In the Media

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Pulses found in preposterous places

Western Producer - An Italian gelato made from white beans, chickpea flour and pea protein won top prize in Mission ImPULSEible, a student food development competition. BiotaGelata, made from fermented white beans with chickpeas, fababeans and pea protein, shows that pulses can be used for desserts rather than just side dishes, said Austen Neil, one of the students from the University of Alberta's food and nutrition program, who developed the gelato.

U of A researcher calls for government support for caregivers

Edmonton Journal - Canadian governments need to step in and provide support to family caregivers who shoulder a disproportionate amount of the cost of caring for people with long-term disabilities, says a new report by a University of Alberta researcher. Janet Fast, an economist and gerontologist who has studied caregiving for about two decades, said the economic implications affect caregivers and their employers.

Bioplastic wrap protects food

Western Producer - ALES' food/bio processing engineer Marleny Aranda Saldana and her research team have created a starch-based bioactive film out of waste potato peels and culls. The film, which looks like plastic wrap made from petroleum products is eco-friendly but also carries antioxidants that preserve the food it protects.

EMEND seeking long-term funding

Logging and Sawmilling Journal - John Spence remains "guardedly optimistic" that EMEND will be able to obtain annual predictable funding to assure the project's medium and long term future. EMEND is 18 years into an 80- to 100-year project. It has already had a major impact on forest management practices in the boreal forest.

A new global tinderbox

environment360 - Feature story about the increasing size of wildfires in the world's northern forests includes comments from U of A wildland fire scientist Mike Flannigan.

The Environment File

St. Albert Gazette - John "the Nature Nut" Acorn, renewable resources instructor at the University of Alberta, comments on Monarch butterflies.

Video of nine year-old shooting bear at Alberta birthday party spurs hunting debate

Global News - Lee Foote, an ALES conservation biologist, comments on a story about the outcry in the UK regarding an online video of a nine year-old Albertan shooting a black bear during a legal hunt.

Desperately seeking fashion forward choices for bigger guys

Edmonton Journal - In a story on the lack of fashion choices for larger men, University of Alberta human ecology lecturer Lori Moran says this may reflect the underlying attitude in the fashion industry that men don't care about clothes as much as women do.

Optimizing oat production

AG Annex - Oat is a competitive crop that is suited to central and northern Alberta growing conditions, but oat agronomic research has been lacking in Alberta in recent years. "When I found out about the high yield potential of oat, I was fascinated by its potential to be a high-value crop for growers," says Linda Hall, a weed scientist and agronomist. Her excitement about oat's potential inspired Hall to initiate a three-year project on optimizing production of food-grade (milling) oats in Alberta.

Leak exposes thousands of Sudburians

Sudbury Star - Matthew Johnson, a relationship specialist in human ecology at the University of Alberta, comments in about the Ashley Madison leak, which has revealed more than 4,770 hits using the keyword Sudbury. However, it should be emphasized this does not mean each account is real, nor does it indicate there are an accompanying number of people in the Nickel City stepping out on their relationships.

Breton Plots - farming in grey luvisol soil zones

The Mountaineer (Rocky Mountain House) - The Breton Plots are the oldest long term plots on wooded soils in North America. The Breton Plots are a project by a group of farmers and professors at the University of Alberta who have been involved with numerous experiments with spreading chemical fertilizer and manure over plots of land and observing the long term results. Professors Miles Dyck, James Robertson and Stan Blade are quoted.

Researchers examine the effects of oil activity on pasture

Western Producer - Rangeland Research Institute researchers at the U of A examine the effects of oil activity on pasture, specifically the impact of rig mats on vegetation and soil. The University of Alberta had first-hand experience when two electricity companies wanted to erect major towers and power lines across its Mattheis Ranch near Duchess.

Experts say agriculture will fuel Canadian economy in coming decades

DeSmog Blog - A shift to an agriculture-oriented economy may not just revolve around food, according to John Parkins, professor of rural and environmental sociology at the University of Alberta. Parkins suggests such transformation may take the form of biofuels, which can range in origin from corn to potatoes to vegetable oils to wood chips.

Canadian dairies to increase feed efficiency and reduce methane

US AgNet - A project led by Genome Alberta and the Ontario Genomics Institute will help industry growth by using genomics-based approaches to select for dairy cattle with the genetic traits needed for more efficient feed conversion and lower methane emissions. A research team is led by Paul Stothard from Livestock Gentec at the University of Alberta and Filippo Miglior of the University of Guelph.

Scientists ponder what will replace animal antibiotics

Western Producer - A combination of products may be needed to replace the antibiotics that are used to treat livestock. ALES poultry researcher Doug Korver comments on the effects of antibiotic use.

Researchers examine effects of oil activity on pasture

Western Producer - A project at the Mattheis Research Ranch is looking at the effects of energy development activity on rangeland. The university has embarked on a $300,000 project with ATCO to learn the effect and rate of recovery of grasslands and soil after heavy traffic and construction has occurred. The project could help produce a best practices guide.

Alberta drought

Dean Stan Blade comments on the declarations of agricultural disaster in several Alberta counties following severe drought conditions this summer. (Click on the video for the full interview that aired on CBC News Now.)

Unreleased report has concerns about ski development in Jasper National Park

Edmonton Journal - Fiona Schmiegelow, professor and director of the northern environmental and conservation science program in the Department of Renewable Resources, discusses a report she conducted on the effects of proposed expansion of Marmot Basin, a Jasper ski area. The report was never made public so Schmiegelow decided to release the findings herself. (Story appeared in several media outlets.)

Getting used to coyotes as neighbours but do not make friends with them

Yahoo! News - University of Alberta professor Lee Foote and recent PhD graduate Maureen Murray comment in story on the rise of urban coyote sightings.

Arcadia Biosciences partners with Phytola to increase soybean oil content

Bloomberg Business - Agricultural biotechnology company Arcadia Biosciences is launching a research project to develop soybean varieties with increased oil content in partnership with Phytola, an Alberta Innovates Centre based at the University of Alberta.

Devastation for generations

Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune - Restoration ecologist Justine Karst and her colleagues have found that the next generation of pine trees is vulnerable to future mountain pine attack.

NWT looking at another record-breaking summer of forest fires

Vice Canada - Wildland fire expert Mike Flannigan says there is "great potential" for an extremely active fire season ahead.

Author chooses graphic novel to reach biggest audience

Edmonton Journal - Patti LaBoucane-Benson has a PhD in human ecology. She is a recipient of the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta Award for Education. When it came time for her to think about publishing the dissertation work she completed at the University of Alberta - focusing on healing and resilience in indigenous families and communities - she decided to publish a graphic novel. (Story also ran in most Post Media outlets including Ottawa Citizen, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, the Vancouver Province etc.).

Breeders benefit from carcass data

Canadian Cattlemen - Carcass data is the real report card on the efforts to develop breeding stock by the seedstock operator, the time and commitment of cow-calf operators to produce a healthy weaned calf, and the management of feedlot operators in taking an efficient animal to market weight. John Crowley, a post-doc geneticist in ALES says carcass data would be a useful tool in understanding how the complex world of genetics influences traits in individual animals.

Explaining beardsand bacteria and us

Sydney Morning Herald - In an article about the kinds of bacteria found in and on the human body, ALES researcher Jens Walter says sanitation and drinking water treatment appeared to be key contributors to the difference in gut bacteria between people living a subsistence lifestyle in Papua New Guinea and urbanized North Americans.

Environment file

St. Albert Gazette - In a round-up of science-related stories, ALES entomologist John Acorn put out a call this week for Albertans to find and photograph all 173 species of butterfly thought to exist in the province, while wildland fire researcher Mike Flannigan told an audience at a public lecture series that climate change means more forest fires for Alberta, and that means we have to get better at predicting them.

Help count butterflies this weekend

Edmonton Sun - Story discusses John Acorn's Butterfly Roundup project and invites readers to participate by taking pictures of butterflies they see and uploading them to the project's website.

Time to grow above and beyond

Metro Edmonton - Debra Davidson discusses the Prairie Urban Farm, one of several community gardens across the city. Story also mentions Novella Carpenter, author of the book that was the subject of the ALES Common Reading program this past year.

Crop pest and disease watch for 2015

Plant pathologist Stepehen Strelkov offers advice to producers about how to best manage clubroot this growing season.

NWT bracing for wildfires after record 2014

Wildfire researcher Mike Flannigan provides expert comment about NWT's record-breaking forest fires last year. He says the increase is part of a larger pattern he's observed across North America as climate change takes hold.

Jack Francis lovingly watches over agricultural treasures at ALES Museum

ALES Museum founder and curator Jack Francis, winner of the 2015 UAlberta Advocate Award, is profiled in this Edmonton Journal piece. Story also appeared in the Calgary Herald.

Canola growers get grim warning on clubroot threat

Article cites plant pathologist's Stephen Strelkov's recent research findings, which suggests that the clubroot population has shifted to overcome resistance bred in different canola varieties.

Carcass data important for seedstock research

Postdoctoral Fellow John Crowley provides comment in an article that discusses how access to carcass data as well as other production information through the Beef InfoXchange System will be an invaluable tool for cattle breeders, geneticists and beef researchers in their efforts to build a better beef animal.

How the guts of remote Amazon dwellers are different than ours

Despite the advantages of our western health system, including ready access to clean water and medicine, a new study suggests we have lost something along the road to modernization.

Thawing permafrost contributes to climate change

David Olefeldt, CAIP Chair in Watershed Management and Water Restoration, discusses a study in which he participated that concluded thawing permafrost in the Arctic and subarctic is releasing stored organic carbon. Scientists had feared the carbon would be released relatively quickly, within a decade, but the study suggests the release will occur over decades to centuries.

Alder Food Society looks to make local food accessible

Carley-Jane Stanton, a student at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, is founder and head of the Alder Food Security Society, a non-profit group aimed at establishing long-term food security for all members of the community, especially marginalized individuals. The Alder Food Security Society is also working on establishing a farmers' market subsidy program as well as a food chat program, the latter of which will be headed by local food blogger Liv Vors.

U of A team finds used drywall can be a useful compost addition

According to a University of Alberta study, old drywall can be used to add nutrients to "dead" soils. The team which put the study together was headed by M. Anne Naeth, who works with the U of A's department of renewable resources. They found that used drywall can be full of decomposable material and useful nutrients, which "would be a good compost additive for use on reclaimed land sites," a story on the U of A's website said.

Bright future may await agricultural substation after uncertain past

In 2013 the Government of Canada announced that it would be releasing the OneFour research station back to the province of Alberta. The research at the station includes range management, cattle genetics and wildlife research. The current plan is to develop a partnership between the province, University of Alberta Rangeland Research Institute and the new Onefour Grazing Association.

Millions given for area flooding fixes

Shari Clare, adjunct professor at the U of A provides comment on the plan to restore 60 wetlands around Calgary in order to prevent future catastrophic floods.

What you need to know about controlled traffic farming

University of Alberta researchers will be looking at rooting depth, root size, pore space and biological activity in the soil in order to confirm the benefits of CTF (where machinery wheel tracks are confined to specific lanes or tramlines).

Glyphosate Resistant Weeds

Glyphosate resistant kochia has been in Alberta for the past couple of years. Dr. Linda Hall, a professor at the University of Alberta, says there's reason to be concerned about glyphosate resistant weeds.

Mediterranean diet cuts heart disease risk

Article on heart disease and food notes the work of two University of Alberta nutrition professors who have suggested a Prairie version of the Mediterranean diet based on dairy meats canola pulses and grains. AFNS Professors Catherine Chan and Rhonda Bell have written a book titled Pure Prairie Eating Plan and maintain a website with recipes and other information.

Major conservation agreement signed in southern Alberta

One of the largest conservation easements in Alberta's history has been signed to protect Mattheis Ranch in southern Alberta.

Canola shows promise against new strain of clubroot

A new canola variety has shown some promising resistance to a new strain of clubroot that was found near Edmonton in 2013 and has since spread to nearly 30 fields. But it won't offer true resistance, says Steven Strelkov, a plant pathologist from the University of Alberta, though it is a step in the right direction.

Two U of A students given young scientist awards

Two student scientists from the U of A were announced as winners of the R.O. Ball Young Scientist award at the recent 2015 Banff Pork Seminar.

Australian machine will be tested on prairie soil

Researchers continue to explore how destroying weed seeds at harvest could tackle the growing problem of herbicide resistant weeds in Canada. Agriculture Canada has bought a Harrington Seed Destructor, a pull-behind unit from Australia that pulverizes weed seeds when combining. University of Alberta grad student Breanne Tidemann is exploring how effective a seed destructor might be in Canadian conditions.

Interest in urban farms on the rise in Edmonton

As the city wraps up pilot projects in beekeeping and urban hens, the U of A's Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences continues to examine urban agriculture in Edmonton

B.C. sparks controversy by bringing back wolf hunt

Stan Boutin, ALES biological sciences professor, comments on the merits of predator control measures as part of a larger conservation plan, in this case to recover caribou populations

Clubroot continues to spread across Alberta

University of Alberta plant pathologist Steven Strelkov is cited in article on the proliferation of clubroot, a soil-borne disease that causes premature death in plants, in Alberta canola fields. Strelkov said discovery of more strains of clubroot overcoming resistant varieties is a worrying trend and cautions farmers not to grow resistant varieties in close rotation in heavily infested fields.

Consumer tracking is changing the way people shop - and view food

University of Alberta Faculty of ALES agriculture professor Ellen Goddard is interviewed about how grocery stores and restaurant chains get to know their customer preferences.


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