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Curious Case of the Disappearing Snakes February 13, 2020 The Curious Case of the Disappearing Snakes

A study led by Elise Zipkin, featured on the cover of Science magazine, should sound alarm bells regarding the “biodiversity crisis” or the loss of wildlife around the world.

Phytoplankton May Not Be as Resilient to Changes in Ocean Temperature November 11, 2019 Phytoplankton May Not Be as Resilient to Changes in Ocean Temperature

In a recent study, María Aranguren-Gassis and a team led by Elena Litchman questioned this widely held belief that evolution will rescue phytoplankton species from changes in climate.

Hyena Expert Kay Holekamp Receives Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award October 28, 2019 Hyena Expert Kay Holekamp Receives Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award

Kay Holekamp, one of the world's leading behavioral ecologists, has been awarded the 2019 Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award from the Animal Behavior Society, in recognition of her outstanding career in animal behavior.

Bird Bacteria is Key to Communication and Mating October 25, 2019 Bird Bacteria is Key to Communication and Mating

Birds use odor to identify other birds. Danielle Whittakers and her colleagues have shown that if the bacteria that produce the odor is altered, it could negatively impact a bird’s ability to communicate with other birds or find a mate.

Richard Lenski Receives Prestigious Interdisciplinary Research, Mentoring Award October 10, 2019 Richard Lenski Receives Prestigious Interdisciplinary Research, Mentoring Award

Richard Lenski has been awarded the 2020 D.C. White Award by the American Society for Microbiology, the world’s oldest and largest life science organization, in recognition and honor of his distinguished accomplishments, not only in interdisciplinary research but in mentoring.

Ready to Explore: Kyle Jaynes Awarded Prestigious NatGeo Explorers Grant October 10, 2019 Ready to Explore: Kyle Jaynes Awarded Prestigious NatGeo Explorers Grant

Kyle Jaynes, a graduate student in the Fitzpatrick Lab, has been awarded a highly competitive Early Career grant through the National Geographic Explorers grant program. The grant supports scientists and other professionals in the early stages of their careers by funding their fieldwork expeditions.

Interning at Loggerhead Marinelife Center October 2, 2019 Interning at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Zoology major, Joshua Simmonds, recounts his experiences as an intern at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. 

Jason Gallant Uses NSF Grant to Explore Variation in Electric Fish Shock Duration September 30, 2019 Jason Gallant Uses NSF Grant to Explore Variation in Electric Fish Shock Duration

The electric pulses emitted by electric fish can be quite variable in their duration: and as it turns out the reason can be quite “shocking.” Jason Gallant has received a three-year, $680,000 National Science Foundation grant to continue work on a discovery that this variation may be due to unusual changes in a common protein called a potassium channel.

Evolution of Learning is Key to Better Artificial Intelligence September 19, 2019 Evolution of Learning is Key to Better Artificial Intelligence

Fred Dyer was a co-author on a new paper published in The American Naturalist that explores how computers could begin to evolve learning in the same way as natural organisms did – with implications for many fields, including artificial intelligence.

First MSU Ph.D. student to Receive Beinecke African Conservation Scholarship Will Study Albertine Rift September 11, 2019 First MSU Ph.D. student to Receive Beinecke African Conservation Scholarship Will Study Albertine Rift

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

Fish Reveal Limb-Regeneration Secrets July 29, 2019 Fish Reveal Limb-Regeneration Secrets

By studying how fish regenerate fins, Ingo Braasch’s team pinpointed the genes and the mechanisms responsible that drive the regrowth.

Conservation or Construction? Deciding Waterbird Hotspots July 29, 2019 Conservation or Construction? Deciding Waterbird Hotspots

Allison Sussman and Elise Zipkin show that conservation and construction decisions should rely on multiple approaches to determine waterbird “hotspots,” not just on one analysis method as is often done.

Chasing Birds and Change: Reflections of a KBS Avian Care Intern July 10, 2019 Chasing Birds and Change: Reflections of a KBS Avian Care Intern

Zoology major, Adam Petrucco, returned to MSU's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station in summer 2019 as an avian care intern. He recounts his experiences and lessoned learned.

Mariah Meek Nets Grant to Investigate Imperiled Chinook salmon in California's Central Valley May 31, 2019 Mariah Meek Nets Grant to Investigate Imperiled Chinook salmon in California's Central Valley

Mariah Meek received a two-year, $633,000 grant from the Delta Stewardship Council and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to study Chinook salmon in the California Central Valley using an improved genomics tool to characterize life history diversity and promote resilience.

Taking the Long View: Integrative Biology Graduate Students Win Prestigious Fellowship April 25, 2019 Taking the Long View: Integrative Biology Graduate Students Win Prestigious Fellowship

Three Integrative Biology graduate students were among 11 MSU graduate students recently awarded Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program fellowships. Isabela Borges, Lindsey Kemmerling, and Corinn Rutkoski will participate in the program.

Integrative Biology Researchers Receive MSU Grant to Study Population Recovery in Ecuadorian Toads March 28, 2019 Integrative Biology Researchers Receive MSU Grant to Study Population Recovery in Ecuadorian Toads

Sarah Fitzpatrick and graduate student Kyle Jaynes were awarded grant through the MSU Genomics Gore facility and Illumina® partnership. This grant allows them to investigate genomic patterns underlying population decline and recovery in Harlequin toads of Ecuador.

When it Comes to Monarchs, Fall Migration Matters March 18, 2019 When it Comes to Monarchs, Fall Migration Matters

Monarch butterfly numbers have been dropping precipitously for more than two decades. Scientists studying monarch butterflies have traditionally focused on two sources for their decline – winter habitat loss in Mexico and fewer milkweed plants in the Midwest. The Zipkin team has found that a critical piece of the butterfly’s annual cycle was missing – the fall migration.

For Hyenas, There's No 'I' in Clan March 11, 2019 For Hyenas, There's No 'I' in Clan

When it comes to advancing social status, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know ­– for humans and spotted hyenas alike. Eli Strauss and Kay Holekamp show that hyenas that form strong coalitions can gain social status, which can have lasting benefits over many generations.

More Humans Always Mean Fewer African Carnivores, Right? Nope March 1, 2019 More Humans Always Mean Fewer African Carnivores, Right? Nope

African carnivores face numerous threats from humans. So, it’s a fair assumption that the presence of more humans automatically equates to decreases across the board for carnivores. New research led by Matthew Farr and Elise Zipkin shows that’s not always the case. 

Catherine Lindell Named Editor of Prestigious Ornithology Journal December 20, 2018 Catherine Lindell Named Editor of Prestigious Ornithology Journal

The American Ornithological Society recently named Catherine Lindell the 15th editor in chief of The Condor: Ornithological Applications, one of two peer-reviewed journals published by the American Ornithological Society.

Lenski Elected to the American Philosophical Society November 18, 2018 Lenski Elected to the American Philosophical Society

Richard Lenski was inducted into the American Philosophical Society — the oldest "learned society" in the United States — on Nov. 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Is It Possible to Replay the Tape of Life? November 8, 2018 Is It Possible to Replay the Tape of Life?

How predictable is evolution? The answer has long been debated by biologists grappling with the extent to which history affects the repeatability of evolution. A review published in Science explores the complexity of evolution’s predictability in extraordinary detail. 

Paige Barnes: My Summer at the San Diego Zoo October 16, 2018 Paige Barnes: My Summer at the San Diego Zoo

Paige Barne's summer internship at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research reaffirmed her commitment to animal behavior research.

Evolution Is at Work in Computers as Well as Life Sciences October 16, 2018 Evolution Is at Work in Computers as Well as Life Sciences

Arend Hintze reflects on how useful biological concepts, such as evolution, are for engineering problems in an article he wrote for The Conversation. His research uses evolution as an approach to developing artificial intelligence. 

Elena Litchman Awarded Grant to to Study Phytoplankton Traits October 7, 2018 Elena Litchman Awarded Grant to to Study Phytoplankton Traits

Elena Litchman is leading a three-year, $993,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) in collaboration with faculty at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). The project aims to investigate and to predict intraspecific trait variation in phytoplankton. 

Ally Brown: My Summer as an Undergraduate Research Apprentice at the Kellogg Biological Station September 15, 2018 Ally Brown: My Summer as an Undergraduate Research Apprentice at the Kellogg Biological Station

An inside look into why students should spend a summer at KBS.

New Genetics Tool Helps Answer Evolutionary Questions September 13, 2018 New Genetics Tool Helps Answer Evolutionary Questions

Developing cutting-edge statistical tools that can handle these massive new datasets is a piece of the research puzzle, and new research by Gideon Bradburd and colleagues has just added a new tool for the modern genomic toolbox. 

Chelsea Bandy Travels to Thailand and Australia to Work with Elephants and Wildlife September 4, 2018 Chelsea Bandy Travels to Thailand and Australia to Work with Elephants and Wildlife

In summer 2018, Zoology major Chelsea Bandy spent a month in Thailand and Australia helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian through the Loop Abroad Program.

On the Power of Observation October 19, 2018 On the Power of Oberservation

Wissam Jawad recounts tales and makes connections about his experiences at biological field stations around the world.

Teaching Machines to Teach Themselves Teaching Machines to Teach Themselves

For future machines to be as smart as we are, they'll need to be able to learn like we do. Arend Hindze's lab has added a new method to the field of machine learning.

Alumna, Clara Leopard, Becomes Rhode Scholar Alumna, Clara Leopard, Becomes Rhode Scholar

Recent Zoology alumna, Clara Lepard, is a recipient of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a doctorate at the University of Oxford.

Jeanette McGuire Recognized for Teaching Excellence Jeanette McGuire Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Jeanette McGuire, is a recipient of the 2017 College of Natural Science Teaching Prize.

Pat Muzzall Retires After 39 Years at MSU June 1, 2018 Pat Muzzall Retires After 39 Years at MSU

Patrick “Pat” Muzzall is a respected parasitologist, working primarily with the parasites of fish and amphibians. Pat was heavily involved in undergraduate education, primarily teaching general biology and parasitology.

'Hyena Scientist' Book Features Kay Holekamp 'Hyena Scientist' Book Features Kay Holekamp

The new book, Hyena Scientist, is a new addition to the “Scientist in the Field” series by author Sy Montgomery and photographer Nic Bishop that debunks myths about hyenas, while featuring the pioneering research of Kay Holekamp.

New Ecosystem Evolves in the Long-term Experimental Evolution Project April 5, 2018 New Ecosystem Evolves in the Long-term Experimental Evolution Project

The Lenski Lab at Michigan State University is home to the famous Long-term Experimental Evolution Project. Caroline Turner, Richard Lenski, and colleagues recently published a pre-print about an exciting new finding from the project.

2015 Undergraduate and Graduate Award Winners 2015 Undergraduate and Graduate Award Winners

Each spring the Department of Integrative Biology recognizes undergraduate and graduate students who have won department, college, university, and extramural awards. Congratulations to all our 2015 award winners!

Graduate Student Sean Williams leads bird team in the Peruvian Amazon on Global Big Day Graduate Student Sean Williams leads bird team in the Peruvian Amazon on Global Big Day

Ph.D. Candidate, Sean Williams, shares his experience at Los Amigos Biological Station in the Peruvian Amazon participating in the Global Big Day, an effort led by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to tally half of the world’s bird species in a single day to benefit bird conservation.

Single Moms to Communal Living: Department Alumna Probes Evolution of Bees Single Moms to Communal Living: Department Alumna Probes Evolution of Bees

Alumna, Karen Kapheim, leads NIH-funded study published in Science.

Department of Integrative Biology Welcomes Gideon Bradburd Department of Integrative Biology Welcomes Gideon Bradburd

Gideon Bradburd will join the Department of Integrative Biology as a new faculty member in Fall 2016. Gideon's research is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of genetic variation. 

Grant Proposals from the Lindell Lab Soar Grant Proposals from the Lindell Lab Soar

Catherine Lindell and Megan Shave have received two new grants to support ongoing research in the Lindell Lab at Michigan State University. The Lindell Lab investigates the roles of birds in ecological functions and ecosystem services. 

David Green Pursues Passion for Carnivore Conservation and Management David Green Pursues Passion for Carnivore Conservation and Management

Green recently defended his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology at Michigan State University, which focused on anthropogenic disturbance and ecological change in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Southwest Kenya. While a member of the Holekamp Lab, Green’s research focused on wildlife conservation and management in Africa. That experience helped him land a new job with Oregon State University as a postdoctoral scholar. 

Faculty Members Recognized at College Awards Presentation Faculty Members Recognized at College Awards Presentation

Jason Gallant and Matt Rowe were honored at the 2015 College of Natural Science Awards Ceremony hosted on November 20, 2015.

Trinidadian Guppies: A New Model System for Conservation? Trinidadian Guppies: A New Model System for Conservation?

Sarah Fitzpatrick, a postdoc at MSU's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, and researchers from Colorado State University have documented genetic rescue in guppies, which was published in Evolutionary Applications. These findings suggest that this species could also provide a model system for informing effective conservation and management of imperiled populations.

 

Emily Weigel Joins Spelman College Emily Weigel Joins Spelman College

Emily Weigel, a previous member of the Boughman Lab, graduated from our doctoral program in fall 2015. She has joined Spelman College as a National Science Foundation Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Postdoctoral Fellow.

Bonnie McGill Wins American Geophysical Union's Outstanding Student Paper Award Bonnie McGill Wins American Geophysical Union's Outstanding Student Paper Award

Bonnie McGill, an Integrative Biology graduate student in Steve Hamilton's Lab, won an Outstanding Student Paper Award at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union hosted in San Francisco, California.

Briana Hauff Salas: The Switch From Invertebrate Biology to Human Immunology Briana Hauff Salas: The Switch From Invertebrate Biology to Human Immunology

Briana Hauff Salas graduated with her Ph.D. in Zoology in Fall 2015. Following graduation, Briana She secured a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Medical School in the Immunology and Microbiology Department.

In Memory of Professor Lynwood G. Clemens April 6, 2018 In Memory of Professor Lynwood G. Clemens

Colleagues, staff, and students in the Department of Integrative Biology; the Neuroscience Program; Integrative Studies in Biology; and across MSU and around the world are saddened by the death of Lyn Clemens, following a long, quiet struggle with cancer.  

Courtney Hughes Wins Dan Bolin Undergraduate Award Courtney Hughes Wins Dan Bolin Undergraduate Award

Courtney Hughes was recently awarded the 2016 Dan Bolin Undergraduate Award in recognition of her leadership, academic excellence, and commitment to community. Hughes is a junior studying zoology with a concentration in animal behavior and neurobiology.

Integrative Biology to Offer New Semester Long, Faculty-Led Study Abroad: Conservation Medicine in New Zealand August 25, 2016 Integrative Biology to Offer New Semester Long, Faculty-Led Study Abroad: Conservation Medicine in New Zealand

We are pleased to announce the formation of a new study abroad program in Conservation Medicine (Spring semesters every year)!

Rohan Maddamsetti: Harvard Bound Rohan Maddamsetti: Harvard Bound

2016 was an outstanding year for Rohan Maddamsetti: he earned his doctorate in Zoology from Michigan State University, he was the first author on a paper that earned accolades for being one of the top three articles published in the journal Genetics in 2015, and this fall he will start a postdoc at the Harvard Medical School.

Michael Kuczynski: Pursuing His Passions Michael Kuczynski: Pursuing His Passions

As an undergraduate, Michael Kuczynski discovered his passion for research, specifically the field of behavior ecology. He joined the lab of Tom Getty as a doctoral student to study individual variation in sexual signaling and sexual selection in gray treefrogs. Michael discovered a second passion during his time at MSU - teaching. Consequently, he accepted a position as a non-tenure track assistant professor at Truman State University where his primary responsibilities include teaching introductory biology lectures and labs.

Nicole Thompson: Pursuing Her Childhood Aspirations Nicole Thompson: Pursuing Her Childhood Aspirations

Nicole’s curiosity about the natural world began at an early age. She spent countless days of her youth turning over logs in search of salamanders, stirring up river beds to catch crayfish, and fishing with her father in western Michigan. According to Nicole, “Such a fascination with the natural world came from being raised in a family that celebrated every neat creature I captured. At a young age, I recognized the beauty and intrinsic value of earth and its inhabitants.” Despite her early interests, Nicole never planned to study Zoology in college. 

2016 Department Award Winners Announced April 29, 2016 2016 Department Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to all the 2016 award winners: Steve Roels, Lily Johnson-Ulrich, Nikki Cavalieri, Kaycee Morra, Eli Strauss, Sean Williams, Taylor Schoen, Nicole Thompson, Casey Geisland, Meghan Bugaj, Ryan Grady, Michael Killewald, Matthew Welc, Lindsey Whitlock, and Ana Wodek.

Studying the Genetic Basis of Adaptation Studying the Genetic Basis of Adaptation

New IBIO faculty member, Gideon Bradburd, has teamed up with David Lowry in Plant Biology (PLB) and other colleagues from across the country to develop a major analysis and synthesis of the state of the art in efforts to use modern genomic methods to understand the evolution of adaptations. The paper is in the October issue of the American Naturalist.

Katie Licht Becomes an International Newsletter Editor Katie Licht Becomes an International Newsletter Editor

Recently the IBIO Communications Manager, Katie Licht, was elected to an international board member position at the 2016 Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents and Volunteers Conference in El Paso, Texas.

Mariah Meek Joins IBIO Mariah Meek Joins IBIO

We are pleased to announce that Mariah Meek has joined our department as a new faculty member! Meek is a geneticist, fisheries ecologist, and conservation biologist. She is particularly interested in the evolutionary and ecological processes that generate and maintain diversity within and among populations.

Mariah Meek Harnesses the Power of New Genomic Tools to Address a Real-World Conservation Problem Mariah Meek Harnesses the Power of New Genomic Tools to Address a Real-World Conservation Problem

Mariah Meek, a new faculty member, has published new research in the journal, Ecology and Evolution. In this study, Mariah and her collaborators demonstrated the usefulness of genomic resources for identifying genetic markers that allow fast and accurate identification of the imperiled Chinook salmon in the Great Central Valley of California.

Tayler Chicoine Wins Grant to Support Her Sustainable Agriculture Research Tayler Chicoine Wins Grant to Support Her Sustainable Agriculture Research

Tayler Chicoine has always been passionate about improving the state of our agricultural system. In fall 2016 Tayler began her graduate research in the lab of Sarah Evans at MSU's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Tayler is exploring plant-microbial interactions and hoping to better understand how, through selecting for beneficial plant-microbial systems, we can naturally improve agricultural systems. To support her research interests, Tayler Chicoine has been awarded the C.S. Mott Predoctoral Fellowship in Sustainable Agriculture.

Elena Litchman Becomes a MSU Foundation Professor Elena Litchman Becomes a MSU Foundation Professor

Elena Litchman is internationally recognized for her research on phytoplankton communities in both freshwater and marine environments. Elena's many accolades include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a National Science Foundation Career Award. Now she can add MSU Foundation Professor to the list.

Boughman and Colleagues Investigate the Evolution of Icelandic Sticklebacks Boughman and Colleagues Investigate the Evolution of Icelandic Sticklebacks

The National Science Foundation awarded Jenny Boughman and a team of researchers a “Dimensions of Biodiversity” grant to pursue novel research studying the evolution of threespine stickleback throughout Iceland. 

Rhinos, Elephants and Leopards, Oh My! Kat Shupe's Summer Working on a Conservation Project in South Africa Rhinos, Elephants and Leopards, Oh My! Kat Shupe's Summer Working on a Conservation Project in South Africa

Zoology major, Kat Shupe, spent six weeks in South Africa working in conservation and wildlife medicine through a program called African Conservation Experience (ACE). Read about her experience helping with leopard, rhino, and elephant conservation projects. 

Jenny Boughman Joins Society for the Study of Evolution Executive Board Jenny Boughman Joins Society for the Study of Evolution Executive Board

Jenny Boughman as been elected Vice President of the Society for the Study of Evolution. The Society for the Study of Evolution is the premier international professional society for evolutionary biology.

Jeanette McGuire Recognized for Teaching Excellence Jeanette McGuire Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Jeanette McGuire, was awarded the 2016 Lorena V. Blinn Endowed Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Natural Science. The Lorena V. Blinn Award is awarded to faculty members that demonstrate expertise in the teaching subject matter and integrate current research and/or new advancements relevant to the course topic into the pedagogy. Jeanette is the lead faculty member on the new Conservation Medicine in New Zealand study abroad program that provides an interdisciplinary approach to health while providing cutting-edge research opportunities for students on the program. 

Julia Ganz Publishes Foundational Research About Nervous System Development Julia Ganz Publishes Foundational Research About Nervous System Development

Julia Ganz, who joined the Integrative Biology faculty in 2017, recently published a paper in the journal, Developmental Dynamics, about gene expression properties of stem cells in the enteric nervous system (ENS).

Olivia Guswiler Awarded Financial Support to Study Predator Adaptations Olivia Guswiler Awarded Financial Support to Study Predator Adaptations

Zoology major, Olivia Guswiler, has been awarded the 2016 Dr. Marvin Hensley Endowed Scholarship Fund in Zoology. Olivia came to Michigan State University as a transfer student to study Zoology in 2015. Her career goal is to conduct field-based research that will help conserve the natural world.

Zoology Major, Antonia Langfeldt, Moves To Thailand to Save Animals Zoology Major, Antonia Langfeldt, Moves To Thailand to Save Animals

This year, Antonia Langfeldt, 19, of Clarkston, MI, spent three months in Thailand helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Traveling with the Boston-based Loop Abroad, Antonia was part of a small team that learned alongside veterinarians from around the globe while volunteering with elephants, sea turtles, bears, primates, and dogs.

Connie Rojas Wins Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Award for Professional Development Connie Rojas Wins Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Award for Professional Development

Connie Rojas, a graduate student pursuing a dual degree in Integrative Biology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior; has been awarded the College of Natural Science's 2017 Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Award for Professional Development. The Tracy A. Hammer Award recognizes and supports an outstanding graduate student with a one-time stipend of $750 for professional development activities.

Koenig, Rojas, and Young Named NSF Graduate Research Fellows Koenig, Rojas, and Young Named NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Three Department of Integrative Biology graduate students were recently awarded Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation: Lauren Koenig, Connie Rojas, and Allison Young. They were among 15 Michigan State University graduate students to win this award.

Kay Holekamp Becomes an Inaugural Award Winner Kay Holekamp Becomes an Inaugural Award Winner

Kay Holekamp, University Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Graduate School Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. This award was developed to formally recognize good mentoring practices at Michigan State University.

Eila Roberts Joins Integrative Biology April 5, 2018 Eila Roberts Joins Integrative Biology

We are excited to announce that Eila (pronounced "A"-la) Roberts, Ph.D. joined the Department as a Specialist-Advisor on May 15, 2017. Not only does Eila bring a strong academic advising background to the Spartan community, but she has also has excelled as a researcher and educator.

2017 Department Award Winners Announced 2017 Department Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to all the 2017 award winners: Randy Knapik, Tracy Montgomery, Savvas Constantinou, Abhijna Parigi, Lauren Koenig, Patric Vaelli, Samuel Decker, Kecil John, Clara Lepard, Paige Barnes, Armen Brus, Jasmine Czajka, Nickolaus Green, Steven Gurney, Jacob Kimmel, Heather Seaman, and Jacob Wright.

Zoology Majors Win MSUFCU Internship Awards Zoology Majors Win MSUFCU Internship Awards

Six Zoology majors have received the 2017 MSUFCU Internship Awards. These financial awards help support students' unpaid internships.

Outstanding Student to Outstanding Professional: Alumna Rachel Emory's Role in the Care of Elephants in Captivity Outstanding Student to Outstanding Professional: Alumna Rachel Emory's Role in the Care of Elephants in Captivity

In 2014, Rachel Emory won the Outstanding Undergraduate Academic and Promise in Zoology award. She was recognized at Michigan State for her performance as an undergraduate inside and outside the classroom. Two weeks after graduation, Rachel moved to Oklahoma to take on her dream position as Elephant Keeper at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Since then she has traveled to India to work with rescued elephants and been promoted to Lead Elephant Caretaker. She is a member of a team that has built an incredibly successful platform of commitment to the health and care of elephants in captivity.

Sam Decker: An Award-Winning Student's Pursuit of a Research-Based Welfare Management Career Sam Decker: An Award-Winning Student's Pursuit of a Research-Based Welfare Management Career

As a Zoology major, Sam Decker was very involved in experiential opportunities. Sam also excelled academically. At graduation, he was recognized for numerous academic achievements, including the 2017 Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise in Zoology Award and Board of Trustees Award. He is pursuing a Master's program at the University of Guelph in the lab of Georgia Mason. One of Sam's career goals is to strengthen relationships between universities and animal care facilities to promote research-based welfare management. Specifically, implementing research-based welfare management in zoos.

Jakob Nalley: Science Educator and Algal Biologist April 5, 2018 Jakob Nalley: Science Educator and Algal Biologist

After finishing his dual Ph.D. in Integrative Biology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior at Michigan State University, Jakob Nalley was off to Northwestern University to further pursue his passion for research and science education. Jakob’s new job focuses on enhancing community engagement and improving science education through Northwestern University’s Science in Society, a research center dedicated to science education and public engagement.

Frazer Meacham and Tom Getty Tackle the Big Questions in Life: Sexual Selection & Parental Investment Frazer Meacham and Tom Getty Tackle the Big Questions in Life: Sexual Selection & Parental Investment

For many creatures, the big questions in life include who to mate with and how much to invest in the offspring. Sexual selection theory addresses the first question. Parental investment theory addresses the second. Historically, these questions have been analyzed as separate problems, or with drastic simplifications to make them analytically tractable. With support from the BEACON STC for the Study of Evolution in Action, Frazer Meacham and Tom Getty used an evolutionary replicator-dynamic modeling approach to find co-evolutionary solutions to this game.

Outstanding Senior Kecil John Strives to Inform the Public about Science Outstanding Senior Kecil John Strives to Inform the Public about Science

Kecil John, was one of three students selected for the 2017 Outstanding Academic Achievement & Promise in Zoology Award. Kecil also won the Dr. Marvin Hensley Endowed Scholarship Fund in Zoology and was selected as an Outstanding Senior by the University. During her time at MSU, Kecil was a Professorial Assistant in the MSU Hyena Lab, a campus Resident Assistant, an intern at a public relations firm, and helped develop media for our communication channels.

Richard Hill Retires After 45 Years at MSU Richard Hill Retires After 45 Years at MSU

Richard “Dick” Hill joined the Department in 1972 as an assistant professor. After 45 years at MSU, Dick retired in May 2017. Dick’s greatest legacy will be the students he inspired and mentored in the areas of research, education, and how to become better members of society.

Danielle Fortin Wins Vera M. Wallach Honors College Scholarship Fund Award Danielle Fortin Wins Vera M. Wallach Honors College Scholarship Fund Award

Motivated by her passion to further understand and improve the care of livestock and domestic animals, Danielle Fortin has accomplished much as an active participant in undergraduate research and relevant career experience in her short time as an undergrad. She has recently been awarded the Vera M. Wallach Honors College Scholarship Fund Award for her dedication to her education and research at MSU.

2017 Conservation Medicine in New Zealand Study Abroad Recap 2017 Conservation Medicine in New Zealand Study Abroad Recap

A new semester-long, global educational initiative was successfully completed Spring Semester 2017, providing students with a unique opportunity for laboratory research, field studies, and cultural integration. The Conservation Medicine in New Zealand Program provided students with a fundamental understanding of the interconnected components of health while gaining research and communication skills. The students worked with leading researchers, government agencies, and local communities to facilitate global health initiatives.

Clara Lepard's Undergraduate Research Experiences Have Contributed to Her Success Clara Lepard's Undergraduate Research Experiences Have Contributed to Her Success

Clara Lepard established an impressive, research-based resume at MSU as an undergraduate majoring in Zoology. Not only was she was actively involved in six research labs throughout her undergraduate career, but she presented her research twice at MSU’s Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. Clara has been a recipient of many scholarships and awards, including the 2017 Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise in Zoology Award.

Cindy Wagner: Inspiring Conservation One Child at a Time  Cindy Wagner: Inspiring Conservation One Child at a Time 

Staring into the large soft eyes of a 2,700 lb. black rhino and learning about the plight of this endangered species in the wild can change any person’s perspective. For Cynthia Wagner, Director of Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo, this experience and understanding is a powerful driving force behind decisions she makes each and every day.

Alumna, Kateri Salk, Joins University of Waterloo to Study the Causes of Algal Blooms in Lakes August 8, 2017 Alumna, Kateri Salk, Joins University of Waterloo to Study the Causes of Algal Blooms in Lakes

After completing her doctoral degree at Michigan State University, Kateri Salk joined the lab of Sherry Schiff and Jason Venkiteswaran at the University of Waterloo as a postdoctoral research fellow. Kateri will be working on a project that uses ecosystem modeling to understand the drivers of algal blooms in temperate lakes. 

From Veterinary Medicine to Zoo Education: How MSU Experiences shifted Mariah Faszczewski's Career Goals From Veterinary Medicine to Zoo Education: How MSU Experiences shifted Mariah Faszczewski's Career Goals

Mariah Faszczewski is a transfer student whose success in the Zoology Program helped guide her to her ultimate goal: educating the public on animals and conservation issues. We chatted with her to learn more about her transition to MSU, her experiences here, and how they impacted her future career goals.

Helen McCreery Joins IBIO to Study Cooperation in Groups Helen McCreery Joins IBIO to Study Cooperation in Groups

Helen McCreery has joined our team as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Tom Getty. Originally an environmental engineer, Helen has always been fascinated by social groups, especially social insects. At MSU Helen will extend this research on cooperation to other species to see how other diverse groups coordinate their actions.

Elise Zipkin Awarded NSF Grant to Examine Continental-Scale Stressors on the Migratory Monarch Butterfly Elise Zipkin Awarded NSF Grant to Examine Continental-Scale Stressors on the Migratory Monarch Butterfly

Elise Zipkin is the lead investigator of a $300,000 early career award from the National Science Foundation’s MarcoSystems Biology & Early NEON Science Program to investigate the effects of climate and land-use variables on the monarch butterfly and forecast future population changes at multiple scales across the continent.

Elise Zipkin & Christie Bahlai Receive Mozilla Award to Develop Teaching Modules for Best Practices in Open Science Elise Zipkin & Christie Bahlai Receive Mozilla Award to Develop Teaching Modules for Best Practices in Open Science

Christie Bahlai and Elise Zipkin have received an award from the Mozilla Science Foundation to develop materials on open data policy and management for the Foundation's open data training program. The project will create an easy-to-follow set of resources to get people started in open data across research fields.

Learning is a Contact Sport: A Summer at KBS April 5, 2018 Learning is a Contact Sport: A Summer at KBS

Zoology major, Wissam Jawad, provides a big-picture idea of a student's summer at MSU's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station.

Heather Seaman: An Invaluable Internship Heather Seaman: An Invaluable Internship

This past summer Zoology major, Heather Seaman, had the chance to be a sea turtle nesting season intern at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Florida. She recounts the experience and how it has validated her future research career.

Paige Barnes: The Challenge of Choosing a Major Paige Barnes: The Challenge of Choosing a Major

Zoology major, Paige Barnes, struggled to choose her major. She explains how she developed a sense of direction from participating in hands-on opportunities.

Heavy Nitrogen Molecules Reveal Planetary-Scale Tug-of-War Heavy Nitrogen Molecules Reveal Planetary-Scale Tug-of-War

Researchers from Rice University, UCLA, Michigan State, and the University of New Mexico have discovered a planetary-scale tug-of-war between life, deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen. The research appears in Science Advances.

Ecologist to Play Role in Large-Scale Seabird Study Ecologist to Play Role in Large-Scale Seabird Study

Elise Zipkin will play a lead role in the model development of aerial seabird data for the Gulf of Mexico Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species. The study area spans the coast from the Texas-Mexico border down to the tip of Florida.

Protecting Piping Plovers Protecting Piping Plovers

Visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are often treated to tiny scurrying beachcombers – piping plovers. Future visitors, however, could see fewer of these celebrated shorebirds. A study conducted by the Zipkin Lab revealed that the endangered shorebird population could decline over the next 10 years if additional conservation efforts are not taken.

Zoology Major, Lauren Pepper, Earns Spot in Big Debate Zoology Major, Lauren Pepper, Earns Spot in Big Debate

Lauren Pepper, a senior Zoology major, is part of two pairs of students on the MSU Debate Team who will compete in the 72nd annual National Debate Tournament. Pepper and teammate Alex Brown, a sophomore majoring in social relations and policy in James Madison College, will represent MSU at the tournament, marking the 22nd consecutive season that the university has qualified for the national competition.  

Fulbright Scholar Studies Bees in India Fulbright Scholar Studies Bees in India

Doctoral student, Allison Young, will spend nine months in India as a Fulbright Scholar investigating some of the most vastly understudied and critically important species for the pollination of both agricultural and wild plants—tropical honey bees.

Lauren Caramagno: Jaguars, Camera Traps, and Grit Lauren Caramagno: Jaguars, Camera Traps, and Grit

With the help of a graduate student, Lauren designed a research study to be conducted in the Pantanal region of Brazil, but she lacked the funds to finance the project. Determined to capture wildlife on camera traps and use this data to define a sustainability plan, she applied for numerous scholarships. She was awarded Integrative Biology's Dr. Marvin Hensley Endowed Scholarship to make her dream a reality.

Bonnie McGill Chosen for Smith Conservation Fellow Bonnie McGill Chosen for Smith Conservation Fellow

KBS & IBIO graduate student, Bonnie McGill, has been selected for a highly competitive postdoctoral research fellowship, which will begin in May following her graduation from MSU. McGill will be studying how nutrients move through agricultural watersheds in Iowa as part of the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship program, which chooses only 4 or 5 applicants each year nationally.

By Bethany Bohlen
Catherine Lindell Selected as American Ornithological Society Fellow Catherine Lindell Selected as American Ornithological Society Fellow

Catherine Lindell was selected as a 2017 American Ornithological Society Fellow. American Ornithological Society Fellows are selected each year in recognition of their experience, commitment, and contributions to the field of ornithology and the society.

MSU Professor Named Ecological Society of America Fellow July 10, 2015 MSU Professor Named Ecological Society of America Fellow

Gary Mittelbach has been named a 2015 fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

It's Best to Make Friends of Friends: Even Spotted Hyenas Know That It's Best to Make Friends of Friends: Even Spotted Hyenas Know That

Bonding with a friend of a friend is something most humans gravitate toward naturally, or at least Facebook likes to think so every time it suggests friends for you to “friend.” But a certain four-legged predator, the spotted hyena, seems to know the benefits of this type of social bonding instinctively, according to a new study from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis that considers the structural factors affecting the social network of these animals.

Making an Impact Making an Impact

For a combined 105 years, Richard and Renate Snider have been at MSU studying “little animals.” To ensure that their work and the work of others will endure, they have made a $1 million planned gift.

Grant to Help Increase Biofuel Yield While Limiting Fertilizer Use Grant to Help Increase Biofuel Yield While Limiting Fertilizer Use

Sarah Evans and a team of MSU colleagues have earned a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to better understand how biofuel crops acquire nitrogen, insights that could help maximize yields while minimizing fertilizer use. They will study how plants interact with microbes living near their roots to obtain nutrients, especially biofuel crops growing in abandoned farmlands, or marginal lands.

Data Nuggets are Golden: MSU Awarded $1 Million Grant to Study Science Education Project Data Nuggets are Golden: MSU Awarded $1 Million Grant to Study Science Education Project

“Data Nuggets rock, and now we can investigate how and why,” said Louise Mead, education director of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, a National Science Foundation funded center headquartered at Michigan State University.

Spartans Fight Crime on Multiple Fronts and in Extraordinary Ways Spartans Fight Crime on Multiple Fronts and in Extraordinary Ways

David Foran is a recognized expert in DNA identification whose work informs criminal investigations. With David’s research comes an element of mystery, as it looks to solve some of the most elusive and crucial questions in criminal investigations.

Clara Lepard: All of Me Clara Lepard: All of Me

Clara Lepard is a junior majoring in zoology and a College of Natural Science Dean’s Research Scholar. Clara was recently featured on MSU's 360 Perspective.

New Species of Bird Discovered in India and China by International Team of Scientists New Species of Bird Discovered in India and China by International Team of Scientists

A new species of bird has been discovered in northeastern India and adjacent parts of China by a team of scientists from Sweden, China, the U.S., India, and Russia. The has been named Himalayan forest thrush Zoothera salimalii. 

When Chickens Go Wild January 20, 2016 When Chickens Go Wild

The feral chickens of Kauai provide a unique opportunity to study what happens when domesticated animals escape and evolve.

Using Artificial Intelligence and Evolution to Take Gaming to the Next Level Using Artificial Intelligence and Evolution to Take Gaming to the Next Level

You have a new video game and have spent weeks trying to defend yourself against your arch enemy. You finally found his weakness and how to stop him, and are joyfully exacting revenge. But one day you play and that game plan doesn’t work anymore. So what happened? Darwinian evolution stepped in and adapted your enemy’s response, and now you’re foiled. You can blame Arend Hintze.

Critical Thinking: Not Just for Majors Critical Thinking: Not Just for Majors

The research by Matt Rowe and his co-authors dealing with effective science pedagogy was highlighted in the Editor’s Choice section of a recent issue of Science (volume 351, issue 6274, pg. 677). The results, which were published last fall in CBE-Life Sciences Education, demonstrate that a nonmajors’ science course focusing on the process of science, rather than just its factoids, leads to significant improvement in both the critical thinking skills of students and in their willingness to engage with evolutionary theory. 

Fresh Discoveries From an Old Fish: Gar is the New Biomedical Friend of Zebrafish and Human Fresh Discoveries From an Old Fish: Gar is the New Biomedical Friend of Zebrafish and Human

The genome of a slowly evolving fish, the spotted gar, is very similar to the genomes of both zebrafish and humans, and can be used as a ‘bridge species’ that opens a pathway to important advancements in biomedical research focused on human diseases. That is the conclusion of an international research consortium outlined in a paper lead-authored by the newly appointed assistant professor, Ingo Braasch.

Michigan State University Enters New Era through Academic Partnership with San Diego Zoo Global Academy December 21, 2017 Michigan State University Enters New Era through Academic Partnership with San Diego Zoo Global Academy

IBIO's Zoo Science Program has partnered with the San Diego Zoo Global Academy to integrate the Academy's e-learning modules into the undergraduate classroom. Upon completion of the course, successful students will be granted a certificate authorized by San Diego Zoo Global Academy and MSU.

MSU Students Bring Home Cash Prizes from Broad Business Model Competition MSU Students Bring Home Cash Prizes from Broad Business Model Competition

The Broad College of Business hosted the 5th annual Broad Business Model Competition on February 25, 2016. Graduate and undergraduate students pitched business ideas to a panel of judges in hopes of winning a cash prize. The graduate division’s second-place prize went to Colleen Friel, Jakob Nalley, and Qian Yang, creators of Dispel Chemical Technologies, which offers a chemical blend that removes biofilm and Legionella from industrial and building cooling towers.

MSU Researchers Honored for Outstanding Genetics Article MSU Researchers Honored for Outstanding Genetics Article

Richard Lenski, Rohan Maddamsetti, and Jeffrey Barrick have been honored for having one of the top three articles published in the journal Genetics in 2015. The paper reconstructed the dynamics of 42 mutations over 20,000 generations of bacterial evolution.

NSF Grant will Help Decipher Cells' Electric Properties May 24, 2016 NSF Grant will Help Decipher Cells' Electric Properties

Jason Gallant will use a National Science Foundation grant to decipher the secrets of electric organs in fish and apply the insights to human electrically excitable tissue.

MSU Faculty Named to Second Cohort of MSU STEM Fellowships MSU Faculty Named to Second Cohort of MSU STEM Fellowships

Congratulations to Terri McElhinny, who has been named to the second cohort of fellows of the STEM Gateway Teaching Fellows Program!

2016 Department of Integrative Biology Newsletter for Alumni and Friends 2016 Department of Integrative Biology Newsletter for Alumni and Friends

This summer the Department of Integrative Biology Newsletter was sent through the postal service to our alumni and friends. A copy of this newsletter is now available on our Department website for readers to enjoy.

Biologist Litchman Named MSU Foundation Professor Biologist Litchman Named MSU Foundation Professor

Elena Litchman, professor of integrative biology and faculty member at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, has been named an MSU Foundation Professor. Elena is internationally recognized for her research on phytoplankton communities in both freshwater and marine environments. 

From Witches to Evolution: Making the Case for Scientific Literacy From Witches to Evolution: Making the Case for Scientific Literacy

Matt Rowe and Marcus Gillespie (Sam Houston State University) shared a mutual concern about the gap between a student's understanding of science and the level of understanding required for true scientific literacy. They took action by developing a "Foundations of Science" course designed to help students think critically about scientific questions using a set of over-arching principles. 

Clara Lepard Nominated for Prestigious Marshall Scholarship Clara Lepard Nominated for Prestigious Marshall Scholarship

Zoology major and Honors College senior, Clara Lepard, is one of six MSU students nominated for a prestigious graduate school scholarship, the Marshall Scholarship. The Marshall Scholarship provides support to approximately 40 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country to study at any university in the United Kingdom.

Michigan State University Seminar in Zoo and Aquarium Science Includes the Academy Michigan State University Seminar in Zoo and Aquarium Science Includes the Academy

In spring 2016, we began a partnership with San Diego Zoo Global Academy to incorporate the Academy's Animal Care Fundamentals certification into IBIO 369: Introduction to Zoo and Aquarium Science, taught by Dr. Richard Snider. Integration of these modules into the university's course curriculum was so successful that Academy modules have also been incorporated into a section of IBIO 489: Seminar in Zoo and Aquarium Science in fall 2016. 

Mobs are, Sometimes, Good Mobs are, Sometimes, Good

Submitting to mob mentality is always a risky endeavor, for humans or hyenas. A new Michigan State University study focusing on the latter, though, shows that when it comes to battling for food, mobbing can be beneficial.The findings, featured in the journal, Current Zoology, fully describe for the first time, cooperative behavior during fights between two apex predators ­– spotted hyenas and lions.

James Smith Honored as AAAS Fellow James Smith Honored as AAAS Fellow

Two Michigan State University scientists have been named AAAS Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, James Smith. This national recognition is awarded to researchers for their efforts to advance science or its applications. 

Mittelbach Receives Outstanding Faculty Award Mittelbach Receives Outstanding Faculty Award

The College of Natural Sciences (NatSci) recognized 25 faculty and staff members at the annual award ceremony on November 11, among them Gary Mittelbach. Gary received a 2017 NatSci Outstanding Faculty Award.

Fitzpatrick Appointed as Assistant Professor Fitzpatrick Appointed as Assistant Professor

Starting January 1, 2017, Sarah Fitzpatrick will begin as an Assistant Professor at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station and in our department. Her research integrates evolution, ecology, and conservation, in part by measuring long-term fitness, or reproductive success, in wild populations of vertebrate species, using a combination of genomic tools and mark-recapture. Her work rides the wave of recent advances in molecular technologies to examine biological phenomena in ways not previously possible.

Matthew Porter: Making a Better World for Wild, Captive Penguins Matthew Porter: Making a Better World for Wild, Captive Penguins

Alumna, Matthew Porter, was featured in the Fall 2016 edition of the MSU Alumni magazine. After graduating from MSU, Matthew landed an internship with the Detroit Zoo and found his niche. Today, he works as a zookeeper in the zoo's bird department. In 2015 he had the opportunity traveled to Antarctica to study the effect of climate change on Antarctic birds with field biologists. Matthew's trip to Antarctica allowed him not only to observe how the birds behave in the wild but also to apply his observations to the Detroit Zoo's new Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Matthew worked with the Detroit Zoo on the design of the new center.

MSU Researcher Looks to Biological Evolution for Clues to Improve Artificial Intelligence MSU Researcher Looks to Biological Evolution for Clues to Improve Artificial Intelligence

What could artificial intelligence mean for us in the future? And when might intelligent machines and technology be at a point where they become an integral part of our lives?Those are the questions that Arend Hintze explores. He's an assistant professor of Integrative Biology and Computer Science and Engineering, and he runs the Hintze Lab, where they research the evolution of natural and artificial intelligence.

Elise Zipkin named Ecological Society of America Early Career Fellow Elise Zipkin named Ecological Society of America Early Career Fellow

Elise Zipkin has been named a 2017 Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. Zipkin is one of seven early career fellows elected nationally by the society this year.

Boldness in Largemouth Mass: Personality Affects Juvenile Survival and Adult Reproductive Success Boldness in Largemouth Mass: Personality Affects Juvenile Survival and Adult Reproductive Success

Nick Ballew, Kim Scribner, and Gary Mittelbach have published a new manuscript in the American Naturalist. The publication is based on a study done by Nick as part of his Doctoral Dissertation in Zoology (2014) which investigated the effects of boldness in largemouth mass on juvenile survival and adult reproductive success. The findings have important implications for fish conservation and management.

Mittelbach Receives MSU's William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award February 9, 2017 Mittelbach Receives MSU's William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award

Gary Mittelbach is the recipient of the 2017 William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award. Mittelbach is an internationally recognized ecologist whose research has contributed novel and lasting insights into complex biological systems. 

Julie Turner Wins 2017 MSU Excellence-in-Teaching Citation Julie Turner Wins 2017 MSU Excellence-in-Teaching Citation

Julie Turner was recognized by MSU for her excellence in teaching on February 7, 2017. MSU Excellence-In-Teaching Citations are made to six graduate teaching assistants who have distinguished themselves by the care they have given and the skill they have shown in meeting their classroom responsibilities. 

MSU's Richard Lenski wins 2017 Friend of Darwin award February 14, 2017 MSU's Richard Lenski wins 2017 Friend of Darwin award

Richard Lenski has received a Friend of Darwin award from the National Center for Science Education. Lenski is one of only three scientists nationally to receive the award in 2017.

Sarah Fitzpatrick Receives Young Investigators Award Sarah Fitzpatrick Receives Young Investigators Award

Sarah Fitzpatrick joins a distinguished group of scientists who have won the American Society of Naturalist’s Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigators Award. The Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigators Award recognizes exceptional and promising scientists who have conferred their doctorates within the last three years or are in their final year of graduate school. Fitzpatrick was one of four recipients in 2017.

Elena Litchman Wins Prestigious Excellence Professorship Award Elena Litchman Wins Prestigious Excellence Professorship Award

Elena Litchman is the recipient of an Excellence Professorship award from the Professor Dr. Werner – Petersen Foundation based in Kiel, Germany. This prestigious award is given to leading international scientists for excellence in their particular field. The foundation is honoring Elena for her outstanding accomplishments in the field of community and ecosystem ecology.

Elena Litchman invested as MSU Foundation Professor Elena Litchman invested as MSU Foundation Professor

Elena Litchman was honored as an MSU Foundation Professor on March 10 at an investiture ceremony held at MSU’s W.K. Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, Michigan. The professorships, established in 2014, are part of an initiative to attract and retain highly successful faculty members. Each of the recipients receives five years of supplemental research support and holds the MSU Foundation Professor designation permanently.

US Students on the Hunt for Carnivorous Snails US Students on the Hunt for Carnivorous Snails

Conservation Medicine in New Zealand study abroad students recently had the rare opportunity to search for critically endangered carnivorous snails in the Marlborough Sounds. Their objective was to count how many of the snails were in the area. The project was arranged with the Department of Conservation and the Endeavour Inlet Conservation Trust.

Ingo Braasch Lands NIH Grant to Study Connection Between Fish Genes and Human Medicine Ingo Braasch Lands NIH Grant to Study Connection Between Fish Genes and Human Medicine

Ingo Braasch has received a $727,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve the use of fish as disease models for human medicine. Ingo is leading the MSU efforts of this collaborative grant that will focus on the spotted gar, which has a similar genome to humans and zebrafish, a popular biomedical fish model. The spotted gar can serve as a "bridge species" between human and zebrafish, thereby opening pathways to important advancements in human biomedical research.

Seabird Bones, Fossils Reveal Broad Food-Web Shift in North Pacific Seabird Bones, Fossils Reveal Broad Food-Web Shift in North Pacific

For thousands of years, the Hawaiian petrel has soared over the Pacific Ocean, feeding on fish and squid. Now, using evidence preserved in the birds’ bones, scientists at MSU and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have discovered that the now endangered seabird has experienced a significant shift in food resources most likely during the past 100 years – a disruption that may be due to industrial fishing practices. The study offers unique insight into how an ocean food web has changed since the onset of industrial fishing and other major human influences in oceanic ecology. 

UURAF Winners Celebrated UURAF Winners Celebrated

Five undergraduates mentored by Integrative Biology faculty won first place awards at MSU's 2017 University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum. Winners include Zoology majors, Amber Suto and Olivia Gustwiler (Rowe); Environmental Biology-Zoology major, Paul Sullivan (Rasmussen); and Computer Science major, Brandon Vandekieft (Hintze). All winners were recognized at the Awards Ceremony held on April 12, 2017. Approximately 950 students participated in UURAF this year.

Hormone Levels of Juvenile Hyenas Can Predict Life-History Trade-Offs Hormone Levels of Juvenile Hyenas Can Predict Life-History Trade-Offs

A recent publication by Nora Lewin, Eli Swanson, Barry Williams, and Kay Holekamp is a cover story for the April issue of Functional Ecology. The team found that hyena hormone levels measured early in life can predict trade-offs between growth, reproduction, and lifespan. Their study highlights the importance of early postnatal development as a determination point of life histories in mammals. 

Zoology Majors Receive Board of Trustees' Award Zoology Majors Receive Board of Trustees' Award

Zoology majors, Nicole Cappello and Samuel Decker, were among 52 graduating seniors who were recognized with Board of Trustees’ Awards for having the highest scholastic average (4.0) at the close of their last semester in attendance at Michigan State University.

Richard Hill Wins Meritorious Faculty Award Richard Hill Wins Meritorious Faculty Award

Richard Hill was recognized as the Meritorious Faculty Award recipient at the MSU College of Natural Science annual Awards Program held April 21, 2017. 

By Photo provided by the College of Natural Science
$1.5M NSF Grant to Explore Secrets of Electric Fish Genome $1.5M NSF Grant to Explore Secrets of Electric Fish Genome

Electric fish have been a model biology system since the 18th century. Their potential, though, has been mostly isolated to neurological studies.Thanks to the recent availability of electric fish genome sequences, Michigan State University researchers hope to harness the power of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in electric fish to make a new type of model for biology.

Looking Beyond the Breeding Groups Looking Beyond the Breeding Groups

Every winter, trees on high mountains in a small area northwest of Mexico City turn orange. Close inspection reveals branches filled with brilliantly colorful monarch butterflies, rather than fiery leaves, as the eastern North American population of monarchs winters there. Their numbers, however, are shrinking. New research makes a strong case that the reasons for this decline go far beyond what’s happening on the wintering grounds and addresses a current controversy about the primary causes of the species' decline.

Sarah Saunders Wins MSU's Postdoctoral Excellence in Research Award May 18, 2017 Sarah Saunders Wins MSU's Postdoctoral Excellence in Research Award

Sarah Saunders, a postdoctoral research associate in the Zipkin Lab, has received a Postdoctoral Excellence in Research Award by the MSU Postdoctoral Association and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. Each year two exceptional postdoctoral researchers are recognized for their contributions to Michigan State University and the research community. Winners are selected based on the significance, innovation, and impact of their scientific research.

MSU a key partner in Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research MSU a key partner in Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research

Michigan State University is poised to play a big role in the newly formed Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research. A five-year, $20 million dollar grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was awarded to support the Institute, strengthening current research efforts into the sustainable management of the Great Lakes region. The Institute is a partnership of nine universities and several nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits and private businesses. Jan Stevenson took the lead in developing MSU’s contribution to the proposal.

$2 Million NSF Grant Awarded to Predict Future Viability of Phytoplankton $2 Million NSF Grant Awarded to Predict Future Viability of Phytoplankton

Elena Litchman is the lead investigator of a four-year, $2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Dimensions of Biodiversity grant to study how genetic and functional diversity in phytoplankton helps them adapt to rising ocean temperatures.

Richard Lenski Elected Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization June 16, 2017 Richard Lenski Elected Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization

Richard Lenski has been elected an associate member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. Richard was one of 65 life scientists elected to EMBO’s membership in 2017. This cohort joins a group of more than 1,700 of the best researchers in Europe and around the world.

Gars and Stripes: Research 'Flags' Evolutionary Ancestry of Pigment Patterns in Zebrafish, Spotted Gar Gars and Stripes: Research 'Flags' Evolutionary Ancestry of Pigment Patterns in Zebrafish, Spotted Gar

Just as the stars and stripes reflect the history of our nation, Ingo Braasch’s “Gars and Stripes” project represents the evolution of genomic and morphological relationships among vertebrate animals—connecting the past with the present. New research reveals the evolutionary link between fish and other vertebrate animals.

Janette Boughman named Fulbright Scholar Janette Boughman named Fulbright Scholar

Janette Boughman has been named a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar in recognition of her research in Iceland on the adaptation of stickleback fish to the rapid human-induced environmental changes in the arctic. Boughman, whose project will run from January to August 2018, will be affiliated with Hólar University College and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.

Katherine Magoulick: Crossing Oceans and Disciplines Katherine Magoulick: Crossing Oceans and Disciplines

Katherine (Kat) Magoulick strategically selected her majors (zoology and history) and hands-on experiences to bolster her goal of earning a doctorate in paleoecology. She wants to study aspects that caused ancient wildlife to go extinct so that she can prevent species from going extinct in the future.

Haddad Joins KBS & IBIO Faculty As Senior Terrestrial Ecologist Haddad Joins KBS & IBIO Faculty As Senior Terrestrial Ecologist

After a search for a Senior Terrestrial Ecologist that began last October, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Nick Haddad has been selected for this faculty position. Haddad began his joint appointment at KBS and MSU’s Department of Integrative Biology on August 16. He brings his ecological expertise and leadership experience to the table as he helps to lead the KBS LTER.

Julia Ganz Selected as American Neurosastroenterology and Motility Society Young Investigator Julia Ganz Selected as American Neurosastroenterology and Motility Society Young Investigator

Julia Ganz was selected for the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society’s Young Investigator Award for the 2017-2018 academic year. Each year, 15 scientists are selected among gastroenterology fellows, medical and Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in the early stages of their career.

MSU Students, Alumna Named Finalist for Mitchell, Rhodes Scholarships MSU Students, Alumna Named Finalist for Mitchell, Rhodes Scholarships

Clara Lepard, an Honors College alumna who earned a degree in zoology in 2017 is a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. The Rhodes Trust, the oldest of the major international competitive award foundations, provides 32 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country an opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in England. 

Jim Atkinson: Professor and Artist Jim Atkinson: Professor and Artist

Dr. Jim Atkinson has a long history working with invertebrates: as a researcher, teacher, and artist. The convergence of Jim’s research, teaching, and art first blossomed during his tenure at Michigan State University. 

Evolutionary Lessons From an Ancient Fish Evolutionary Lessons From an Ancient Fish

At the August MSU Board of Trustee meeting, Ingo Braasch explained what fish can tell us about our evolution, development, and diseases.

Open Letter to the College Open Letter to the College

College of Natural Science's Interim Dean, Cheryl Sisk, has drafted a letter in response to recent events related to Michigan State University.

Student-Led Research Highlighted at Board of Trustees Meeting Student-Led Research Highlighted at Board of Trustees Meeting

To showcase the latest in student-led research at Michigan State University, two scholars, including alumna Clara Lepard, presented their academic endeavors at the Board of Trustees meeting on April 13.

To Deal with Breweries' Wastewater, This Researcher Wants to Turn it Into Fuel To Deal with Breweries' Wastewater, This Researcher Wants to Turn it Into Fuel

Jakob Nalley, a graduate student in Elena Litchman's laboratory at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, is using a local Michigan brewery's wastewater as a medium to grow algae. Brewery wastewater happens to be rich in the nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, needed to grow this potential biofuel. Nalley was excited to find that when the algae was removed from the wastewater, the water might even be clean enough to be recycled back to the brewery for washing the equipment and floors. The implications are twofold: (1) a means to recycle excess brewery wastewater while (2) growing a potential biofuel which could become an alternative to fossil fuels.

A Day in the Life of an Education Intern A Day in the Life of an Education Intern

Zoology major, Julie Javorka, blogs about her experience as an Education Intern at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI.

Diving into a Summer at the Florida Aquarium Diving into a Summer at the Florida Aquarium

Maris Wright's summer at the Florida Aquarium was an experience that she will never be able to forget. As one of the first interns for the Marine Operations department at the aquarium, she was excited to see what they had planned for me throughout the summer and to really get her feet wet.

Shedding Light on Fog's Role in Microbial Transport Shedding Light on Fog's Role in Microbial Transport

Sarah Evans is a co-author of a new study which suggests that fog can transfer microbes into new environments.

Tropical Frogs Found to Coexist With Deadly Fungus October 3, 2018 Tropical Frogs Found to Coexist With Deadly Fungus

Amphibian biologists watched in horror in 2004 as the frogs of El Copé, Panama, began dying by the thousands because of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a deadly fungus more commonly known as chytrid. A new study suggests that, within a decade, the species remaining in El Copé developed the ability to coexist with chytrid fungus. 

Nick Haddad and Erica Henry Secure Grant to Study Effects of Multiple Disturbances on Endangered Butterfly August 20, 2018 Nick Haddad and Erica Henry Secure Grant to Study Effects of Multiple Disturbances on Endangered Butterfly

Under normal conditions, the butterfly needs severe disturbance, such as fire or dense tree removal, to maintain its habitat and food source. The devastating hurricane in southern Florida created a second disturbance. Nick Haddad and Erica Henry have been awarded a grant to study whether these two disturbances create an even better habit and increase butterfly numbers or eliminate butterflies altogether.

Nature Can Reduce Pesticide Use, Environmental Impact Nature Can Reduce Pesticide Use, Environmental Impact

Farmers around the world are turning to nature to help them reduce pesticide use, environmental impact and, subsequently, and in some cases, increasing yields. Specifically, they’re attracting birds and other vertebrates, which keep pests and other invasive species away from their crops. A study led by Catherine Lindell showcases some of the best global examples.

Amphibians Face Many Challenges in Brazilian Rain Forest Amphibians Face Many Challenges in Brazilian Rain Forest

Deforestation remains the biggest threat to animals that call the rain forest “home.” However, even measured, sensible development projects can have unforeseen effects because there’s no model to follow. Now, thanks to new research published in Ecological Applications, there’s a guide to help land-use development and efforts to conserve amphibians, which are rapidly declining worldwide.

Butterflies in the Storm Butterflies in the Storm

Scientists, including Nick Haddad, are working to save several species of butterflies from the brink of extinction. 

 

 

Fish's Use of Electricity Might Shed Light on Human Illnesses Fish's Use of Electricity Might Shed Light on Human Illnesses

Scientists have found that the evolutionary trick some fish use to make brief electrical discharges could provide new insights on treatments for diseases such as epilepsy. 

Kestrels Thrive in Cherry Orchards, and Return Favor Kestrels Thrive in Cherry Orchards, and Return Favor

New homes may help save a declining bird species, the American kestrel, and, at the same time, protect economically vital cherry crops from orchard-damaging enemies.

The Man Who Bottled Evolution The Man Who Bottled Evolution

Richard Lenski's long-term evolution experiment is considered one of the world's longest-running science experiments. The experiment demonstrates that evolution occurs, is ever-present, and never stops. Insights from his research can lead to new ways to understand, prevent, and perhaps better treat diseases.

Moving Forward in the Dark: Sean Griffin and His Bees Moving Forward in the Dark: Sean Griffin and His Bees

Science is often a series of failures that teach us how to succeed. After a first field season riddled with messes, graduate student Sean Griffin is making a beeline toward his research on pollinators in his second year of field work.

Modeling the Evolutionary Emergence of Diverse Microbial Metabolisms July 25, 2018 Modeling the Evolutionary Emergence of Diverse Microbial Metabolisms

Elena Litchman and Christopher Klausmeier are the recipients of a two year, $360,000 NASA Astrobiology/Exobiology grant to fund research on modeling the evolutionary origin of diverse microbial metabolisms.

It's the Winter of the Snowy Owl in Mid-Michigan It's the Winter of the Snowy Owl in Mid-Michigan

This winter, numerous snowy owls have been spotted in the Lansing area. The most recent reported spotting was by Pam Rasmussen.

Lifting the Economy on Falcons' Wings Lifting the Economy on Falcons' Wings

What can help boost Michigan’s economy? American kestrels. In a recent study, the Lindell Lab shows that America’s smallest raptor can boost Michigan’s – and other fruit-growing states’ – bottom lines.

A Day in the Life of a URA at KBS: Alex Walus A Day in the Life of a URA at KBS: Alex Walus

Environmental Biology-Zoology major, Alex Walus, participated in the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship (URA) Program at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station during summer 2016. Read about her research experience in the Brudvig Lab.

Evolution During Global Change: Sarah Fitzpatrick Evolution During Global Change: Sarah Fitzpatrick

Sarah Fitzpatrick blogs about her presentation as an ASN Young Investigator winner at the Society for the Study of Evolution conference.

2017 Alumni & Friends Newsletter Now Available 2017 Alumni & Friends Newsletter Now Available

The 2017 newsletter highlights our Department's accomplishments from the past year including awards, grants, and influential research. Several alumni are also featured.

Katherine Magoulick Becomes Undergraduate Research Ambassador Katherine Magoulick Becomes Undergraduate Research Ambassador

Zoology major, Katherine Magoulick, has been selected as an MSU Undergraduate Research Ambassador. The Undergraduate Research Ambassador program prepares current undergraduate researchers to facilitate workshops, assist at UURAF, and provide feedback to the UR staff on current and proposed program offerings. Magoulick’s research focuses on animal species recovery efforts around the world.

What an Artificial Intelligence Researcher Fears About AI What an Artificial Intelligence Researcher Fears About AI

Arend Hintze researches the evolution of natural and artificial intelligence. He recently wrote an article for The Conversation discussing his concerns about artificial intelligence including (1) fear of the unforeseen, (2) fear of misuse, (3) fear of wrong social priorities, and (4) fear of the nightmare scenario. 

Spartans Invest in Uganda's Conservation Future Spartans Invest in Uganda's Conservation Future

Spartans lead effort to expand school in Uganda to honor late wildlife researcher and guide.

For an Octopus, Seeing the Light Doesn't Require Eyes July 4, 2017 For an Octopus, Seeing the Light Doesn't Require Eyes

The research of alumnus, Des Rameriz, was highlighted in a recent New York Times Article. Rameriz completed a M.S. in Zoology in the Dyer Lab. He is currently a graduate student in the lab of Todd Oakley, Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

2015 Department of Integrative Biology Newsletter for Alumni and Friends 2015 Department of Integrative Biology Newsletter for Alumni and Friends

This summer the Department of Integrative Biology Newsletter was sent through the postal service to our alumni and friends. A copy of this newsletter is now available on our Department website for readers to enjoy.

Conservation Medicine in New Zealand Study Abroad Launches Blog Conservation Medicine in New Zealand Study Abroad Launches Blog

The new, semester-long Conservation Medicine in New Zealand Study Abroad is underway! The program has launched a blog so you can read about their adventures.

Richard Lenski Gives Commencement Speach at Alma Mater's Doctoral Hooding Ceremony Richard Lenski Gives Commencement Speach at Alma Mater's Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

Richard Lenski was invited to spoke at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his doctorate in 1982.  He spoke of core themes in his research and how these same themes play a role in life and our professional careers. 

Decomposing Leaves are a Surprising Source of Greenhouse Gases Decomposing Leaves are a Surprising Source of Greenhouse Gases

Michigan State University scientists, including Integrative Biology's Nathaniel Ostrom, have pinpointed a new source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that’s more potent than carbon dioxide. The culprit? Tiny bits of decomposing leaves in soil.

International Team Discovers Elusive New Bird in China International Team Discovers Elusive New Bird in China

Pam Rasmussen is among a team of researchers who have discovered a new bird, the Sichuan bush warbler, in China. To date, Rasmussen has helped document and scientifically describe ten new species of birds.

Scorpion Hunters Scorpion Hunters

The Rowe Lab is showcased in the XX Files Video Series by AAAS-Science Magazine. The XX Files takes viewers into the extraordinary worlds of extraordinary women scientists.

What's on Tap? What's on Tap?

Chances are, wherever there is water there are Spartans. Researchers from dozens of disciplines across the globe study, monitor and protect our waters—from joining the front lines of the Flint water crisis response to combating the effects of climate change to ensuring access to safe, plentiful water for all. Integrative Biology graduate student, Kateri Salk, is featured.

Big Science? It's in Our Nature Big Science? It's in Our Nature

Richard Lenski, called “The Man Who Bottled Evolution” by Science Magazine, was able to pinpoint the genes that give bacteria the beneficial mutations to outperform their ancestors, information important for human health.

Model Explains Barred Owls' Domination Over Northern Spotted Owls Model Explains Barred Owls' Domination Over Northern Spotted Owls

Barred owls – unrivaled nocturnal predators and procreators – are moving into the Pacific Northwest. They’re encroaching on northern spotted owl territories and outcompeting this smaller, threatened cousin. A model developed at Michigan State University shows how it’s happening and gives wildlife conservationists a highly accurate, yet cost-effective tool to help shape management policies.

Steve Hamilton Named Inaugural Society for Freshwater Science Fellow Steve Hamilton Named Inaugural Society for Freshwater Science Fellow

Steve Hamilton has been named an inaugural fellow of the Society for Freshwater Science for his contributions to promoting public appreciation of freshwater science through education and outreach. 

Connie Rojas Receives Disciplinary Leadership Award Connie Rojas Receives Disciplinary Leadership Award

Connie Rojas, a doctoral student working toward a dual degree in the Department of Integrative Biology, and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior (EEBB), was recently recognized for her activism, leadership, and service by the Michigan State University Council of Graduate Students. She has been awarded a Leadership Endowment Scholarship.

Jeanette McGuire and Gary Mittelbach Accoladed at the NatSci Awards Presentation Jeanette McGuire and Gary Mittelbach Accoladed at the NatSci Awards Presentation

Jeanette McGuire and Gary Mittelbach were among the twenty-five NatSci faculty and staff members recognized for their achievements and contributions during 2016 at the annual College of Natural Science awards ceremony. Jeanette was recognized for her excellence in teaching with the Lorena V. Blinn Endowed Teaching Award while Gary received an Outstanding Faculty Award. 

Cara Krieg Interviewed for Podcast Cara Krieg Interviewed for Podcast

Have a look at Cara Krieg's podcast with AAAS Science Update about why female songbirds sing.

Kay Holekamp Earns Prestigious Honor Kay Holekamp Earns Prestigious Honor

Kay Holekamp, a world-renowned hyena researcher, has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is one of 197 new members. According to AAAS, “They include some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, business, and philanthropic leaders.” Past inductees include Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Mongabay: Proposed Andean Headwater Dams an Ecological Calamity for Amazon Basin Mongabay: Proposed Andean Headwater Dams an Ecological Calamity for Amazon Basin

Steve Hamilton and his former PhD student, Jorge Celi, were quoted in a recent report written by Liz Bimbrough for Mongabay.org. 

Kateri Salk: Little Fish Girl Grown Up August 6, 2015 Kateri Salk: Little Fish Girl Grown Up

Kateri Salk, a graduate student in the Ostrom Lab, was recently featured on MSU 360 Perspective.

Rose Water Fellowship Awardee Named Rose Water Fellowship Awardee Named

Graduate student, Kateri Salk, has been awarded The Rose Water Fellowship. The award, endowed by Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in water research at MSU, is awarded to graduate level scientists seeking to advance the field of water science.

BEACON Researchers at Work: An Adventure in Thailand BEACON Researchers at Work: An Adventure in Thailand

Eben Gering describes his recent research expedition in Thailand with a French film crew.