Welcome to the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. With expertise ranging from ecosystems services and disease management, to plant breeding, genomics, and food safety, we provide leadership and deliver programs that are internationally recognized and respected and have impact at local, national, and international levels. To provide this leadership, we work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative manner to effectively address complex problems and emerging threats that challenge food production and security. Above all, we value our missions of teaching, extension/outreach, research, international, service, and stewardship.   We are home to 70 faculty, 100  graduate students, 86 post-docs and staff members, and 200 undergraduate and certificate students.

For more information see our mission statement.

Meet a Faculty Member: Dr. Linda HansonLinda Hanson


Professor Linda Hanson knew for a long time she wanted to work with plants, but during a mycology course Hanson soon became enthralled with fungi.

Hanson’s work primarily revolves around how pathogens affect field crops, with some work on the interaction with different disease management strategies and vegetables.

Currently, Hanson is researching fungal pathogens of field crops. “I am interested in the diversity of fungal pathogens and how fungal diversity affects disease and crop management, including interactions with host diversity, crop rotation, and other management practices,” Hanson said.

[Read more about Dr. Linda Hanson here]

Teaching, Research, Extension/Outreach

Featured Students



Name: Pete Zeiger

Hometown: Brooklyn, MI

Adviser: Dr. John (Trey) Rogers III

What is your Major or Certificate Program?

2 Year Golf Turfgrass Management

Why did you choose that major or program?

I always wanted to have my career revolve around sports and this fit. Also, I love working outside and really enjoy having a golf course as my office.

Future plans:

I am graduating in March and currently looking for an Assistant Superintendent position with my  goal of becoming a Golf Course Superintendent.

[Read More About Pete]



Name: Grant Billings

Hometown: Florence, South Carolina

Crop and Soil Sciences Concentration: Advanced Studies

Adviser: Susan Gruber

Why did you choose this major and concentration? I chose a major in Crop & Soil Sciences to gain a deeper understanding of the feed, fiber, and food producers around the world.  I chose the Advanced Studies concentration because it provides the requisite scientific background along with involvement in many of the applied disciplines found under the umbrella of agronomy.

 [Read More About Grant Billings]

Graduate Program


Name: Dan Quinn

Hometown: Portland, Michigan

Major Professor: Dr. Kurt Steinke

In what lab do you work in and what are you researching? I work in the Steinke Lab helping perform research involving soil fertility and nutrient management across five different cropping systems. My graduate work involves evaluating various popular agronomic inputs (fertilizers, fungicides, growth regulators, etc.) across intensive and non-intensive management systems in wheat and soybean.

[Read More About Dan Quinn]