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 March 11, 2019
As part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Michigan State University is working directly with students in several Lansing School District high schools to raise awareness of STEM disciplines and university opportunities, including scholarships.
Published on March 4, 2019
Two MSU researchers are creating a model that measures the allergenicity of various wheat varieties. They hope to validate the model and eventually use it as a pre-clinical testing tool to develop non-allergenic wheat products.
Published on February 21, 2019
Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week will kick off March 1 at Michigan State University. ANR Week has served as a platform for enterprising new developments in agriculture and natural resources in Michigan since 1914.
Published on February 11, 2019
Eunice Foster was the first woman and remains the only African-American to earn tenure in Michigan State University's Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.
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.