OARDC Honors Best Researchers, Innovators

The conference included a research poster competition. (Photo by Ken Chamberlain)

WOOSTER, Ohio — The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, recognized faculty and graduates April 21 at its 2016 annual research conference in Wooster, through the following awards:

Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award

Dan Herms is a professor in the Department of Entomology, based on the Wooster campus. He was recognized for his influential work in understanding the ecology and evolution of tree resistance to insects, studying the impact of invasive insects on forest ecosystems, and developing integrated programs for managing pests in ornamental landscapes and nurseries.

Herms has been a leading researcher of the ash tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB), studying the interactions between ash and EAB from a co-evolutionary perspective in an effort to develop resistant ash trees. Herms also created a highly accurate degree day-based phenological model for predicting the development of 54 key insect pests of trees and shrubs, available at oardc.ohio-state.edu/gdd.






Dan Herms.

Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award

Pierce Paul is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, based on the Wooster campus. He was recognized for his research on the epidemiology and management of diseases of wheat and corn.

Paul’s research has significantly increased the scientific community’s understanding of Fusarium head blight (FHB), a disease that has caused billions of dollars in losses to the small grains industry. Over the last seven years, Paul has been the leader of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded national project to develop integrated management programs for FHB and its associated toxin, deoxynivalenol, in wheat and barley.





Pierce Paul.

Director’s Innovator of the Year Award

This year’s award was presented to Daral Jackwood and Linda Michel, both based on the Wooster campus. Jackwood is a professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program (FAHRP) and the founder and CEO of LARAD Inc. Michel is a research associate in FAHRP and the project director for LARAD.

A startup company established in 2013 in the BioHio Research Park on the Wooster campus, LARAD develops and commercializes proprietary virus-like particle technology for the creation of vaccines and diagnostic tests for infectious diseases of food-producing animals.






Daral Jackwood and Linda Michel.

OARDC Multidisciplinary Team Research Award

The Interdisciplinary Team of Soybean Research, or the SoyRes Team, is a group of Wooster and Columbus scientists whose work tackles many of the problems facing Ohio soybean producers “from the field to the bench and back again.”

Team members include Anne Dorrance, Feng Qu, Terry Niblack and Chris Taylor, Department of Plant Pathology; John Finer, Laura Lindsey and Leah McHale, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science; Andy Michel, Department of Entomology; and Rouf Mian, formerly with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and now an adjunct professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.



The SoyRes Team. Pictured (L-R): Feng Qu, John Finer, Chris Taylor, Anne Dorrance, Andy Michel and Leah McHale. Not pictured: Terry Niblack, Laura Lindsey and Rouf Mian.

William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research

Travis Calkins, a doctoral graduate of the Department of Entomology, was the lead author of “Pharmacological and Genetic Evidence for Gap Junctions as Potential New Insecticide Targets in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti,” which appeared in the September 2015 issue of the journal PLOS ONE. His adviser was Peter Piermarini, assistant professor in the department.

The Krauss award honors the best published paper by an OARDC-supported Ph.D. student.



Mauricio Espinoza


OARDC Director's Office