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. Mary Hausbeck is a MSU distinguished professor and associate chairperson of the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences.  Her research team is currently working to prevent and control downy mildew in cucumbers in Michigan.

This summer western Michigan experienced the highest presence of downy mildew in cucumbers. Downy mildew affects plants in cool and moist temperatures occurring mostly in the early spring and late fall.

Hausbeck receives samples of the spore trappings from farmers around Michigan. Her lab of undergraduate students tests the samples from farmers to determine the downy mildew presence.

“A big part of what we do is help protect the crops within the state by providing management strategies to the growers and producers in the state,” Dr. Hausbeck said. “In part that is to ensure a safe and secure food supply.”

[Read more about Dr. Hausbeck]

Teaching, Research, Extension/Outreach

Featured Students



Name: Brianna Wiemer

Hometown: Tecumseh, MI

Adviser: Erin Bosch

What is your Major or Certificate Program? Ag Industries

Why did you choose that major or program? I chose Ag Industries because it would give me a chance to come to my dream school, but also give me the time to figure out what I want to do for my future . [Read more about Brianna]



Name: Christopher Gillespie     

Hometown: Champaign, IL

Crop and Soil Sciences Concentrations: Agronomic Sciences

Adviser: Karen Renner

Why did you choose this major and concentration? I chose this major and concentration because “a farmer is someone who is outstanding in their field.” As I hope to be one day soon! [Read more about Christopher Gillespie]

Graduate Program

Charlie Krasnow in field.

Name: Charlie Krasnow

Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts

Major Professor: Mary Hausbeck

In what lab do you work in and what are you researching? I am in Mary Hausbeck’s lab and I am researching age-related resistance to Phytophthora, which is an economically important soil borne fungal-like organism.                   [Read more about Charlie Krasnow]