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MSU Plant Biologist Receives NSF CAREER Award

Lars Brudvig

Lars Brudvig, assistant professor of plant biology in Michigan State University’s College of Natural Science (NatSci), is the recipient of a five-year, $653,460 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award.

The CAREER Award is one of NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

The award will support Brudvig’s work on understanding how to restore damaged ecosystems, particularly grasslands in southwestern Michigan. It will also provide funds to train undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs, as well as expand the two courses that Brudvig teaches.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about this award,” Brudvig said. “It’s a tremendous honor and I’m excited about the work we will do to help restore an endangered ecosystem here in Michigan, make inroads on the critical issue of predicting restoration outcomes and help to train the next generation of restoration ecologists.”

Brudvig and several colleagues will also develop a new unit on conservation biology and restoration ecology for BioSci 162 – Organisms and Populations, the second course in the introductory biology sequence. They will also make some advances to the restoration ecology course.

“One thing I’m really excited about is that we’re going to develop restoration classrooms, where students will work over time to restore a natural area here on campus,” Brudvig said. “It will also provide them opportunities to collect data and evaluate the restoration process, and then formulate recommendations for the next step—which the subsequent class can then carry out.”

“Lars is exceptional in his ability to integrate a highly successful research program on restoration ecology with a passion for innovative and effective teaching and mentoring,” said Danny Schnell, chairperson of MSU’s Department of Plant Biology. “He truly exemplifies the ideal of a teacher-scholar, and the department is delighted that the NSF has recognized his achievements and potential with this prestigious award.”

Brudvig, who came to MSU in 2010, earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Iowa State University in 2007, followed by postdoctoral work with The Corridor Project at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Florida.

– College of Natural Science

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