LSU College of Agriculture News Briefs Winter 2023

Provost's Fund: College of Agriculture Faculty Research Projects

The LSU Provost’s Fund for Innovation in Research has announced $1.1 million in faculty research grants to 33 projects in support of sustained strategic priorities for the university and Louisiana.

Launched in 2022, the Provost’s Fund supports interdisciplinary research in five priority areas, also known as the LSU Pentagon, which include agriculture, biomedicine and biotechnology, coast and environment, defense and cybersecurity, and energy.

Faculty members in the School of Renewable Natural Resources and Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising have received funding to expand research projects.

Carbon Transport in the Mississippi River

Professor of Renewable Natural Resources Yi-Jun Xu will study the direct human input of carbon to the Mississippi River from wastewater treatment plants.

For the past 10 years, Xu has been studying dissolved carbon transport along the Mississippi River system to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the emission of carbon into the atmosphere.

Carbon transported via the Mississippi River can either be carried into the Gulf of Mexico as an important food source for aquatic organisms or be returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas emitted by humans.

Wastewater treatment plants collect household wastewater from residences, treat it through several processes and release it back into the Mississippi River.

Cryopreservation of Algae

Professor of Renewable Natural Resources Terrence Tiersch will develop cryopreservation protocols for algae to create a large-scale repository for algae.

For more than 30 years, Tiersch and his team have worked with cryopreservation to preserve fish and shellfish. He serves as professor and director of the Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center (AGGRC) in the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources.

Breakthroughs in the preservation techniques of aquatic species genomes could aid conservation efforts and are needed to safeguard billions of dollars of investment in biomedical research, industrial production and fisheries.

Smart Textile Detects Fevers in Infants

Sibei Xia, assistant professor in the Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising, is developing body-tracking wearable technology, or smart clothes, through thermochromic yarn that changes color based on body temperature.

The hat will monitor the infant’s temperature, and if the newborn’s temperature spikes, the threads will change colors, which will alert others.

Using thermochromic technology may reduce the need to monitor newborn’s temperature using thermometers and other invasive technologies. The hat also has the potential to reduce the number of times the infant is disturbed for a temperature check.

Annabelle Lang

Two people stand on the banks of a river.

LSU Renewable Natural Resources graduate students Anamika Dristi and Lee Potter collect samples of surface water released from the Baton Rouge wastewater treatment plant into the Mississippi River. Photo provided by Yi-Jun Xu/LSU AgCenter

A woman poses with a baby’s hat and stands in front of dresses on mannequins.

Sibei Xia, assistant professor in the Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising, received a grant from the Provost’s Fund for Innovation in Research to develop thermochromic clothing to track newborns’ temperatures. Photo by Annabelle Lang/LSU College of Agriculture

3/13/2023 4:42:25 PM
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