Emilie Snell-Rood (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) and Dan Knights (BioTechnology Institute/Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) are among eight U of M faculty members named 2015-17 McKnight Land-Grant Professors.
Snell-Rood’s research focuses on developmental plasticity as a means of better understanding how organisms respond to novel and rapid changes in their environment. Learning and phenotypic plasticity play a crucial role in allowing organisms to cope with such variation. Understanding why organisms vary in the degree of plasticity is important to predicting how species will respond to human-induced environmental change, such as global warming.
Knights, who holds a joint appointment with CSE, investigates patterns in microbial communities that link to human health, and uses those patterns to help develop novel therapeutics and diagnostics. He combines expertise in computation and biology to advance detection and treatment of dysbiosis, an imbalance in gut bacteria, in obesity and autoimmune diseases.
The goal of the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Program is to advance the careers of new assistant professors at a crucial point in their professional lives.
Recent research from the Snell-Rood lab: U of M researcher investigates impact of road salt on butterflies / U of M researchers find brain size tracks human-induced changes to the environment in some species.
Recent research from the Knights lab: Study reveals that people may inherit ‘gut’ bacteria that cause Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.