Article featuring KBS research wins outstanding paper award

A paper that examines best practices for improving soil health over time has been recognized as outstanding by the American Society of Agronomy, or ASA. The paper, spearheaded by W.K. Kellogg Biological Station resident faculty and MSU assistant professor Christine Sprunger, detailed research that was conducted at the KBS Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center site. Tvisha Martin and Meredith Mann also contributed to the paper, titled “Systems with greater perenniality and crop diversity enhance soil biological health,” which was originally published in 2020 in the journal Agricultural

Welcoming the new LTAR Associate Director for Engagement, Tayler Ulbrich

The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) community is excited to welcome Dr. Tayler Ulbrich, who is joining the KBS Long-term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) project as the new Associate Director for Engagement. In her new role, Tayler will be responsible for directing and managing external relationships with various groups - such as producers, agribusiness professionals, farm advisors, policy makers, journalists - to ensure that the goals and outcomes of the LTAR reflect the many voices of people within Michigan’s agricultural sector.  Tayler grew up in Iowa and moved to Michigan

KBS LTER helps prospective biological science grad students envision the field

The second annual Envision EEB event was held Sept. 16-17, 2022, and this year W.K. Kellogg Biological Station hosted a tour that gave a glimpse into life as a grad student in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior—EEB—program. The Envision EEB: Graduate Preview Weekend provides students from underrepresented backgrounds information on the graduate application process and how to fund their graduate research through grants and fellowships. It also offers an early opportunity to network with potential advisors. About the program The weekend, which was held in person this year after

Building relationships by the ocean

Britney Christensen, Gabe Knowles, and Connie High joined the KBS community through the NSF LTER RET Program (National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Teachers). This program matches K-12 teachers with local scientists with the goal of enhancing the professional development of K-12 science educators through research experience in order to then bring new knowledge into their classroom. Their experience culminated with a visit to Asilomar, California to attend the LTER Network's All Scientists Meeting in 2022. The following post is written by Britney, Gabe, and Connie, along

The ABC’s – Agriculture, Beneficial Beetles and Conservation: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

Cynthia Fiser is a graduate student in Doug Landis's lab in the Michigan State University Department of Entomology. Her research looks at the impact of perennial prairie strips on the dispersal of ground beetles in row crop agriculture. Rolling hills of wheat, corn and soybean are a beautiful and nostalgic feature of the summer landscape in the Midwest. Here, agriculture is as much a part of the culture as the economy – anyone who attends a county fair would agree! However, the pressure placed on our agricultural landscapes to meet global demands for food, fuel and fiber takes a toll on

Joelyn de Lima: Visiting home

Joelyn de Lima is a recent graduate from MSU, working with Dr. Tammy Long in the Department of Plant Biology. She is currently based in Switzerland, and in spring 2021 was appointed as a virtual visiting scholar with the Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research Program (KBS LTER). Joelyn worked with Kara Haas and the K-12 Partnership team to support and create professional development programming for teachers and Education & Outreach graduate student fellows. To get in touch with Joelyn, you can email her at delimajo@msu.edu or follow her on social media

Little strips of prairie can go a long way

New research out of MSU shows that it is possible to manage farmland to address two challenges simultaneously – protecting biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services. The key is to strategically place native perennial vegetation within agricultural systems, using the innovative practice of prairie strips. Today, 38% of the landscape in the Midwest is planted in row crop agriculture. “We need to make this land habitable for species for the ecosystem services the increased biodiversity can provide to the farms” said Lindsey Kemmerling, the first author of the MSU-led study

Prairie strip and soil health farm field day to be held in Cassopolis on August 26th

CASSOPOLIS, Michigan— A farm field day centered on prairie strips and soil health will be held on Friday, August 26th (September 2nd rain date) from 1:00- 3:00 p.m. at the Edward Lowe Foundation. The field day will feature speakers including farmers, land managers, and soil scientists who will describe the implementation, management, and soil health benefits associated with on-farm prairie strips. The event is free and open to the whole family and will include a soil pit demonstration, a wagon tour of prairie strips and refreshments.  This field day is supported by Michigan State

Transforming Michigan’s agricultural landscapes – Do prairie strips diversify insect communities in squash production?: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

Jen Zavalnitskaya is a graduate student in Zsofia Szendrei's lab in Michigan State University's Department of Entomology. Her research interests include plant-insect interactions, insect behavior, integrated pest management, and agroecology By the time I began my PhD, I knew I was passionate about promoting the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. From my masters research in Zsofia Szendrei’s lab, I learned that the ways farmers manage their fields plays an important part in insect pest dynamics. However, the local landscape plays a large role as well. This creates a challenge,

New KBS LTER Artist-in-Residence program aims to create intersection between art and research

This spring, Michigan State University launches the Farmscapes to Forests: Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Artist-in-Residence Program, which will welcome artists from across all mediums to spend a week at the Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, Michigan, followed by a culminating visit in the fall or winter to share their work. Supported by the National Science Foundation, Gretel Van Wieren, Professor in MSU’s Department of Religious Studies, is leading the program in its first collaboration with Dream Scene Placemaking,