Generating new knowledge and understanding about the biology of plants and plant pathogens, and the roles soils, water, and the environment play in the promotion of a sustainable and economically sound agricultural system and ecosystem. View our programs:

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Welcome to the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. With expertise ranging from ecosystems services and disease management, to plant breeding, genomics, and food safety, we provide leadership and deliver programs that are internationally recognized and respected and have impact at local, national, and international levels. To provide this leadership, we work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative manner to effectively address complex problems and emerging threats that challenge food production and security. Above all, we value our missions of teaching, extension/outreach, research, international, service, and stewardship. We are home to 70 faculty, 100 graduate students, 86 post-docs and staff members, and 200 undergraduate and certificate students.  For more information see our mission statement.


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Meet a Faculty Member

Professor Linda Hanson knew for a long time she wanted to work with plants, but during a mycology course Hanson soon became enthralled with fungi.

Hanson’s work primarily revolves around how pathogens affect field crops, with some work on the interaction with different disease management strategies and vegetables.

Currently, Hanson is researching fungal pathogens of field crops. “I am interested in the diversity of fungal pathogens and how fungal diversity affects disease and crop management, including interactions with host diversity, crop rotation, and other management practices,” Hanson said.

Throughout her career, two research projects stand out to Hanson as her best work. Hanson found mechanisms of biological control in biocontrol-active fungi. This research opened a new area of research for fungi as biocontrol agents and has been cited over 150 times.   To learn more about Dr. Hanson click here. 

Photo Credit: Stephen Asmus

Featured Certificate Student


Read about Pete Zeiger in our Featured Students section.

Featured Undergraduate Student


Read about Grant Billings in our Featured Undergraduate Students Section.

Featured Graduate Student 


 Read More about Dan Quinn in our Graduate Student Profiles Section

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