News

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
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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

MSU's Richard Lenski wins 2017 Friend of Darwin award
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.

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. 

Mittelbach Receives MSU's William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award
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. His breakthrough research conducted at KBS established MSU as the epicenter for studies in aquatic ecology.

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.

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.