UVM Catamount Farm Students Conducting Research

Each year the farm hosts numerous research projects. These research projects are conducted by professors, students and extension agents. Our goal is to support Vermont's agricultural communities with relevant, evidence-based research.

 

Tree Fruit and Viticulture

Program Leader: Dr. Terence Bradshaw

Our research and outreach program is designed to address sustainability issues in the tree fruit and viticulture industries in Vermont. Specific program areas include: technical support to address horticultural and pest management needs of Vermont fruit growers; assessment of organic apple production systems in cool, humid climates; grape cultivar evaluation; assessment of apple production systems for hard cider markets; and mitigation of apple replant disease.

 

Entomology Research Laboratory

Program Leaders: Margaret Skinner and Bruce Parker

The Entomology Research Laboratory represents a team of scientists committed to the development of effective biological control agents for forest, greenhouse and vegetable insect pest management.  Insect pest problems are addressed with an interdisciplinary approach, using insights drawn from a diverse group of senior scientists, the assistance of specialized technicians, and graduate students.  Emphasis is placed on practical aspects of research to solve ‘real world’ problems.  Though focused on agricultural problems of Vermont, our projects have national and international significance as well.  Through our work we attempt to develop management options that are environmentally sound, economically viable and sustainable, and encourage their implementation through extension and education.

 

Leek Moth Monitoring and IPM Program

Program Leaders: Vic Izzo and Scott Lewins

Leek moth (LM), Acrolepiopsis assectella, is a relatively new invasive pest currently expanding its range through Vermont. Endemic to Europe, invasive moth populations within North America can inflict significant damage to a diversity of allium crops including onions, leeks and garlic. Currently our research group, in collaboration with NY Cornell Cooperative Extension, is conducting a statewide monitoring program for this pest and testing different varieties of onions and exclusion treatments (i.e row covers) to protect onions from leek moth.

 

Crop Breeding and Genetics

Program Leader: Eric von Wettberg

The von Wettberg Lab is a group of evolutionary ecologists who use tools from population genetics, agronomy, conservation biology and field ecology to study how population bottlenecks affect genetic diversity and stress tolerance in wild relatives of crops and in endangered species.

 

Insect Agroecology and Evolution

Program Leader: Yolanda Chen

The Insect Agroecology and Evolultion Lab focuses on how humans have influenced insect pest evolution, genetics, and ecology by selecting particular strains of crop plants, cultivating crops, and moving them around the world. We research how these human-mediated historical ecological, evolutionary, and genetic changes have facilitated insect pest outbreaks in agricultural systems.

 

Ecological Genomics

Program Leader: Stephen Keller

Keller's Lab studies the interaction between genomic variation in natural populations and environmental change. Human impacts on the environment, such as climate change and biological invasions, can abruptly alter both the genetic and ecological context within which species evolve. They seek to characterize the effects of these events on the diversity and evolutionary potential within species, as well as their consequences for conservation and resource management. Their primary focus is on the genetics of forest trees and invasive plants, but they also work on other study systems with collaborators.