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PMB

The department of Plant and Microbial Biology works to advance knowledge of basic plant and microbial biology. Teaching and research programs in the department cover molecular, biochemical, cellular, developmental, physiological, organismal, ecological, and evolutionary biology of plants, algae and fungi. Here you will find a collection of news, features and opportunities for and about PMB.

Hemp on the Horizon

Field trials allow researchers to determine what varieties of industrial hemp grow best in different parts of Minnesota.

George Weiblen

A Long-Term Look at Range Limits

NSF renews funding for a multi-year study led by David Moeller investigating the ecological and evolutionary forces impacting the boundaries of species’ geographic ranges.

A central theme in evolutionary biology is that organisms frequently adapt to a variety of environemnts across their ranges. At the same time, it remains poorly understood as to why boundaries to geographic ranges form and remain stable over long periods of time.

The Biologists and the Bell

College of Biological Sciences faculty contributed to the creation of exhibits and more at the new Bell Museum. 

Student at Bell Museum

A wall display at the new Bell features images taken of plots at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve using spectral diversity of plants to evaluate biodiversity.

The Story Behind the Scientist with Katie Fixen

Katie Fixen

There are two absolutes in science: Failure is frequent and inevitable.

“A lot of what you do [day-to-day] in the lab doesn’t work,” says Dr. Katie Fixen, a microbiologist who recently joined the Plant and Microbial Biology Department on the St. Paul campus.

The Story Behind the Scientist with Feng Zhang

Feng Zhang

Feng Zhang was born and raised in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, China’s most populous province. Both math and science came easily to him, so he set his academic sights on genetics, a natural marriage of two passions that would allow him to “solve real problems in the real world.”

A Q&A with Peter Tiffin

New head of the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology shares his perspective on PMB’s past, present and future.

Peter Tiffin

Longtime faculty member Peter Tiffin recently stepped into a new role as department head for Plant and Microbial Biology.

Seeking Soybean-Friendly Fungi

Kathryn Bushley and Thomas Kim look toward fungi as potential answer for destructive nematodes.

Soybeans in a field

Summer in Minnesota: a time for boating on the lakes, spending time outdoors, enjoying the extra daylight and a key time for growing crops. For many soybean farmers, however, a certain parasitic roundworm can potentially wreak havoc on their harvest.