Standing with the MSU Black Community. Open letter to the Department.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zoology major, Joshua Simmonds, recounts his experiences as an intern at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By studying how fish regenerate fins, Ingo Braasch’s team pinpointed the genes and the mechanisms responsible that drive the regrowth.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Richard Lenski was inducted into the American Philosophical Society — the oldest "learned society" in the United States — on Nov. 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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.
Wissam Jawad recounts tales and makes connections about his experiences at biological field stations around the world.
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.
Paige Barne's summer internship at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research reaffirmed her commitment to animal behavior research.
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.
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.
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.
An inside look into why students should spend a summer at KBS.
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.
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.
At the August MSU Board of Trustee meeting, Ingo Braasch explained what fish can tell us about our evolution, development, and diseases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zoology major, Wissam Jawad, provides a big-picture idea of a student's summer at MSU's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
College of Natural Science's Interim Dean, Cheryl Sisk, has drafted a letter in response to recent events related to Michigan State University.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeanette McGuire, is a recipient of the 2017 College of Natural Science Teaching Prize.
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.
Recent Zoology alumna, Clara Lepard, is a recipient of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a doctorate at the University of Oxford.
Zoology major, Paige Barnes, struggled to choose her major. She explains how she developed a sense of direction from participating in hands-on opportunities.
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.
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.
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.
Zoology major, Julie Javorka, blogs about her experience as an Education Intern at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI.
The 2017 newsletter highlights our Department's accomplishments from the past year including awards, grants, and influential research. Several alumni are also featured.
Sarah Fitzpatrick blogs about her presentation as an ASN Young Investigator winner at the Society for the Study of Evolution conference.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Six Zoology majors have received the 2017 MSUFCU Internship Awards. These financial awards help support students' unpaid internships.
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.
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.
Richard Hill was recognized as the Meritorious Faculty Award recipient at the MSU College of Natural Science annual Awards Program held April 21, 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are pleased to announce the formation of a new study abroad program in Conservation Medicine (Spring semesters every year)!
Congratulations to Terri McElhinny, who has been named to the second cohort of fellows of the STEM Gateway Teaching Fellows Program!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The feral chickens of Kauai provide a unique opportunity to study what happens when domesticated animals escape and evolve.
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.
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.
Jason Gallant and Matt Rowe were honored at the 2015 College of Natural Science Awards Ceremony hosted on November 20, 2015.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Kateri Salk, a graduate student in the Ostrom Lab, was recently featured on MSU 360 Perspective.
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.
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.
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.
Gary Mittelbach has been named a 2015 fellow of the Ecological Society of America.
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.
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.
Steve Hamilton and his former PhD student, Jorge Celi, were quoted in a recent report written by Liz Bimbrough for Mongabay.org.
Spartans lead effort to expand school in Uganda to honor late wildlife researcher and guide.
Alumna, Karen Kapheim, leads NIH-funded study published in Science.
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.
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.
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!