Display Accessibility Tools

Accessibility Tools

Grayscale

Highlight Links

Change Contrast

Increase Text Size

Increase Letter Spacing

Readability Bar

Dyslexia Friendly Font

Increase Cursor Size

News

Hero image
March 8, 2022
Michigan State University’s Thomas D. Sharkey has a gift for exploring the intricate biochemical mechanisms of photosynthesis, the life-sustaining reactions that plants use to grow literally from thin air. The University Distinguished Professor also has a gift for explaining those complex processes with metaphors and much simpler, more familiar machinery.Both skills are on display when Sharkey talks about his team’s new paper, published on March 8 in the journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, describing what they call a pilot light for photosynthesis.
Hero image
March 4, 2022
Don’t underestimate the diminutive and doe-eyed Rio pearlfish, for looks can be deceiving. This fish has evolved over the eons into one tough little customer producing eggs that can survive being completely dry for months at a time. That’s one of the reasons that MSU integrative biologist Ingo Braasch and members of his Fish Evo Devo Geno Lab have sequenced the first complete genome of the fish. With that genome, researchers can better understand the biology and evolution of the species’ survival skills. The study was recently published in the journal G3: Genes I Genomes I Genetics. Andrew Thompson, a postdoctoral research associate in Braasch's lab, was lead author of the report.
Hero image
March 2, 2022
A new study from the Michigan State University-DOE Plant Research Laboratory brings fresh insight on the source/sink balance of cyanobacteria and paves the way for further advancements in photosynthetic microbes for potential applications. The research, conducted in the lab of biochemist Danny Ducat, was recently published in Plant Physiology.
Hero image
February 28, 2022
Michigan State University ecosystems scientist Bruno Basso has been appointed a member of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, the major program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Basso is one of BANR’s seven new board members appointed to a three-year term. As a board member, Basso will engage with federal, state and private sector sponsors seeking the National Academies’ independent, authoritative advice to develop and promote the board’s own initiatives and will provide guidance to BANR staff. 
Hero image
February 28, 2022
Michigan State University plant biochemist Thomas D. Sharkey was recently named a Pioneer Member of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), a recognition given to leaders in the society, especially those who have been involved in training graduate students, postdocs and visiting professors. The Pioneer Membership is given to ASPB members whose former graduate students, postdocs and colleagues raise $5,000 in their name.
Hero image
February 25, 2022
Michigan State University’s Beronda Montgomery is the recipient of a 2022 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Fellow Award. Designation as an ASBMB Fellow recognizes outstanding commitment to the organization through participation in the society in addition to accomplishments in research, education, mentorship, diversity and inclusion, advocacy, and service to the scientific community. Montgomery is among 28 members nationally who were selected for this year's ASBMB Fellow designation.
Hero image
February 17, 2022
Michigan State University researchers in the Christoph Benning lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory have been looking into the signals for activating different states of the cell cycle in microalga, which has potential applications for future biofuel production and cancer research. MSU graduate student, Yang-Tsung Lin is first author on a study that builds on this research, which was recently published in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. Lin studies how microalga know when to start and stop growing and dividing by looking at cell cycle states.
Hero image
February 17, 2022
A team of Spartan researchers, led by MSU Foundation Professor Guowei Wei, report that omicron and other variants are evolving increased infectivity and antibody resistance according to an artificial intelligence model. Therefore, new vaccines and antibody therapies are needed.
Hero image
February 16, 2022
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is enlisting experts and resources at Michigan State University to bolster the state’s fight against COVID, foodborne illnesses and more. With three grants totaling more than $5 million, MSU and health care partners will help build up Michigan’s capacity to respond to the current pandemic and future pathogens through the newly created Michigan Sequencing Academic Partnership for Public Health Innovation and Response, or MI-SAPPHIRE. 
Hero image
February 15, 2022
Michigan State University College of Natural Science researchers Dalton Hardisty and Ilya Kachkovskiy will each receive a prestigious, two-year, $75,000 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in recognition of their accomplishments as early career scientists with exceptional promise in their fields. Hardisty and Kachkovskiy join the list of renowned scholars who have received Sloan Fellowships since launched in 1955, among them 41 MSU faculty members and 53 Nobel Prize winners.
Hero image
February 15, 2022
Associate Professor Claire Vieille was selected as the new director of the Genetics and Genome Sciences Program in the MSU College of Natural Science, beginning February 1. Vielle replaces Cathy Ernst, who was appointed chair of the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Hero image
February 11, 2022
Christoph Benning, director of the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, was elected a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors. He is among 83 academic inventors to be elected to the group in 2022. Benning is well known for basic research on plant lipid metabolism, including work identifying and applying the WRINKLED1 gene. He was selected in recognition of his groundbreaking research innovations and success in patenting, licensing and commercialization, mentorship and education.
Hero image
February 10, 2022
In a new paper published in Ecology Letters, Michigan State University professor and evolutionary biologist Janette Boughman shows that the process of choosing a mate could be very important to the survival of the species. To do this, she and her co-author Maria Servedio introduce a new theoretical model they coin “The Ecological Stage.” Whether sexual selection is helpful or hurtful to speciation is still controversial, yet the model can provide some new answers; it shows how sexual selection can be helpful to speciation and diversification.
Hero image
February 8, 2022
Michigan State University is one of five institutions selected by the Association of American Universities, or AAU, to pioneer new and better approaches for evaluating teaching and learning in undergraduate STEM departments. MSU’s Department of Chemistry has been enlisted by AAU to serve as one of the leaders in creating more meaningful and productive methods that can be implemented not only at Michigan State, but at any university. 
Hero image
February 7, 2022
James Tiedje, a Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Emeritus and internationally renowned microbial ecologist has been elected a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for 2021. Tiedje was selected for his pioneering work, particularly in developing molecular and genomics tools to understand the impacts of anthropogenic activity on environmental microbiomes. He is also instrumental in promoting international collaboration in microbial ecology between China and the rest of the world.
Hero image
February 3, 2022
The American Physical Society (APS), recognized MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy this year with a prestigious Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education. MSU undergraduate physics stood out for making significant improvements to its undergraduate educational experience and its ability to retain a high number of successful physics majors. APS will publicly honor awardees at its April meeting in New York City during the Education and Diversity Reception.
Hero image
January 28, 2022
Faculty members in the MSU College of Natural Science with general or specific concerns related to college processes and programs have a new contact and advocate in Heather Eisthen, a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, who became the college’s new Faculty Excellence Advocate on January 1. Eisthen replaces Cynthia Jordan, who retired last August.
Hero image
January 24, 2022
MSU seismologist Songqiao “Shawn” Wei has been studying the Tonga region, one of the most active volcanic regions in the world, for more than a decade. Wei, one of a small group of scientists in the world who conducts research in this region, studies the Tonga subduction zone where two tectonic plates — the Pacific plate slips underneath the Australian plate. The following interview captures information and insights from Wei about this fascinating region and what it tells us about plate tectonics and eruptions.
Hero image
January 19, 2022
Through MSU’s Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant (CIEG) program, two new projects, one led by a NatSci graduate student, and a second by two NatSci faculty members will focus on improving STEM for historically excluded groups. Doctoral student Toby SantaMaria will use the grant to increase accessibility and inclusivity in the graduate school application process. Faculty members Stephen Thomas and Julie Libarkin will implement a system for mentoring faculty on how to facilitate inclusive experiences. CIEG supports projects that create collaboration within and across organizational systems in support of an inclusive educational and work environment.
Hero image
January 18, 2022
As irrigation practices expand worldwide, many bird species face an uncertain future. In a new paper published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, formerMSU visiting student Xabier Cabodevilla and his team found that 55 percent of common bird species in northern Spain decreased in their occurrence rates as a result of irrigation. Using ecological modeling, the team estimated the responses of multiple species to environmental factors. The hope is that their findings will influence the European Union’s common agricultural policy toward conservation.
Hero image
January 14, 2022
Two MSU College of Natural Science graduate students—Allison Vanecek and Sarah Manski—recently won the inaugural awards from the Neogen Land Grant Prize in a competitive selection process. Each student was awarded $30,000 to advance their research projects: one focusing on drug discovery and the other on the economics of climate change.
Hero image
January 14, 2022
Michigan State University chemist Angela K. Wilson was recently featured in Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN)—the trade weekly of the American Chemical Society (ACS)—as the current ACS president. She was interviewed by C&EN about her plans for and leadership role in the organization.  
Hero image
January 13, 2022
MSU plant scientists have developed a new gene discovery method that is helping them to understand how plants recover from stressful situations in their environments. The approach, which covers big data sets spanning thousands of genes and hundreds of interactions between DNA and proteins, has long-term implications for agricultural productivity and the breeding of more resilient crops. The study was recently published in the journal Communications Biology.
Hero image
January 11, 2022
Professor Jianping Hu has been appointed as the new director of the Molecular Plant Sciences Graduate Program in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University.
Hero image
January 5, 2022
Michigan State University has joined Purdue University and the University of Michigan to form a Midwest-based alliance that will push the frontiers of quantum science and engineering research, education and training. The Midwest Quantum Collaboratory, or MQC, will foster new cutting-edge projects across the universities, creating new opportunities for leading researchers in quantum computing and information science.
Hero image
December 22, 2021
A new study from the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory shows how some algae can protect themselves when the oxygen they produce impairs their photosynthetic activity. The discovery also answers a long-standing question about how algae survive when CO2 levels are low. The results of this research from the David Kramer lab was recently published in eLife.
Hero image
December 17, 2021
Six Michigan State University College of Natural Science graduating seniors were among 38 students who received an MSU Board of Trustees Award for earning a 4.0 GPA — the highest scholastic average — at the close of their last semester before graduation. 
Hero image
December 17, 2021
Using innovative methodologies that combine biology and statistics, researchers from the David Kramer lab in the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory observe the ways plants respond to their natural environments. The team used innovative open science platform and instruments developed at MSU called PhotosynQ and MultispeQ to reveal how photosynthesis in one species (mint) responds to complex environmental changes. The study is published in Royal Society Open Science.
Hero image
December 16, 2021
Andrew McDonald, a Michigan State University College of Natural Science senior majoring in advanced mathematics and statistics, has been named a Marshall Scholar. McDonald, who is also majoring in computer science in the College of Engineering and is an Honors College student, is the 19th Marshall Scholar from MSU.
Hero image
December 15, 2021
Addy Pletcher, an MSU senior majoring in environmental geosciences in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences within the College of Natural Science, received a grand prize in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Freilich Visualization Competition for her innovative project to improve decision making for lake management related to harmful algal blooms.
Hero image
December 14, 2021
Michigan State University chemistry graduate student Stephen H. Yuwono is recipient of the prestigious Longuet-Higgins Early Career Researcher Prize awarded by the editors of Molecular Physicsfor his article, “Accelerating convergence of equation-of-motion coupled-cluster computations using the semi-stochastic CC(P;Q) formalism,” which was named the journal’s best paper in 2020.
Hero image
December 14, 2021
Three Michigan State University College of Natural Science researchers—Christoph Benning, Gregg Howe and James Tiedje—are among nine MSU faculty members recognized in the 2021 Highly Cited Researchers list, an annual compilation of the global leaders in scientific influence by Clarivate Analytics. The list, now in its eighth year, honors researchers who “demonstrated significant and broad influence reflected in their publication of multiple highly cited papers over the last decade” from 21 different fields of study.
Hero image
December 9, 2021
Michigan State University is creating a new program to help Spartan students push the frontiers of physics and power the economy with nearly $2 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, or DOE-SC. The High Energy Physics Instrumentation Traineeship in Michigan, dubbed TRAIN-MI, will provide graduate students with a distinctive educational program focused on building high-tech tools to study high energy physics. 
Hero image
December 7, 2021
MSU integrative biologists have added an important piece to nature’s ecological and evolutionary puzzle with an assist from Trinidadian guppies. Assistant Professor Sarah Fitzpatrick and graduate student Isabela Lima Borges helmed an extensive study of Trinidadian guppies to gather elusive data on relatively short swims. This information can help explain the larger mystery of why some individuals leave the safety of home to pursue life elsewhere. Their findings were recently published in the journal Ecology Letters.
Hero image
December 7, 2021
An international team of scientists, including MSU researchers, believe they may have found a molecular mechanism behind the extremely rare blood clots linked to adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines. Their findings, which were recently published in the international journal Science Advances, suggest it is the viral vector and the way it binds to platelet factor 4 (PF4) once injected that could be the potential mechanism that triggers blood clots in a very small number of people after the vaccine is administered.
Hero image
December 3, 2021
Improving the photosynthetic power-plants in crops could mean using less fossil fuel derived energy supplements in crop cultivation and lead to a second Green Revolution according to a new life-cycle assessment from the lab of Michigan State University plant biologist Berkley Walker. The study was recently published in the journal Food and Energy Security.

Latest News

Share Your News

We love hearing about the hard earned accomplishments and achievements of the people of MSU College of Natural Science.  Please submit your news/announcement here to help NatSci share your story.