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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.

Soil organic carbon is vital for healthy soils and plays an important role in terrestrial carbon cycling.
June 3, 2023
A research team led by Michigan State University ecosystems scientist Bruno Basso has received a $1.95 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant to develop and disseminate educational information on soil organic carbon evaluation. The training materials will be geared toward underserved agriculture professionals in Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont.
Over the next decade, the market for growing crops indoors or in controlled environments — known as Controlled Environment Agriculture, or CEA — is predicted to increase five times over today’s market. And researchers at Michigan State University are at the forefront of this growing method of agriculture.
June 2, 2023
Yongsig Kim, a senior research associate in the Michigan State Universit-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, is leading MSU’s $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems program in the National Institute of Food and Agriculture explore what controlled enviornment agriculture will look like in a low-carbon world and new vegetation that leaves a low-carbon footprint. 
MSU team members join with their ACT NOW – Amazonas Action Alliance XPRIZE Rainforest semifinalist team members to scope Singapore’s Windsor Nature Park and Central Catchment Reserve as they wait assignment of their plot to identify what creatures live there.
June 1, 2023
Saving the rainforest, biodiversity, and in the process, the planet, is often framed as a high-stakes race. Now that race has a timetable, a $10 million prize, and ACTNOW Amazonas, a high-powered women-led multidisciplinary team of Michigan State University experts collaborating with innovators, indigenous rainforest protectors, and a dedicated film crew, who together are semifinalists for the XPRIZE Rainforest—a global competition aiming to enhance the world’s understanding of the rainforest ecosystems to protect it.
MSU College of Natural Science 2023 NSF Early CAREER Award recipients (L to R): Tuo Wang, Department of Chemistry; Yang Yang, Deparment of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering; and Nathan Whitehorn, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
May 31, 2023
Three Michigan State University researchers in the College of Natural Science – Tuo Wang, Nathan Whitehorn and Yang Yang – are recipients of National Science Foundation (NSF) Early CAREER Faculty Awards. The award is one of NSF’s most prestigious and is given to faculty members who demonstrate leadership in research and education and have a passion for integrating the two.
Established in 1780 during the American Revolution, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was initiated by John Adams and John Hancock among other patriots. The Academy both celebrates its accomplished individual members and fosters collaborative research projects to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.
May 23, 2023
Michigan State University microbial ecologist James Tiedje joins the 2023 elite cohort of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This year, the Academy elected 269 people across the arts and sciences. With a career spanning more than 50 years, Tiedje’s research contributions and mentoring have fundamentally changed the field of microbial science.
Two members of Audubon Great Lakes hold a black tern chick in a watery marsh in St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area. They’re placing a tag on the bird that will help provide useful conservation data.
May 17, 2023
Current conservation practices likely won’t do enough to save the black tern, a migratory bird species that nests in the northern U.S. and southern Canada, from disappearing.That’s according to new research from MSU and the National Audubon Society published in the journal Biological Conservation. But there’s also good news. The team’s report reveals new opportunities to enhance the outlook for these birds by strategically expanding conservation and land management practices. The approach can also be adapted to inform conservation practices for other species.
Prominent cancer researcher, Seun Ogunwobi, new chairperson of the MSU Department of BIochemistry and Molecular BIology and co-chair of the forthcoming Center for Cancer Health Equity Research at MSU.
May 15, 2023
Internationally renowned cancer researcher Olorunseun “Seun” Ogunwobi will join Michigan State University on Aug. 16 as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), which is affiliated with the College of Natural Science, the College of Human Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will also serve as co-director of the forthcoming Center for Cancer Health Equity Research at MSU.
Michigan State's Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Program established a Seed Grant Initiative in 2020, and faculty members receiving them agree that these small investments make a big difference in leveraging more significant research funding.
May 12, 2023
When it comes to securing key agency grant funds to support research projects, the quest to generate research data often favors those who already have enough data to prove their fundability. And that means grants to get grants can be a game changer. MSU's Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Program started a Seed Grant Initiative in 2020, and faculty members receiving them agree that these small investments make a big difference in leveraging more significant research funding.
Attendees at the 2023 MSU Awards Convocation held on May 8 at the MSU Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.
May 10, 2023
Three College of Natural Science (NatSci) faculty members – Robert Maleczka, Angela K. Wilson and Jaideep Taggart Singh; and one graduate student – Joseph Riedy – were among 33 faculty and staff members who received 2023 awards in recognition of their outstanding contributions to education and research during an MSU Awards Convocation on May 8 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.
MSU integrative biologist Janette Boughman in her fish lab.
May 8, 2023
Janette Boughman, professor of integrative biology in Michigan State University’s College of Natural Science, has been selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for international academic exchange for the 2022-23 academic year. Boughman will collaborate with leading Australian biologists at Monash University and the University of New South Wales to study how specific ecological changes alter the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain biodiversity.

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