I am a graduate student studying insect conservation and sustainable farming. My goal is to find ways to restore habitat and incorporate wildlife within our human developed systems, like farms. In the summer I spend most of my time outside catching and observing insects, and in the winter I work with a microscope to identify and measure my insect specimens.
As a plant ecologist, I study how plants respond to and influence the environment around them. I get to design my own questions and experiments, do my own field work in the summers, and write and talk to people about all the cool plants we find! My research focuses on plants that have gone extinct, and the effects of human-caused changes on plant species.
As a wildlife biologist, I study natural populations of animals in their habitats to understand how they interact with their environment and change over time. I mostly work with frogs but also study other amphibians and reptiles (known as Herpetology). By studying how frogs respond to changes in their environment such as temperature or new diseases, we can predict how populations will respond to future changes, and use that information to conserve those populations.
My research focuses on bacterial genetics, specifically the transfer of genes from one bacterium to another to facilitate evolution. In the lab, I screen for bacteria that have gained new genes from neighboring bacteria. The experiments I conduct require special permits for genetically modifying organisms and require me to work in a special biosafety cabinet that prevents the organisms from escaping.
I am a scientist who uses math to understand biological systems. In particular, I try to understand how groups of different species (predators, prey, competitors) live together in nature without driving each other extinct.
Outreach SpecialistKara HaasAs the science education and outreach coordinator at KBS, I work with education professionals across KBS and at MSU to develop programs to help people connect with the science and natural history of the Kellogg Biological Station. My favorite program is the K-12 Partnership which brings classroom teachers and scientists together to create innovative science lessons for K-12 students. I also get the chance to work with students at different career stages to improve their science communication skills
Farm or Dairy Manager
My job as the Farm Manager at the Kellogg Biological Station involves operating a farm that prioritizes research and education efforts. This includes helping students and faculty at MSU with their research needs, pioneering sustainable farming practices, as well as managing a farming business.
After earning my undergrad in Natural Resources Management and working in the field for 3 years I quickly learned that my passion wasn’t DOING scientific research, but SHARING it. I started out as an informal educator but over the past decade, and after earning my MPA, my position has shifted into marketing and fundraising for all of KBS. I oversee external communications to broaden the community understanding of KBS research, programs, and events to assure broad support and engagement. This includes managing social media accounts, web presence, press releases, media stories, and reports. I also host events to engage KBS alumni, volunteers, board members, and the community; leading to fundraising that supports scholarships, fellowships, and day to day operations across KBS.
I am responsible for the day to day science activities to complete field experiments. The field experiments are designed to test a scientific question, or hypothesis. Often times, this involves managing a team of researchers including high school students, volunteers, college undergraduates, graduate students, and professors. The science activities include measuring and recording data on how plants grow in response to different environmental conditions like drought, extreme heat, or nitrogen fertilizers. The field experiments are conducted outside, or in a greenhouse.
When I was in middle school, I was curious about science and liked nature. The part I like most about being a field technician is being part of team that tests scientific questions. This helps people understand how plants respond to a changing environment.
Holly Vander Stel
My job as a lab manager and technician is to help scientists answer all their research questions. When scientists have an idea for an experiment I plan and organize everything we might need for the experiment to run smoothly. Then as a technician I get to run the experiment! I collect and record all the data; sometimes I'm measuring or weighing samples and sometimes I get to mix chemicals and analyze the reaction! Scientists have lots of different questions so I'm always planning for new, fun experiments.
As a professor at Michigan State University, I teach general ecology to a class of 200 students. During the summer, I conduct research on plants and animals in nature. I study how to conserve habitat for the benefit of nature and of people. My large experiments test the effects of landscape corridors as superhighways for plants and animals; the benefits of natural disturbance for endangered butterflies; and the value of prairie strips planted maintained through crop fields.
A drone pilot is responsible for adding scientific data and observations to many spatial projects. We work with climate change, agricultural engineering, plant and soil science, photography, videography, satellite imagery, and multispectral imagery to answer specific questions about our landscape.
Field Station Director (Update with Jeff? Or Fred?)
Field Station DirectorFred JanzenThe job of KBS Director is ‘the best job in the world’. Why? Because you get to help develop, promote (and even do) exciting research, and share this through education and outreach programs. The best part it that you get to work with really smart, productive and committed people who share a passion for ecology and evolutionary biology and want to use this science to work on solutions to important environmental and conservation challenges. You do have to go to meetings and write reports, but these help make people aware of KBS and all that is done here.
I am a natural resource social scientist who works at the intersection of agriculture and the environment. My research explores farmer decision making and how it affects environmental quality, so most of my work involves listening to farmers and agricultural advisors through surveys and interviews.
As the Animal Caretaker at the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, I lead the husbandry (raking, shoveling, scrubbing, feeding, training) of our birds of prey waterfowl, and gamebird residents and exhibits. I also greet guests, work in the gift shop, manage social media, and go to local news stations for interviews. We are outside every day of the year, whether it's a holiday, 100 degrees or 0 degrees, because animals need care every day!
I love being in or near water and studying the incredible biodiversity that lives below the surface. I was first inspired to study fish and aquatic life after snorkeling on a beautiful coral reef in the Caribbean in 5th grade. I got my SCUBA license as soon as I was old enough and one of my first research projects was helping to understand and monitor coral disease in the Philippines. Field work for this project involved SCUBA diving every day for a month. Since then, most of my research has focused on fish in freshwater streams. I focus on understanding their population ecology and genetic make-up in order to ensure that populations stay healthy in the face of environmental change. I study species of tropical stream fish like Trinidadian guppies as well as temperate species like North American daters. I also enjoy catching bigger fish with my fly rod!
Bird Sanctuary Manager
As Sanctuary Manager at the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, I get to do a lot of different things and I really enjoy the variety. I spend a good portion of my day in front of a computer or in meetings planning interpretive programs for visitors, facility management, and communications on behalf of the Sanctuary. I also get to be outside leading field trip programs, birding walks, and sometimes I even get to take care of the birds that live at the Sanctuary. My favorite part of the job is talking with our visitors and hearing about what made their experience so special!
Operations and Safety CoordinatorAndy FogielI am able to work with lots of people everyday. On this job I get to be creative to solve problems because things break and people need help with materials for experiments all the time. I also get to spend time connecting with people at MSU's main campus in terms of safety protocols, recycling and more.
Elizeth Cinto MejiaI'm a doctoral student studying the impacts of climate change on our planet. I really love birds and one of my research projects was studying the impacts of noise on birds. I'm a very curious person and have explored a lot of different types of biology and ecology in my career. Spanish is my first language and I love to share my science with students who speak Spanish too.