Research at AGNR
The Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) represents the research arm of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Maryland College Park. MAES funds and fosters research for sustainable and safe food production. MAES funds and supports more than 120 faculty conducting research within AGNR and other collaborating colleges. Research supported by MAES is conducted both on campus within the academic units and off-campus in four Research and Education Centers consisting of 8 facilities that represent diverse physiographic and land resources regions. Please contact the MAES Office at (301) 405-2462 (Richa Mathur) for questions.
If you live in Howard County, you may have seen a team from our college near your backyard working hard to help fight the presence of Lyme disease. In conjunction with Howard County and U.S. Department of Agriculture (Agricultural Research Service), we are taking major strides to reduce the black-legged tick population and make daily life safer for you and your family. It's a 5 year project, and we're just getting started.
Dr. Utpal Pal of Veterinary Medicine leads a team of investigators across multiple institutions in an ongoing tick research program to understand the immune responses of ticks that contribute to the spread of major diseases like Lyme disease. This program is the first-of-its-kind in the field of tick research, and establishes the University of Maryland as the leading institutional resource for tick-borne disease research.
AGNR received the University’s first-ever apple patent for Antietam Blush. This and the six more varieties of elite dwarf apple trees forthcoming out of the Maryland Apple Tree Architecture Project represent the culmination of 27 years of research and breeding. These trees are resistant to disease, shorter (aka dwarf) with stronger tree architecture for easier maintenance and harvesting, and more cost effective with the ability to plant more trees in a small area. These advances create potential for broad adoption and use, while improving orchard and farm viability and strengthening the apple industry.
Saltwater intrusion reduces soil quality, crop productivity, and increases pollution of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus into local waterways around the Chesapeake Bay. Combining crop research, wetland ecology, geological and chemical analysis, and economic modeling, Dr. Kate Tully of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture is not only determining what crop management strategies work in a saltier environment, but is also identifying practical applications that will be the most cost effective and profitable to the farmer while protecting the environment.
UMD has received $3 million from National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a new graduate training and research program aimed at creating innovative and sustainable solutions for global food, energy and water systems. The Global STEWARDS (STEM Training at the Nexus of Energy, WAter Reuse and FooD Systems) program boasts an elite team of UMD faculty, including Shirley Micallef in Plant Sciences & Landscape Architecture, and Jianghong Meng, Professor in Nutrition and Food Science and Director of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN).
Just because air quality isn’t on your mind doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting your brain—or the way your favorite Major League Baseball games are called. New research from Agricultural and Resource Economics takes a unique approach to the question of how air quality affects cognition, revealing that small increases in certain pollutants lead to significantly worse calls, with implications for federal air quality standards and policies, as well as industry and workplace standards.
Researchers around the world are using gene editing tools. But AGNR is on the front lines of this work, helping pave the way with a commitment to agricultural innovation and a clear charge to address global challenges like food and nutritional security. The college is home to many researchers using CRISPR, but the work of up-and-coming thought leaders like Bhanu Telugu in Animal & Avian Sciences and Yiping Qi in Plant Science & Landscape Architecture have AGNR on the forefront of advances in plants and animals, with applications for agricultural production, animal welfare, and even human health.
Research & Education Centers
We are serving the state and conducting research all across Maryland at our numerous research facilities.