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Shamus Funk

Shamus Funk


Shamus is a freelance writer for the Motley Fool focusing on energy, agriculture, and materials. He has his Ph.D. in Chemistry from North Dakota State University. After graduation, Shamus worked at a small biotechnology firm before becoming a professor of chemistry.

Recent articles

You May Hate Monsanto, But It Doesn't Matter

Monsanto is hated, and despite efforts to improve its image, it will be hated for as long as it's in business. Do investors need to worry about public perception, or can Monsanto grow even without consumer approval?

The Biggest Threat to Potash Corp

Oversupply has plagued the fertilizer industry over the past half-decade, and potash may still not be in the clear despite consistent demand.

Big News for Natural Gas Is Big News for This Industy

The price of natural gas seems far more newsworthy than the price of nitrogen fertilizers, but the two are tied closely together. Here is what to expect in the earnings from fertilizer companies when the price of natural gas fluctuates.

A Warning for Biofuel Investors

New financing requires dilution. Big rewards require big risks. Sorting out when new financing is worth it, and when the risks that come with biofuel companies are worth taking will make all of the difference between making money and losing money.

1 Mortgage Mistake Millions of Americans Make

Purchasing a home is the largest and sometimes the only major long-term investment millions of Americans will make. Here is one more potential mistake that many homebuyers make at mortgage origination.

What the Heck Happened to Wendy’s?

Wendy's is in the midst of an extensive re-branding initiative that may change the company's image more than it originally intended. Many existing stores should welcome the change, and the expense may prove worthwhile in the end.

Mother Nature Doing All She Can to Make Us Pay More for Food

Droughts, diseases, and cold weather have teamed up to increase the costs of food production. Will consumers be the ones stuck footing the bill?

Wind Wins Again

The extension of the federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy will help wind energy and the companies that produce the energy to continue their growth through 2016.

Why My Chemistry Students Are Ethanol Skeptics

The chemistry behind ethanol and gasoline tells a slightly different story than the one most commonly told by proponents on both sides of the ethanol debate. Should ethanol investors be worried about how these numbers are interpreted?

What Brewery Will Anheuser-Busch InBev Buy Next?

A-B InBev has made a handful of acquisitions recently that put them in a strong position for growth in markets where they had little presence. Is there still room to expand their beer empire through more acquisitions, or should their shopping spree come to an end?

DuPont and Dow Chemical Playing the Same Hand Differently

The agriculture segments for DuPont and Dow Chemical Company are sources of great potential growth for each company. Is the future of agricultural technology promising enough to replace a long history in the broader chemical business?

What Do Pulitzer Prize Winners Mean for Businesses?

Pulitzer Prize-winning stories from the past two years have focused largely on exposing amoral behaviors among both government agencies and publicly traded companies, making it one of the few times each year when it may be best to stay out of the public eye.

Rising World Food Prices Spell Trouble for Biofuels

As crop prices rise, biofuel producer margins fall. Some of these companies are more at risk than others.

Monsanto Company and the Use of Terminator Seeds

Genetic Use Restriction Technologies could be applied to seeds to remedy intellectual property issues that stem from seed-saving, but the seed industry may never be able to actually use the developed technologies.

The Latest Expense to Hit Utility Companies From the EPA

The long-overdue removal of PCBs from electrical equipment may soon become required by the EPA, and utility companies will have to foot the bill.

American Craft Beer Today Is Where Biofuels Will Be in Twenty Years

When looking toward the future of biofuels in America, growth in the craft brewing industry may provide the best model for comparison.

GMOs Remain the Driving Force for Monsanto Company

Monsanto reported solid second quarter earnings driven by the company's seeds and genomics segment.

How Badly Are More Natural Gas Pipelines Needed?

Domestic natural gas production is growing, but distribution of the natural gas is in a somewhat precarious state. More pipelines may be needed, but who will really benefit?

What the Russia-Ukraine Crisis Means for Fertilizer Companies

Russia supplies Ukraine with natural gas, and the price of this gas is headed way up. How will this cost increase of the key nitrogen fertilizer ingredient affect North American fertilizer producers?

Monsanto’s Next Breakthrough May Have Been Developed for the Medical World

Monsanto announced today the creation of a new company, Preceres LLC., which hopes to apply successful drug delivery technologies originally created for medical applications towards the development of agriculture biologicals.