June 2, 2023
Ask the expert: Could controlled environment agriculture be the future of farming and solve food insecurity?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 15, 2023
Prominent cancer researcher joins MSU to lead biochemistry and molecular biology department, establish Center for Cancer Health Equity Research
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 4, 2023
MSU integrative biologist Elise Zipkin has been honored with the International Recognition of Professional Excellence Prize for her groundbreaking work transforming mountains of data into insights and tools to manage and protect some of the world’s most precious ecology. The prize honors young ecologists who have published uniquely independent, original and/or challenging research representing an important scientific breakthrough, and/or who must work under particularly difficult conditions.
May 1, 2023
How does the universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? Fellows at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are working hard to answer these big questions. Each year, an elite group of postdoctoral researchers become part of NASA’s Hubble Fellowship Program. Kristen Dage, who received her Ph.D. at Michigan State University in astrophysics in July 2020, was selected to join the 2023 cohort. This is the first time an MSU Ph.Dd student has received this honor.
April 30, 2023
Jay Zarnetske, associate professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Natural Science, has been elected chair of the board of directors for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI). CUAHSI is a nonprofit organization with more than 160 member institutions that facilitates the interdisciplinary advancement of water science globally
April 29, 2023
Nearly 100 individuals attended the Michigan State University College of Natural Science annual awards program on April 21 to acknowledge alumni, faculty and students for outstanding achievements and excellence. The event was held at the Graduate hotel in East Lansing, Mich., across from the MSU campus.
April 28, 2023
MSU’s College of Natural Science held its 13th annual Classes Without Quizzes on April 22 at WKAR Studio A in the Communication Arts and Sciences Building—a new venue for the event. More than 100 alumni, friends and guests attended the event (a hybrid of in-person and online). CWQ gives participants a chance to meet with NatSci faculty members and students, while getting an insider’s look at some of the latest research activities being undertaken on the MSU campus.
April 27, 2023
In addition to MSU physics and astronomy faculty members contributions to NASA's efforts to be ready to redirect incoming space rocks or asteroids, the MSU Observatory is enabling undergraduates to generate important data for the astronomy community while gaining valuable skills and experience in an increasingly competitive field. In doing so, they’re setting themselves and future generations of Spartan students up for success.
April 26, 2023
Michigan State University integrative biologist Jason Gallant and colleagues are using nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to understand the implications from a small African fish which evolved to have sperm with no tails but an electric-powered mating call. Greater insight into this interesting trait could ultimately shed light on human disease and shake up biology lessons on traditional gender roles.
April 26, 2023
Climate changes are conjuring a whirlwind ride that seems to present some creatures opportunities to thrive. Scientists scripting supercharged scenarios caution that the difference between seasonal coping and long-term adaption is vast – and tricky to predict. Michigan State University biologists are studying damselflies to understand how other species will respond to a warmer world. Their findings were recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
April 21, 2023
Thirty-five (35) College of Natural Science graduating students were among a record-breaking 206 graduating students recognized by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees for achieving the highest scholastic average—a 4.0 GPA—this semester.
April 14, 2023
Finding time away from research and teaching can be daunting for graduate students and faculty. Which is why last fall, Amy Ralston, NatSci associate dean of graduate studies, decided to create the Great IDEA Fellowship Program to foster greater inclusivity and promote IDEA efforts in STEM. The program incentivizes mentors and grad students to spend some time away from their research to focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, or IDEA.
April 13, 2023
Shannon Schmoll, science education and astronomy expert and director of the Abrams Planetarium at MSU, offers insight to the upcoming Lyrid meteor shower expected between April 16 and 25 in this Ask the Expert column.
April 10, 2023
The Global Community for Academic Advising, or NACADA, has selected two advisors in the College of Natural Science (NatSci) at Michigan State University for 2023 Region 5 Excellence in Advising Awards. Dorali Rebollo, human biology and pre-health advisor will receive the New Advisor Award and Kate Thome, human biology and pre-health advisor, will be honored with the Primary Role Advisor Award.
April 7, 2023
Twelve exceptional students and alumni from Michigan State University’s College of Natural Science (NatSci) were among 25 MSU recipients named 2023 fellows of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).
April 6, 2023
The piezoelectric effect was first discovered in 1880 and is used in applications ranging from spark sources for stoves and gas furnaces to accelerometers in mobile phones for orientation and in automobiles to deploy airbags. While this effect has been known for a long time in solid materials, Gary Blanchard, a professor in the Department of Chemistry in MSU’s College of Natural Science and his graduate student, Md. Iqbal Hossain, were able to see the piezoelectric effect in a liquid for the first time — a finding that opens possibilities for new applications.
April 3, 2023
The statistics are familiar. The world’s population is expected to increase by nearly 50 percent in the next century, while the demand for agriculture crops is expected to more than double by 2050. The extreme weather anomalies caused by climate change are expected to continue and worsen in the future, which could substantially reduce agricultural production globally. Michigan State University’s renowned plant researchers are collaborating on solutions to grow more abundant, nutritious and resilient plants that will feed a growing population.
March 29, 2023
Michigan State University microbiologist Sean Crosson, a professor in the MSU Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG), with joint appointments in the College of Natural Science and the College of Veterinary Medicine, was honored as a Rudolph Hugh Endowed Chair at an investiture ceremony held March 23 at MSU's Wharton Center.
March 28, 2023
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) announced the induction of Guowei Wei, Michigan State University Foundation Research Professor, to its prestigious College of Fellows. Wei was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows “for outstanding contributions in mathematical molecular biosciences and drug discovery, and for predicting variants, infectivity, and vaccine breakthrough of SARS-CoV-2.”
March 27, 2023
The moon holds answers, and Michigan State University plant biologist Federica Brandizzi and her team are bringing those answers within reach. Patience, creativity and a cheerful fearlessness are turning insights buried in plant seeds into pathways to the very survival of the human race.
March 24, 2023
NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies detected an asteroid that will pass Earth by 108,758 miles this weekend, which is closer than the moon’s distance from Earth 238,855 miles away. Seth Jacobson, a planetary scientist in Michigan State University’s College of Natural Science, is a member of NASA and MSU’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission which is the world’s first planetary defense space mission and tested how to redirect asteroids that could hit Earth.
March 16, 2023
Michigan State University is leading pioneering research on the world’s fastest supercomputer, thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE has awarded an MSU-led team 1.3 million node hours of computation time on the Frontier supercomputer (Frontier is made up of 9,400 computing nodes, and one hour of computing on a single node is equal to one “node hour”). Lead researcher Brian O’Shea and the multi-institution team will harness the power of Frontier to better understand galaxies.
March 15, 2023
In a world where switchgrass could cut our fossil fuel dependency, can communities of fungi help grow more potent plants? Michigan State University researcher Acer VanWallendael, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Plant Biology, is helping highlight the very real and diverse ways microscopic fungi affect crops. His team’s recent paper in the journal PLOS Biology explores the complex relationships fungi have with switchgrass, a promising biofuel crop.
March 13, 2023
Scientists’ careers are defined by their contributions to peer reviewed literature. Yet, a recent Michigan State University study reveals that peer review disadvantages some scientists more than others, but solutions to rectify this disparity remain elusive. MSU researchers analyzed data from more than 300,000 biological science manuscripts to see if the authors’ demographics mattered when it came to deciding if research was worthy of publication. The findings were published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
March 9, 2023
Michigan State University biochemist Jian Hu has taken another important step in learning as much as possible about tiny protein machines that help shuttle metals into living cells. This latest step, published in the journal Nature Communications, provides detailed new insights into how these machines work. Hu and his team are working to use this knowledge to develop new cancer therapies and enable people to live healthier lives.
March 2, 2023
New research led by Michigan State University integrative biologist Alisha Shah is showing how vulnerable the threatened meltwater stonefly is to climate change. Shah is part of a research team that’s examining the biology of these stoneflies against the backdrop of climate change. Their findings were recently published in the journal Functional Ecology.
March 1, 2023
NatSci faculty member, Kellogg Biological Station Culture and Inclusion Committee recognized with Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards
High-energy particle physicist Huey-Wen Lin and the W.K. Biological Station’s Culture and Inclusion Committee (CIC) received 2022-23 Michigan State University Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards at a ceremony held Feb. 13 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. This university wide award recognizes individuals, teams and units for their exceptional and innovative contributions to advancing DEI in teaching, research, programming, service, community outreach and organizational change.
February 27, 2023
An international consortium that includes Michigan State University researchers has solved an evolutionary quandary that’s been the subject of debate for five decades. Publishing its results earlier this month in the journal Science, the team’s genomic analyses conclusively resolve which modern fish lineage branched off earliest within the tree of life. The findings shed new light on the evolutionary history of fishes and the understanding of evolutionary processes.
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