School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology—PhD

Manipulating plants by transforming with sequences promoting cell division. Hybridization and divergent selection in multispecies oak communities. Poplar gene expression data analysis pipelines, and adaptive genetic diversity in American chestnut. The relationship between gene duplication and alternative splicing in plants. Michigan Tech offers its PhD program to candidates who intend to make significant contributions to knowledge in the areas of forest ecology, soils, silviculture, tree improvement, forest wildlife ecology and management, economics, inventory, geographic information systems, growth and yield, wood science, and forest biology. It is awarded through demonstrated mastery of advanced course work and innovative research.

Program Strengths and Opportunities

  • Understand the life process and genetic controls of forest organisms as they relate to their environment, from plant breeding to forensic biology. Measure and conserve genetic diversity in natural populations, or manage it in tree-breeding programs.
  • The most lab-based of our programs, highly relevant to forest sustainability and climate-change mitigation, as well as forest restoration.
  • 6,500 feet of lab space, 2,000 of greenhouse, 4,609 acres of research forest.
  • Tap into the wide breadth of expertise within our small, friendly academic community. Get to know us, and find who you want to work with.
  • Research degrees are non-specific, and we intentionally set a low number of required classes, unless your committee requires them.
  • Explore your interests with your committee and your advisor to define the optimal educational experience.
"The horse chestnut was totally misnamed. It’s not a chestnut, but rather a buckeye, and horses don’t like it."Karena Schmidt, Greenhouse and Soil Lab Manager

Funding Opportunities

  • We work diligently to continuously acquire research funding—and we are successful. Our research expenditures total more than $300,000 per faculty member, the highest external funding level of any academic unit at Michigan Tech.
  • Research the researchers. Match your area of interest with a faculty member, and contact him or her directly—your best chance to be matched with an assistantship and research project.
  • Check our open research positions often, where you will also find a listing of fellowships, jobs, and other funding opportunities.