Grad Student Nathan Kelly values the diversity and collaboration at MSU

Nathan is pursuing a dual major Ph.D. in Horticulture and Molecular Plant Sciences. He works with Dr. Erik Runkle to study how the color of light affects leafy green growth and quality attributes, such as leaf coloration and nutritional properties.

Featured Student

Why did you choose Horticulture as your advanced degree?

I was applying to PhD programs in horticulture, plant biology, and plant biochemistry. I ultimately decided to pursue an advanced degree in horticulture because I felt it gave me the widest range of research options. I am interested in how environmental factors can be used to improve plant production, but I am also interested in why those environmental factors improve plant production. Horticulture allows me to do research that connects both the basic and applied aspects of a topic.

What has been the best experience in grad school so far?

So far, my best experience has been getting to know and becoming friends with so many other students in our program.

What is the best selling point about horticulture and your choice to study it at MSU that you would like others to know?

I believe the best selling point for our program, and for MSU, is how helpful and willing to collaborate the faculty and students are across and within departments. I also enjoy how diverse the research in our program is. It is very helpful to talk to people with different research backgrounds and interests since they can offer a new point of view. 

What are your future plans?

After graduating, I hope to continue researching some capacity. Right now, I would like to earn a faculty position at a university, but I am open to most options.


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