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Research

At the College of Biological Sciences we learn biology by doing biology, and our faculty are on the cutting edge of research and discovery in the field. Here you will find a collection of news, features and opportunities concerning research at CBS.

A Growing Global Research Footprint

The Nutrient Network continues to expand with new grassland sites internationally and here at home.


In 2019, the Nutrient Network (NutNet) achieved a new milestone — 143 sites on six continents. This summer, more than 40 researchers affiliated with the ecological research network attended the NutNet annual meeting hosted by Ecology, Evolution and Behavior professors Elizabeth Borer and Eric Seabloom. 

What Lies Beneath

Disrupting bacteria’s communication pathways may thwart costly infrastructure decay just beneath the surface in harbors worldwide.

Duluth-Superior Harbor

Hundreds gather in the Duluth-Superior harbor for the lunchtime show. There’s no standup routine or street performance. Instead a slowly rising lift bridge and a loaded barge.

Undergraduate research position in the Voytas Lab

The Voytas lab is looking for sophomore or junior undergraduate students interested in working on projects involving cutting edge genetic engineering, virology and synthetic biology in crop plants. This position is for students who are thinking about a research career in biotech/life sciences.

While prior lab experience is a plus, it is by no means required. Students who are accepted will gain skills in:

Undergraduate research opportunities in conservation biology

Ruth Shaw Lab

Interested in gaining research experience? Want to learn about plant adaptation to climate change? Apply for a position in the Ruth G. Shaw Lab! The lab is seeking research volunteers to work 6-10 hours per week during Fall 2019. These positions offer skill building opportunities in field and laboratory work 

Winged Road Warriors

Researchers track migration of monarch butterflies to determine whether roadside milkweed - often laden with salt - can fuel their journey.

Emilie Snell-Rood with monarch

Winter seems like a long ways off, but some are already beginning their migration south. Several thousand monarchs reared on the St. Paul campus are gearing up for their journey to central Mexico.

Virologists enjoy the best of Minnesota science and summer

American Society for Virology hosts annual conference at the University of Minnesota.


From the containment of disease spread to the impact of viruses on crop life, the American Society for Virology met on the University of Minnesota campus in late July to share the latest research on the myriad ways viruses impact life. Fifteen hundred scientists and students from across the country and world made their way to Minneapolis for the four-day conference.

Checking in With Dean Forbes -Summer 2019


We just wrapped up the last session of Nature of Life at Itasca, which means the new semester isn’t far off. The end of NOL brings with it the departure of Abby Connover, longtime coordinator of our Nature of Life program both at Itasca and back on campus, as well as leader of the CBS Guilds. Everyone who knows Abby understands what an incredible contribution she has made in this role, and we are grateful for her service to the College.