Research

I Am Biased and So Are You: thoughts on funding and influence in science

Money

This is the third (and probably final) post in a series on industry funding of my weed science program. The previous posts on this topic are here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). In this post, I’ll mostly describe some of my personal experiences. It is important to note that my experiences are not necessarily representative of others. I suspect that my […]

Who funds my weed science program?

Money

This is the second post in a series about transparency and funding sources for my weed science research program. An introduction can be found here: On transparency, intimidation, and being called a shill. Since 2012, around two-thirds of my research funding has come from competitive grants. By competitive grants, I mean projects that I’ve developed […]

On transparency, intimidation, and being called a shill

A while back, a group of scientists involved in research or communication about various aspects of biotechnology (GMOs) were the subjects of freedom of information requests. Keith Kloor, who broke the story in Science, also posted one of the letters sent to the University of Illinois. The request asks for all emails in the last 2+ […]

An Evaluation of the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)

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I’ve always been interested in how changes in agricultural production practices impact the environment. In particular, I’ve followed the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops since I was an undergraduate, and try to stay up to date on research relating to the environmental impact associated with these crops. Several publications over the last decade have […]

A 40 year veteran of weed research reflects on his career

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Bob Wilson, the weed specialist at the University of Nebraska’s Panhandle Research & Extension Center is retiring this month. Dr. Wilson has been a long-time mentor to me, serving as advisor for my M.S. and co-advisor for my PhD. Since then, we’ve collaborated on many projects aimed at helping sugarbeet producers better manage difficult weeds. […]

What have they done to our FOOD?

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Department of Plant Sciences Seminar  What have they done to our FOOD? Andrew Kniss, Ph.D. Friday, October 17th, 2014 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources AG 1032 1:10 PM   People in developed countries seem more interested than ever in the way their food is produced. Genuine interest in the food we eat is, without […]

Seralini Rat Study Revisited

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Anyone interested in the GMO debate has probably heard about the Seralini paper that I criticized a while back. That paper was eventually retracted by the original journal, and it has now been re-published in a different journal. There are quite a few articles describing the background, so I won’t get into those details. I suggest reading recent […]

Fitness of herbicide resistance genes revisited

Figure 2 from Giacomini et al. (2014)

Last August, an article was published in New Phytologist that claimed a transgene added to rice could increase the fitness of a weedy relative. The paper was covered in the media pretty widely. When I read the paper, I didn’t think the authors presented nearly enough data to support their conclusions. You can find my […]

Are herbicides responsible for the decline in Monarch butterflies?

Monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on a milkweed plant

The monarch butterfly is in bad shape. The number of monarchs returning to their overwintering sites in Mexico has been declining steadily for at least a decade. The consensus suggests there are several reasons for this decline, including loss of their overwintering habitat and unfavorable weather patterns. But the purported cause of monarch decline that […]

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