NatSci's Klausmeier, Litchman invested as MSU Foundation Professors

Published March 13, 2017

Elena Litchman (left) and Christopher Klausmeier were honored as MSU Foundation Professors at an investiture ceremony on March 10.

Elena Litchman and Christopher Klausmeier, Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSci) professors, were honored as MSU Foundation Professors on March 10 at an investiture ceremony held at MSU’s W.K. Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, Mich.

The professorships, established in 2014, are part of an initiative to attract and retain highly successful faculty members. Each of the recipients receives five years of supplemental research support and holds the MSU Foundation Professor designation permanently.

“These two faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized for their scientific accomplishments,” said R. James Kirkpatrick, NatSci dean. “Their research productivity, innovative thinking, quality teaching and leadership place them at the very top of their fields. Their distinction as MSU Foundation Professors is well-deserved.”

Klausmeier, a plant biology professor and Kellogg Biological Station faculty member, is an expert in theoretical ecology, especially related to microbial and aquatic systems. His laboratory group studies the general principles that organize ecological communities and ecosystems, with a particular focus on phytoplankton and zooplankton, the microscopic plants and animals at the base of lake and ocean food webs. Klausmeier is also an associate editor for The American Naturalist. His awards and honors include a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and an EU Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship, which supported a sabbatical visit to the Danish Technical University in Copenhagen.

Litchman, an integrative biology professor and faculty member at the Kellogg Biological Station, is internationally recognized for her research on phytoplankton communities in both freshwater and marine environments. She has earned the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Litchman currently serves on the advisory boards of WasserCluster Lunz Austria, and the Danish Center of Excellence “Life in a Changing Ocean,” Denmark, and on the editorial board of the Journal of Plankton Research. She received her Honors Diploma in biology from Moscow State University, Russia, and her doctorate in ecology from the University of Minnesota. 

These scientists join 25 other MSU researchers who have been named MSU Foundation Professors over the past three years (2014-2016), and brings the total number of NatSci MSU Foundation Professors to 15.