What a year (or two)! Greetings from the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Tech! It gives me great pleasure to share this bi-annual report of various ongoing activities and exciting accomplishments by our faculty, staff, and students during Spring 2020-Fall 2022.
In the spring of 2020, I was on sabbatical for one semester. The news of a possible COVID-19 pandemic broke out in February 2020 when I was in New Zealand. I immediately returned home, and Michigan Tech moved to a virtual mode of education in March 2020. Our faculty swiftly switched to this new mode in about a week, and all lectures and even remote labs became operational without severely affecting our educational mission. The semesters that followed were full of challenges, but I am glad to report that we somehow weathered this unprecedented storm, and the fall 2022 semester feels almost back to normal. The research labs were closed for over a semester in 2020, but as you can see from this report, research rebounded very quickly. The folks at the Biology department were also closely involved in setting up a COVID-19 testing lab, a unique undertaking as highlighted in this newsletter later on. Our faculty, staff, and students brought in over $9.9M in funding during this period and published over 90 peer-reviewed publications. The teaching mission has remained as strong as ever, with faculty and others winning state-wide and university-wide accolades. I hope you will enjoy reading about these and other highlights in this newsletter.