Winners Named in OARDC Research Poster Competition


WOOSTER, Ohio — The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center has announced the winners of the research poster competition held during the center’s 2016 annual research conference in Wooster on April 21.

The competition, which drew 106 entries, recognized outstanding research posters by OARDC-supported graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and research assistants and associates.

The center is the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences of The Ohio State University.

Ph.D. students

  • First place: Travis Calkins, Entomology, “Pharmacological and Genetic Evidence for Gap Junctions as Potential New Insecticide Targets in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti”; Peter Piermarini, adviser.
  • Second place: Erin O’Brien, Entomology, “Can Insecticides Conserve Ash Regeneration in Forests Invaded by Emerald Ash Borer?”; Daniel Herms, adviser.
  • Third place: Christopher Okonkwo, Animal Sciences, “Optimization of 2,3-Butanediol Production by Paenibacillus polymyxa DSM 365”; Thaddeus Ezeji, adviser.

Master’s degree students

  • First place: Yang Geng, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, “Understanding Health and Safety Practices of Ohio Farmers with On-Farm Grain Storage Facilities”; Dee Jepsen, adviser.
  • Second place: Xuewen Jiang, Food Science and Technology, “Sustainable Methods for Microcystin Decontamination for Water and Food Applications: Cold Plasma and UV with Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)”; Jiyoung Lee, adviser.
  • Third place: Amanda Luoma, Animal Sciences, “The Effect of Synbiotic Supplementation on Immune Parameters and Salmonella Colonization in Layer Hens Pre and Post Salmonella Challenge”; Ramesh Selvaraj, adviser.

Postdoctoral researchers

  • First place: Chia-Hua Lin, Entomology, “Effects of Exposure to Seed Treatment Insecticides on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Colonies During Corn Planting”; Reed Johnson, adviser.
  • Second place: Frances Sivakoff, Entomology, “Effects of Lead Contamination in Sunflowers on Pollinator Behavior”; Carol Anelli, adviser.
  • Third place: Xiang Gao, Food Animal Health Research Program, “Recognition of HBGA-Like Carbohydrates in Lettuce by Human GII.4 Norovirus”; Qiuhong Wang, adviser.

Research assistants and associates

  • First place: Vinayak Shedekar, The Ohio State University South Centers, “A Soil Organic Matter Based Decision Tool for Managing Soil Health”; Rafiq Islam, adviser.
  • Second place: Linda Michel, Food Animal Health Research Program, “Mutations that May Be Contributing to Antigenic Drift in Very Virulent Infectious Bursal Disease Viruses”; Daral Jackwood, adviser.
  • Third place: Nicole Hoekstra, Entomology, “The Influence of Soil Nutrients and Metal Burdens on Community Composition in Urban Vacant Lots”; Mary Gardiner, adviser.

The first-place winners in each category received $500; the second-place winners, $300; the third-place winners, $150.

The main part of the conference featured administrators’ updates on OARDC and the college and presentations and a panel discussion on a theme of “Microbiomes and Their Role in Plant and Animal Health and Disease.”

A microbiome is a collection of microbes that lives in a particular environment, including the bodies or parts of the bodies of people and animals.

The full conference agenda can be seen at

CFAES News Team
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Dave Benfield