• Poet Joel Brouwer, an assistant professor in English, was one of 10 people nationwide to receive a 2001 Whiting Writers’ Award. The award, presented annually to emerging U.S. writers of exceptional talent and promise, carries a $35,000 prize.
Brouwer’s first collection of poems, Exactly What Happened, was published by Purdue University Press in 1999. His second, Centuries, will be published by Four Way Books in 2003.
Brouwer, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1990 and a master’s degree from Syracuse University in 1993, joined the faculty at SIUC last fall. He previously taught at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Alabama.
• Geology professor John Crelling received the Gilbert H. Cady Award last November from the Geological Society of America for his contributions to coal geology research.
Crelling, who heads SIUC's coal characterization program, specializes in coal petrology, the study of the composition of coal and how that affects the way coal is used. His research was featured in the Fall 1992 issue of Perspectives.
At the Maceral Separation Laboratory in Carterville, Crelling analyzes the components of coal, which is a conglomeration of spores, pollen, leaves, and twigs. Separating and analyzing those components allows Crelling and his colleagues to predict the way coal will burn, or its suitability for liquefaction or other industrial processes.
• Microbiologists John Coates and Laurie Achenbach received the 2001 Cleanup Project of the Year award from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, a joint program of the U.S. Defense Department, Energy Department, and Environmental Protection Agecy.
The two researchers have isolated and studied several species of bacteria that can break down perchlorate, a chemical used in munitions manufacturing and other applications that now contaminates sediment and groundwater at many sites. This work was featured in the Fall 1998 issue of Perspectives.
• Plant scientists led by David Lightfoot have received a patent for a laboratory-based means of producing soybean germplasm that can resist the nation's top two threats to bean yields.
The new process involves using molecular markers to pinpoint genes for resistance to Sudden Death Syndrome, or SDS, and to soybean cyst nematode, or SCN. Once located, these genes can be introduced into germplasm that commercial breeders will use to produce new soybean lines resistant to both diseases.
SDS, an incurable fungal infection, causes crop losses of roughly $400 million each year. SCN, a parasitic worm, causes annual losses of roughly $1 billion. Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. previously received a patent for a marker-assisted process aimed at SCN, but the SIUC technology is the first to draw a bead on both diseases at once. For more information, contact Dr. David Lightfoot, Dept. of Plant, Soil, and Agricultural Systems, (618) 453-2496.