Welcome to the NatSci news page! Check back often to learn about the latest innovations, discoveries and accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students and alumni.
January 12, 2023
January 12, 2023
When the U.S. government committed last January to conserving 30 percent of the United States’ natural land and water by the year 2030, the decision was embraced by the majority of Americans. Now, Michigan State University ecologists are part of a team that’s sharing data to help inform those choices throughout the United States and beyond. Their research identified North America’s climate change refugia, habitats that will be the most likely to support the persistence of the greatest amount of biodiversity in the face of a changing climate.
January 11, 2023
Working with data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, Michigan State University has helped discover an Earth-sized exoplanet — a planet outside of our solar system. This planet, named TOI-700 e, falls within its star’s habitable zone, meaning the newfound planet could be capable of supporting life as we know it. The research team announced the finding Jan. 10 at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.
January 10, 2023
Samuel Sottile, a senior majoring in advanced mathematics in the Michigan State University College of Natural Science, has been named a Churchill Scholar. The 18th Churchill Scholar from MSU, Sottile places MSU in the top 10 nationally (tied for No. 7) and No. 1 in the Big Ten for Churchill Scholars. This year, 16 Churchill Scholars were selected from 119 applicants and 77 institutions. The Churchill Scholarship supports one year of master’s study at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, England.
January 10, 2023
The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research program at Michigan State University was awarded a renewal of their foundational grant, reaffirming the program’s future and status as one of the country’s premier research sites. Continuation funding for the program began on Dec. 1, 2022 and will run through November 2028. MSU animal ecologist Nick Haddad and microbial ecologist Sarah Evans led the grant proposal, “Ecological and social mechanisms of resilience in agroecosystems.” In it, they detail the program’s new focus on climate change and land use change.
January 4, 2023
An often-studied flowering plant evolved reproductive self-sufficiency, and in the process some parts of the flower are starting to disappear. Michigan State University scientists, led by plant biologist Jeffrey Conner, will use a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant better understand this trait loss.
January 3, 2023
A new study from plant scientists at Michigan State University demonstrates that there’s a link between climate change and nutrition. The research, led by MSU’s Berkley Walker and his team shows that, although elevated levels of carbon dioxide can be good for photosynthesis, increasing CO2 levels can tinker with other metabolic processes in plants. And these lesser-known processes could have implications for other functions like protein production. Their findings were recently published in Nature Plants.
December 20, 2022
The Charles Drew Science Scholars program is a residential program in the MSU College of Natural Science and has worked to diversify the STEM talent pool and workforce for more than 40 years. The program, which has a legacy of providing robust academic experiences for nearly 2,000 scholars to date, has prioritized students from groups historically underrepresented in science and mathematics fields. Dozens of Drew Scholars have gone on to pursue medicine at institutions nationwide, including MSU’s College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine.
December 15, 2022
With $10.65 million of support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan State University is home to one of the nation’s newest Energy Frontier Research Centers. Led by MSU's Cheryl Kerfeld and her team, the center will explore how nature compartmentalizes some of its most important biochemical reactions. This understanding will allow researchers to mimic nature’s methods to develop new and more efficient ways to produce important molecules and chemicals to benefit society, including clean, sustainable fuels.
December 13, 2022
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded MSU nearly $3 million to create a graduate program that will help usher in a new era of STEM discoveries using the power of machine learning. Project leader Daniel Appelö and his team are working with the NSF to ensure the United States can maintain its leadership in the machine learning space — especially in science, technology, engineering and math applications — for generations to come.
May 15, 2023Prominent cancer researcher joins MSU to lead biochemistry and molecular biology department, establish Center for Cancer Health Equity Research
May 12, 2023Seed grants sow dazzling return on investment