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.
Published on August 22, 2019
MSU students help prepare the golf course for the PGA FedEx Cup Championship in partnership with the agronomy team at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.
Published on August 12, 2019
Ashley Kuhlman takes drone photos to support farming and research. Following graduation, she plans to start a precision agriculture consultancy business.
Postdoctoral researchers in MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences awarded USDA NIFA fellowships
Published on July 23, 2019
Two postdoctoral researchers in the MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences have received fellowships from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Published on July 16, 2019
Brian Horgan has been named chairperson for the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, effective September 2019.
Meet a Faculty Member
Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences is excited to welcome another new faculty member to our team! Addie Thompson joined our team in January in research and teaching.
Thompson received her Bachelor’s of Science in genetics from Iowa State University, and her PhD in Plant Breeding and Molecular Genetics from University of Minnesota. Thompson has always been interested in science with math and science teachers as parents, but her interest in food crops and genetics didn’t come until later. While in middle school, Thompson first gained an interest in genetics through a summer camp she attended right after the human genome had just been sequenced. Later on, in high school, Thompson became interested in international agriculture when she had the chance to intern in the Philippines through the World Food Prize Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa.
Following her graduation from the University of Minnesota, Thompson continued to work at the University of Minnesota using genomewide marker effects to characterize diverse maize germplasm and genetic architecture with Dr. Rex Bernardo. Following this, in January, 2015, Thompson began working at Purdue University as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. While at Purdue, she worked with quantitative analysis of agronomic traits, high-throughput phenotyping, and genomewide association to identify targets for maize and sorghum improvement with Dr. Mitch Tuinstra.
Thompson is looking forward to co-teaching advanced plant breeding and quantitative genetics, while spending a majority of her time researching maize genetics. Thompson feels the position has a lot of potential for growth, and she is excited to work with other scientists and researchers to see how others will be able to benefit from her research. She is interested in creating models to predict how plants grow and respond to different environments.
She says some of her best works to date have yet to be published and the rest of the Plant, Soil and Microbial Science department is eager to read them when they are! When she isn’t on campus, Thompson enjoys playing with her two young children, and being involved in church and music.