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New York Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury commits $1 million to alma mater

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 1:49pm
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Jacoby Ellsbury of the New York Yankees has contributed $1 million to help expand the locker room facilities at OSU, his alma mater.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jacoby Ellsbury, center fielder for the New York Yankees and former student-athlete at Oregon State University, has committed $1 million to help the OSU baseball program expand its locker room facilities.

Goss Stadium, which has stood on the Oregon State campus since 1907, is the oldest continuous ballpark in the nation, and has been home to the Beavers since the program’s first pitch more than 100 years ago.

“We are tremendously thankful,” said Pat Casey, who is in his 20th year as OSU’s head coach. “Great facilities are at the core of great programs, and with Jacoby’s generous gift we will be able to continue to offer our student-athletes a world-class experience.”

The stadium has undergone several enhancements in recent years with support from donors. Prior to the 2009 season, nearly 1,000 seats were added down the left and right field lines and the Omaha Room created seating for approximately 70.

Despite the recent improvements, the baseball program has outgrown its locker room space, Casey said. The proposed $2.8 million project will expand and enhance the locker room, update the equipment room, add team meeting space, and include both a new recruiting area and a centralized main entrance. In recognition of the gift, the OSU locker room facilities will be named in honor of Ellsbury.

“OSU Baseball has given me so much,” said Jacoby Ellsbury, who holds among his accolades the Beavers’ run record at 168. “I am thrilled I am able to help my alma mater carry on its proud tradition; and perhaps, this expansion will convince a few more Pacific Northwest recruits to wear OSU orange and black.”

The Madras, Ore., native played for Oregon State from 2003-2005 before being drafted 23rd overall by the Boston Red Sox in 2005. In 2007, he helped the club win the World Series. In 2011, he won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, the Silver Slugger Award, and was the American League MVP runner-up. He earned his second World Series ring in 2013, before signing with the New York Yankees.

“Oregon State is where I got my start,” explained Ellsbury. “It’s where I learned—from Coach Casey, teammates, and assistant coaches—how to be a successful athlete, a successful person. For that, I am forever grateful.”

With this gift, donors to The Campaign for OSU have committed more than $172 million for OSU Athletics. University leaders announced in January that the campaign had passed its overall $1 billion goal with 11 months to spare, making OSU one of only 35 public universities to achieve the billion-dollar milestone in a campaign.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Michelle Williams Source: 

Pat Casey, 541-737-7472

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Goss Stadium

Categories: Research news

Reflections on wilderness featured at Corvallis Science Pub

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 10:16am
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At the June 9 Corvallis Science Pub, Cristina Eisenberg, an Oregon State University conservation biologist, will discuss why intact wilderness areas matter more today than they did in 1964.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Wilderness Act, which today protects nearly 110 million acres in the United States. At the June 9 Corvallis Science Pub, Cristina Eisenberg, an Oregon State University conservation biologist, will discuss why intact wilderness areas matter more today than they did in 1964.

The Science Pub presentation is free and open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. in the Majestic Theater, 115 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

Eisenberg’s intimate acquaintance with wilderness stems from 20 years of living with her family in a cabin adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. At 1 million acres, it comprises the second-largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states.

In her research, she studies interactions among wolves, elk, aspen and fire. In Rocky Mountain ecosystems, she has shown that relatively intact, large tracts of land are essential to create ecologically resilient landscapes. Such landscapes typically consist of extensive protected wilderness.

She will also read and show images from her recently published book, The Carnivore Way, in which she profiles the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, a 28-million-acre wildlife corridor that runs along the mountainous spine of North America.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Nick Houtman Source: 

Cristina Eisenberg, 541-737-7524

Categories: Research news

Blueberries coated in leaf extracts have longer shelf life

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 9:55am
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CORVALLIS, Ore. – An Oregon State University researcher has helped discover a substance in blueberry leaves – which are usually wasted – that can be added to berry coatings, extending their shelf life while adding antioxidants.

Working with an international team of scientists in China, OSU food scientist Yanyun Zhao found that an edible coating containing blueberry leaf extracts helped delay decay and retain water, which slowed down their natural deterioration. The extra weight could also mean extra cash for growers, because blueberries are often sold by volume.

The natural coatings can allow fresh blueberries to be washed and prepared as ready-to-eat products. Most blueberries in stores are unwashed because rinsing them removes their natural waxy coating that preserves the fruit.

"Normally, blueberry leaves fall to the ground as waste," said Zhao, a food science and technology professor in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. “We've discovered a use that can change how the berries are stored, sold, as well as increasing their nutritional value.”

Blueberry leaves, which have been used as an herbal remedy, contain high levels of antioxidant phenolics – chemical compounds with antimicrobial properties that protect against fungi and bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella.

To create the coatings, researchers mixed these phenolic extracts with chitosan, a natural preservative that comes from crustacean shells. OSU tested coatings made from leaves that were picked at different stages of berry maturity, and leaf extracts were formulated into five different coating treatments based on varying levels of phenols.

Blueberries were dipped in the liquid coating and then dried at room temperature to form dried coatings. Nozzles can also spray the coatings on the surface of the berries as they pass by on a conveyor belt, according to Zhao, a value-added food products specialist with the OSU Extension Service.

Coating the blueberries will add to their cost, she said, although it's unclear how much.

The research was conducted in collaboration with scientists in China, including Yun Deng, at Shanghai Jiao Tong University at the school's Bor Luh Food Safety Center, and published in the journals of Food Control and Postharvest Biology and Technology.

College of Agricultural Sciences Media Contact:  Daniel Robison Source: 

Yanyun Zhao, 541-737-9151

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To create edible coatings, researchers mixed extracts from blueberry leaves with chitosan, a natural preservative that comes from crustacean shells. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Categories: Research news

Tracking potato famine pathogen to its home may aid $6 billion global fight

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 8:19am
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OSU researchers have identified the Toluca Valley of central Mexico as the ancestral home of one of the world's most costly and deadly plant pathogens.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The cause of potato late blight and the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has been tracked to a pretty, alpine valley in central Mexico, which is ringed by mountains and now known to be the ancestral home of one of the most costly and deadly plant diseases in human history.

Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by researchers from Oregon State University, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and five other institutions, concludes that Phytophthora infestans originated in this valley and co-evolved with potatoes over hundreds or maybe a few thousand years, and later spread repeatedly to much of the world.

Knowing the origin of the pathogen does more than just fill in a few facts in agricultural history, the scientists say. It provides new avenues to discover resistance genes, and helps explain the mechanisms of repeated emergence of this disease, which to this day is still the most costly potato pathogen in the world.

Potato late blight continues to be a major threat to global food security and at least $6 billion a year is spent to combat it, mostly due to the cost of fungicides and substantial yield losses. But P. infestans is now one of the few plant pathogens in the world with a well-characterized center of origin.

“This is immensely important,” said Niklaus Grunwald, who is a courtesy professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University, a researcher with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and lead author on the study.

“This is just a textbook example of a center of origin for a pathogen, and it’s a real treat,” Grunwald said. “I can’t think of another system so well understood. This should allow us to make significant headway in finding additional genes that provide resistance to P. infestans.”

Finding ways to genetically resist the potato late blight, scientists say, could help reduce the use of fungicides, and the expense and environmental concerns associated with them.

There had been competing theories about where P. infestans may have evolved, with the leading candidates being the Toluca Valley near Mexico City, or areas in South America where the potato itself actually evolved thousands of years ago.

Gene sequencing technology used by this research group helped pin down the Toluca Valley as the ancestral hot spot. The P. infestans pathogen co-evolved there hundreds of years ago with plants that were distant cousins of modern potatoes, which produced tubers but were more often thought of as a weed than a vegetable crop.

Today, the newly-confirmed home of this pathogen awaits researchers almost as a huge, natural laboratory, Grunwald said. Since different potato varieties, plants and pathogens have been co-evolving there for hundreds of years, it offers some of the best hope to discover genes that provide some type of resistance.

Along with other staple foods such as corn, rice and wheat, the potato forms a substantial portion of the modern human diet. A recent United Nations report indicated that every person on Earth eats, on average, more than 70 pounds of potatoes a year. Potatoes contain a range of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber and – for hungry populations – needed calories.

It’s believed that the potato was first domesticated more than 7,000 years ago in parts of what are now Peru and Bolivia, and it was brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the late 1500s. A cheap and plentiful crop that can grow in many locations, the ability to increase food production with the potato eventually aided a European population boom in the 1800s.

But what the New World provided, it also took away - in the form of a potato late blight attack that originated from Mexico, caused multiple crop failures and led, among other things, to the Irish potato famine that began in 1845. Before it was over, 1 million people had died and another 1 million emigrated, many to the U.S.

That famine was exacerbated by lack of potato diversity, as some of the varieties most vulnerable to P. infestans were also the varieties most widely cultivated.

Collaborators on the research were from the University of Florida, the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, the University of the Andes in Colombia, Cornell University, and the International Potato Center in Beijing. It was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Scottish government.

College of Agricultural Sciences Media Contact:  David Stauth Source: 

Niklaus Grunwald, 541-738-4049

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Toluca Valley




Potato relative




Infected plant

Categories: Research news

Exhibit featuring graduating seniors’ artwork on display at OSU

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 9:15am
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The exhibit featuring the artwork of graduating seniors will be on display in the Fairbanks Gallery from June 2 through June 13.

CORVALLIS, Ore. — “So Long, Suckers,” an exhibit featuring the artwork of graduating seniors, will be on display in the Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University from June 2 through June 13.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 4. Exhibit awards, including the President’s Award for Excellence in Art, the Provost's Purchase Award and the College of Liberal Arts Dean's Purchase Award will be announced at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Seven graduating art students from different disciplines will participate in this year’s exhibit. They are:

  • Savannah Youngquist, silk-screen printing. Using her family and friends as influences for her work, she has been working with patterning using foods that remind her of her family members.
  • Allison Yano, ink drawings, painting and monotype printmaking. The driving force behind her work lies in the concept of spaces and their occupants and the forming of relationships between people and the impermanence of their presence.
  • Alice Marshall, three-dimensional drawings. She emphasizes the relationship between human and nature, exploring what happens when the intention is to preserve a part of the natural world.
  • Daniel Johnson, landscape painting. Working primarily in oil, he draws inspiration from his scenic hometown of Moab, Utah.
  • Alyssa Elkins is exploring the connections between the human and our natural environment. She is interested in the way we alter our world to better fit our needs and the ways in which the world reacts and changes itself to compensate for our adjustments.
  • Kusra Kapuler, sculpture and video addresses core human experiences. Focusing on emotions, reactions and thoughts, the work has different mediums. These include paper, bronze and fabric.
  • Darlayne Buys, who is exploring the discarded nature of objects and the obsessive or emotional associations we make with objects through a series of paintings of wedding dresses.

At the reception, scholarships for the upcoming year will be announced and senior of distinction certificates will be presented to outstanding seniors. Community-sponsored awards acknowledging outstanding artwork in the exhibit will also be presented. Blick Art Materials, the OSU Bookstore and Peak Sports are sponsors.

The Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Douglas Russell, 541-737-5009, drussell@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

Student-directed one-act play festival opens June 4

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 9:12am
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Oregon State University Theatre’s annual Spring One-Act Festival will run June 4 through June 8 in the Lab Theatre in Withycombe Hall.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s annual Spring One-Act Festival will run June 4 through June 8 in the Lab Theatre in Withycombe Hall, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The festival includes ten one-act plays featuring an eclectic mix of comedy and drama directed by advanced directing students. The plays will be presented in two panels. Panel A runs June 4 and June 6 at 7:30 p.m., and June 7 at 2 p.m. Panel B will run June 5 and June 7 at 7:30 p.m., and June 8 at 2 p.m.

Plays in Panel A are:

  • “Check Please!” directed by Deborah Shapiro, is a series of blind dinner dates that turn into comic chaos. It features Joe Hill, Caitlin Reichmann, Renee Zipp, Brice Amarasinghe, Mike Turner, Beth Kowal, Scott D. Shapton and Sarah Koonse.
  • “Judgment Morning,” directed by Mark McIntyre, is the story of a trio of siblings facing judgment on the morning of a funeral. It features Reed Morris, Blair Bowmer and Elise Barberis.
  • “Heart of Hearing,” directed by Sam Zinsli, is a classic “will-they-or-won’t-they” drama featuring Alex Graham and Bria Love Robertson.
  • “The Worker,” directed by Troy Toyama, portrays a dystopian future and a man with a secret featuring Melissa Cozzi, Kolby Baethke and Joe Hill.
  • “The Merchandise King,” directed by Teri Straley, is a comic parody of Disney’s “The Lion King,” featuring Mike Stephens, Kyle Stockdall, Erin Wallerstein, Alex Toner and Annie Parham.

Plays in Panel B are:  

  • “The Problem,” directed by Anna Mahaffey, features Chris Peterman and Arin Dooley as a married couple from the late 1960s.
  • “Evanescence, or Shakespeare in the Ally,” directed by Ricky Zipp, is about a woman who faces an existential crisis after sudden life changes and features Sarah Clausen and Bryan Smith.
  • “Murder by Midnight,” directed by Bryanna Rainwater, is a clever campy murder mystery featuring students J. Garrett Luna, Sarah Sutton and Kolby Baethke.
  • “The Sign,” directed by Joseph Workman, is the poignant story of two childhood friends reunited at a funeral. It features Bryan Smith and Thoman Nath.
  • “The Lifeboat is Sinking,” directed by Sam Thompson, is a quirky comedy about marriage and compromise featuring Elise Bareris and Alex Small.

Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for seniors, $5 for youths and students, and $4 for OSU students. For information or to purchase tickets, contact the OSU Theatre Box Office at 541-737-2784 or visit the website at http://bit.ly/1jdKUgy.

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Elizabeth Helman, Elizabeth.helman@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

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A312 Kerr Administration
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97331-2140
Phone 541-737-3467
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