About Plant Biology

Department of Plant Biology graphic

Scientific Study of Plants as Organisms  

The Department of Plant Biology (PLB) is part of the College of Natural Science  at Michigan State University, and is one of the top plant sciences programs in the country. The core mission of PLB is to understand all aspects of plant biology by encompassing a broad range of scientific themes from molecular and cellular biology to evolution and ecology. We offer two undergraduate programs, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Plant Biology and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Biology/Plant Biology. The Plant Biology Graduate Program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Our undergraduate and graduate training programs strive to integrate across molecules to ecosystems, and thereby provide the next generation of plant scientists with the intellectual and technical framework to address key questions in the plant sciences.

The faculty research programs in PLB include plant molecular and cellular biology (the molecular processes that underlie plant growth and signaling), plant pathology (the basis of and responses to plants diseases), quantitative and computational biology (the study of the structure and dynamics of plant genomes), and evolutionary biologists and ecologists (the genetic and physiological adaption of plants & plant communities to their environments).  Although PLB research programs focus on basic science, their work has implications for developing sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by the demands for clean energy production, a secure food supply, and the environmental threats posed by climate change. 

Plant Biology has over 35 faculty, 50 undergraduate students, 50 graduate students, 46 research and postdoctoral fellows, and 14 staff members.  PLB is a part of one of the largest and most recognized plant science communities in the world, encompassing many academic departments, research units, and training programs.

The Department of Plant Biology is a community of people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. As reflected in our motto, “from molecules to ecosystems”, our strength lies in encouraging diverse perspectives and approaches to science. Our department is committed to being a leader on the path towards diversity and equality. We strive for positive institutional and cultural change, with the goal of ensuring that the Department reflects and upholds our shared ideals as scientists, educators, scholars, students, and community members. We are committed to identifying ways to build a culturally diverse environment by listening to our community members and implementing practices to foster inclusivity. We pledge to improve campus climate pertaining to ableism, ageism, ethnocentrism, homophobia, racism, religious oppression, sexism, sexual misconduct, transphobia, and other forms of marginalization. We value diversity, reject judgments based on differences, and instead embrace those differences as assets. Our success depends on our diversity and together we will shape the future.

Please take time to learn more about us by browsing our website, reading our stories, learning about our bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs, and getting to know the staff and faculty. We are always available and willing to help you with any questions you may have.

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