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.

Mathematics department charts a new course for college algebra
September 15, 2019

More than 2,500 incoming MSU freshmen interested in a STEM career have a new route to success, thanks to a team spearheaded by MSU math instructor Jane Zimmerman and Teena Gerhardt, associate professor of mathematics, who have created a new, two-semester course, MTH103A and 103B, to provide more time for students to master college algebra material.

Finding (microbial) pillars of the bioenergy community
September 13, 2019

In a new study in Nature Communications, scientists at Michigan State University have focused on understanding more about the plant regions above the soil where these microbes can live, called the “phyllosphere.” Looking at two bioenergy cropping systems: switchgrass and miscanthus, the group, led by MSU's Ashley Shade, made important distinctions about how these communities assemble – and how they’re connected to microbes in the soil.


First MSU Ph.D. student to receive Beinecke African Conservation Scholarship will study Albertine Rift
September 11, 2019

Samuel Ayebare, a Ph.D. student in MSU's Department of Integrative Biology and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior program, is the first MSU student to receive a prestigious Beinecke African Conservation Scholarship from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Global change is triggering an identity switch in grasslands
September 10, 2019

Grasslands make up more than 40 percent of the world's ice-free land and have sustained humanity and thousands of other species for eons. In addition to providing food for cattle and sheep, grasslands are home to animals found nowhere else in the wild, such as the bison of North America's prairies or the zebras and giraffes of the African savannas. Grasslands also can hold up to 30 percent of the world's carbon, making them critical allies in the fight against climate change.

New early career award trains world-class postdocs, advances wheels of innovation
September 9, 2019

Researchers in MSU's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Natural Science are greasing the wheels of innovation with the creation of a transformative new training award for rising postdocs, recruiting researchers early in their careers to be the engines of interdisciplinary research at MSU.

MSU chemistry professor wins prestigious American Chemical Society award
August 30, 2019

Milton (Mitch) Smith III, MSU professor of chemistry, has received the 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Organometallic Chemistry, which is given to one individual each year. 


Underrated and underground, tuber evolution study nets $2.6 million NSF grant
August 26, 2019

Michigan State University plant scientists Robin Buell and Patrick Edger have received a 4-year, $2.6 million National Science Foundation grant to study tuber evolution. The Buell and Edgar labs will use cutting-edge genomics tools to unearth the mechanisms of tuber development that could help make better tubers.

Dr. Huebner promoted to director of CSTAT
August 22, 2019

The MSU Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has announced the appointment of Marianne Huebner, associate professor in the MSU Department of Statistics and Probability, as the new director of the Center for Statistical Training and Consulting (CSTAT).

A new way to 'hoard' resources in nano-sized factories targeted for biotech
August 19, 2019

The laboratory of MSU Hannah Distinguished Professor Cheryl Kerfeld has created a synthetic nano-sized factory, based on natural ones found in bacteria. This research could someday lead to new medical, industrial or bioenergy applications. The new study was recently published in Metabolic Engineering.

MSU's Charles Drew Science Scholars program receives Inspiring Program in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine
August 15, 2019

Michigan State University’s Charles Drew Science Scholars program is the recipient of the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.