Quick List of Faculty and their Specialties

Cropping Systems: 

Bruno Basso 

Crop Modeling, Land Use Sustainability. (basso@msu.edu) 

Kimberly A. Cassida 

Forage Agronomist. Management of forages (hay, haylage, pasture) and cover crops, emphasizing interactions among environments, plants, soils, and livestock. Resilience and sustainability of forage-based cropping systems.  (cassida@msu.edu) 

Krista B. Isaacs 

International Seed Systems. Access and availability of preferred, quality seed for smallholder farmers. Crop ecology, participatory research, gender, human nutrition. (isaacskr@msu.edu) 

Maninder Singh 

 

Kurt Steinke 

Cropping systems agronomist. Improve productivity, profitability, and resiliency of corn, soybean, and wheat based cropping systems. (msingh@msu.edu

Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management. Improving the efficiency and refining nutrient management strategies across corn, soybean, sugarbeet, wheat, potato, dry bean, and vegetable  cropping systems. Environmental uptake of heavy metals and other environmental contaminants (ksteinke@msu.edu

 

Kurt D. Thelen 

Cropping systems agronomist with an emphasis on bioenergy and developing systems that increase food, feed, and energy production while safeguarding soil, air, water, and biodiversity. (thelenk3@msu.edu) 

Environmental Soil and Water Sciences: 

Chris Blackwood 

Areas of expertise include ecology, microbiology, and soil science which focuses on the critical roles of soil-plant-microbe interactions in shaping plant communities, ecosystem processes, and soil carbon 

dynamics. (cblackwo@kent.edu) - Joining faculty Jan. 2023 

Andrey Guber 

Soil physics, soil hydrology and modeling water flow, solute and microbial transport in soils. (akguber@msu.edu) 

Alexandra N. Kravchenko 

Spatial variability in agroecosystems as a function of landscape, topography, and soil properties. Statistics, geostatistics and fractal/multifractal methods. (kravche1@msu.edu) 

Hui Li 

Environmental soil chemistry; sorption, transformation, plant uptake of perfluoroalkyl substances, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, dioxins in soils; Development of remediation technology.  (lihui@msu.edu.) 

Jim Moran 

Biogeochemistry, spatially resolved analyses of rhizosphere processes, stable isotope analysis, plant-microbe interactions (moranja7@msu.edu) 

A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi 

Analysis and prevention of non-point source pollution at laboratory, field, watershed and regional scales, watershed/water quality modeling, surface water-groundwater interactions, artificial intelligence (AI), decision support tools, and object-oriented programming.  (pouyan@msu.edu) 

Joan B. Rose 

Microbiological water quality and public health safety. Molecular methods for waterborne pathogens including Cryptosporidium and enteric viruses. (rosejo@msu.edu) 

Christine Sprunger 

Soil Health and Ecosystem Ecology: soil ecology, nematology, soil health assessments, global change biology; carbon cycling, socio-ecological systems.  

(sprunge5@msu.edu

 

Kurt Steinke 

Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management. Improving the efficiency and refining nutrient management strategies across corn, soybean, sugarbeet, wheat, potato, dry bean, and vegetable  cropping systems. Environmental uptake of heavy metals and other environmental contaminants (ksteinke@msu.edu) 

Lisa Tiemann 

Soil ecology and biogeochemistry; mechanisms of soil organic matter formation and microbial controls on soil nitrogen cycling. (ltiemann@msu.edu) 

Barret M. Wessel 

Pedology. Genesis, morphology, classification, and management of soils. Experienced in wetlands, lakes, coasts, organic soils, subaqueous soils and sediments. Developing a program in pedagogy/science of teaching and learning. Currently recruiting a graduate student to work on peat and muck soils. (wesselba@msu.edu

Wei Zhang 

Environmental soil physics; soil and water quality; food safety; environmental processes and impacts of contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, antibiotic resistance, per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and heavy metals); colloids and nanoparticles; emerging contaminants in soil, water and plant systems. We aspire to discover sciences and develop solutions for ensuring clean, safe and healthy soil, water and food. (weizhang@msu.edu) 

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics: 

Grace Fleming 

Holistic analyses of seed molecular responses to environmental factors (flemi221@msu.edu) 

Sarah L. Lebeis 

Microbial ecology in and around plant tissues. Plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions in natural and synthetic systems. (lebeissa@msu.edu) 

Eric L. Patterson 

Genomics to understand the structure and plasticity of weedy genomes. Genome rearrangements (i.e. transposable elements and copy number variation) as novel sources of genetic variation for weed adaptation to abiotic stresses. (patte543@msu.edu) 

Joan B. Rose 

Microbiological water quality and public health safety. Molecular methods for waterborne pathogens including Cryptosporidium and enteric viruses. (rosejo@msu.edu) 

 

 Plant Breeding and Genetics: 

Karen A. Cichy 

Dry bean breeding and genetics. Emphasis on seed quality, human nutritional quality, processing quality and consumer acceptance. (cichykar@msu.edu) 

David S. Douches 

Potato breeding and genetics at 4x and 2x. Self-compatibility, breeding for disease and insect resistance and potato quality. Use of wild species, application of genetic engineering/gene editing to potato breeding, gene mapping. (douchesd@msu.edu) 

Eric Olson 

Wheat Breeding and Genetics; development of cultivars with improved agronomics, disease resistance, and end-use quality. (eolson@msu.edu) 

Rachel Naegele 

Sugarbeet genetics and pre- breeding for abiotic and biotic stress resistance with an emphasis on marker development, genomic/genetic resources and identification of new traits. (rachel.naegele@usda.gov) 

Hatem Rouached 

Plant mineral nutrition. Mineral nutrient sensing, signaling and transport in plants. Arabidopsis, tomato, and wheat (rouached@msu.edu) 

Addie Thompson 

Maize genetics and breeding, predictive modeling and computational genomics, plant stress, high-throughput phenotyping. (thom1718@msu.edu) 

Dechun Wang 

Soybean genetics/genomics; improved plant performance, host plant resistance and seed chemical composition to increase soybean value. (wangdech@msu.edu) 

Cholani Weebadde 

Plant Breeder For International Programs. White yam, potato, bean, rice and strawberry breeding and research. (weebadde@msu.edu) 

Plant Pathology 

  

Greg Bonito 

Mycology, plant-fungal interactions, truffle ecology, evolution of bacterial endosymbiosis in fungi. (bonito@msu.edu) 

Martin I. Chilvers 

Field crop diseases; molecular diagnostics. Fungal and oomycete biology, epidemiology, genetics, host-pathogen interactions. (chilvers@msu.edu) 

  

Linda E. Hanson 

Soil-borne pathogens, particularly fungi, sugar beet and rotation crops, diversity and interaction w/ cropping systems. (hansonl5@msu.edu) 

  

Mary K. Hausbeck 

Vegetables, ornamentals, ginseng and hop disease management. Disease predictors; epidemiology. (hausbec1@msu.edu) 

  

Timothy D. Miles 

Small fruit and hop pathologist. Fungicide resistance and molecular diagnostics. (milesti2@msu.edu) 

Alejandro Rojas 

Mycology and Oomycete biology; plant-microbe interactions; population genetics and ecology of pathogenic and beneficial microbes, mainly fungi 

(rojasfle@msu.edu)  

  

George W. Sundin 

Fruit tree disease management. Plant bacteriology; host pathogen interactions; plasmid biology; microbial evolution. (sundin@msu.edu) 

  

Jamie F. Willbur 

Potato and sugar beet diseases. Integrated management strategies. Pathogen biology, ecology, and disease epidemiology; predictive modeling. (willbur1@msu.edu) 

Turfgrass: 

  

Kevin W. Frank 

Turfgrass management with emphasis on soil and plant nutrient relationships, winterkill, water flux in putting greens, nutrient fate, and irrigation programs. (frankk@msu.edu) 

Emily (Merewitz) Holm 

Turf and cereal crop grass physiology; abiotic and biotic plant stress (merewitz@msu.edu) 

 

Thomas A. Nikolai 

Associate Coordinator of the 2-year Golf Turfgrass Management program. (nikolait@msu.edu) 

John N. Rogers, III 

Turfgrass management with emphasis on sports turf construction, establishment, and management; putting green management strategies. (rogersj@msu.edu) 

 

 

Weed Science: 

  

Erin E. Burns 

Weed management strategies in corn, potatoes, and forages. Biology, ecology, population dynamics, and integrated weed management of problematic weeds; practices to mitigate the development and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds. (burnser5@msu.edu) 

Eric L. Patterson 

Herbicide effects on plant physiology; evolving timescale of weed resistance. Genomics to understand the structure and plasticity of weedy genomes; Genetic variation for weed adaptation to abiotic stresses. (patte543@msu.edu) 

Karen A. Renner 

Weed and cover crop competition and community dynamics in agroecosystems; Weed seed banks in agroecosystems. Collaborative teaching and learning strategies. 

(renner@msu.edu) 

Christy L. Sprague 

Weed management strategies in soybean, sugar beets, and dry beans. Understanding weed crop interactions; manipulating interactions to improve weed management systems. (sprague1@msu.edu)