impossible. This presentation will focus on the impact of customer-driven development of Sentinel Fertigation’s N-Time software for image-based fertigation and implications for research in agriculture and natural resources.

September 29, 2023

Tracking Invisible Threats: A Comprehensive Study of Brucellosis and Leptospirosis Infectious Diseases at Human-Livestock Wildlife Interface in Tanzania, East Africa

Doctoral Student, Graduate Research Assistant, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

The major objective of Muller’s research was to determine the prevalence and transmission of brucellosis and leptospirosis, two neglected infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people in rural agricultural communities. This presentation will show how using cross sectional epidemiological studies, Muller detected anti-Brucella antibodies in humans, livestock, and wildlife within the Katavi-Rukwa ecosystem, with cattle showing the highest seroprevalence of exposure. Additionally, pathogenic Leptospira species were found in people who farm and keep large herds of livestock emphasizing the need for active disease surveillance. These findings underscore the importance of addressing infectious diseases to safeguard a community’s well-being and inform public and animal health policies in Tanzania, Africa, and beyond.

October 6, 2023

RNA Interference for Insect Pest Management

Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

RNA interference (RNAi) is a gene-silencing mechanism conserved across eukaryotic organisms. RNAi has been widely used as a research tool to study gene function. Over the past decade, RNAi has been investigated for agricultural applications, including managing plant insect pests. During this presentation, Velez will provide an overview of the current state of using RNAi for insect pest management.

October 12, 2023 (THURSDAY)

Delivering Soil Health Knowledge to the Farmer

Chief Science Officer, Soil Health Institute, Morrisville, North Carolina, Adjunct Professor, Texas A&M University

The Soil Health Institute aims to incite management change using relevant examples of how improved soil condition and functioning can lead regenerative agricultural production. In this seminar, Morgan will show how the Institute and its partners are combing geographically relevant observations of soil condition with web apps, phone apps, and storytelling to translate relevant soil health knowledge to farmers and their advisors.

October 20, 2023

Where and How can Instructors Assess Science Practices in Undergraduate Biology Courses?

Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

National reports have called for undergraduate biology courses to integrate concepts and practices as a means to help students develop integrated science proficiency. Couch will present and share nationwide data on the extent to which this call has been realized within introductory biology course assessments as well as propose a novel question format that instructors can use to assess integrated biology proficiency.

Note: This presentation video will not be posted to the website.

October 27, 2023

The Land-Grant Water & Cropping System Educator – Insights, Opportunities, and Challenges

Extension Water and Cropping Systems Educator, Nebraska Extension, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Nebraska Extension has 23 Water & Cropping Systems Educator positions. Gain insights into the roles of an accountability region educator. Learn about opportunities to work with an educator to integrate your research, teaching, and outreach. Mueller will share successes and challenges in working alongside stakeholder groups and university faculty to deliver on the land-grant mission.

November 3, 2023

Open Data for Improved Cropland Nutrient Budgets and Nutrient Use Efficiency Estimations

Researcher, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands

Ludemann will highlight new field experiment databases and prediction models his team are developing to improve estimates of crop harvest index and nutrient concentrations of crop products and residues with an aim to improve nutrient budgets and nutrient use efficiency measures at a local and global scale.

November 10, 2023

Linking the Modification of Biochar Surface by Iron Oxides Under Field Conditions With Enhanced Nitrate Retention

Agronomy Doctoral Student in Environmental Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Efforts to develop soil management strategies that increase the retention of carbon, nutrients, and water have resulted in promising but inconsistent results. Fossom will present on how this study aims at clarifying the effects of biochar application and winter cover crops on soil carbon stocks, crop productivity, and potential mechanisms for nitrogen retention as analyzed under field conditions.

November 17, 2023

Exploring Maize Resilience Through Genetics, Phenomics, and Canopy Architecture

Assistant professor, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University.

Cohost with CROPS, a graduate student and postdoc group funded and supported through the Center for Plant Science Innovation. Social following the seminar.