Female student conducting art research with a male faculty member

Research at NMU

Northern Michigan University prides itself on the numerous opportunities we provide to undergraduate and graduate students to engage in high-level research projects. From uncovering the mysteries of the Aurora Borealis to conducting brain tumor and genetics research, students are able to participate in meaningful, hands-on learning that supports their educational and personal goals.  

What's new at NMU? 


Female wearing a lab coat and gloves doing research in a lab

Research Centers and Labs

NMU students and faculty engage in scholarship and research in all academic departments. 


Trail Cam of a bear

NMU Research Spotlight: Biology

Tru Hubbard, a biology graduate student advised by Dr. Diana Lafferty, has received two NMU research awards for her project "The Yooper Wildlife Watch". The Yooper Wildlife Watch captures images of animal movement through 30 trail cameras and incorporates newly developed data management and analysis techniques. Yooper Wildlife Watch has contributed imagery to a nationwide camera trapping effort coordinated by The Smithsonian Institution and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Hubbard has received the Charles C. Spooner Award and the Student Technology Innovation Award for her research.

Learn more about her project here.


Goeks Image with equipment

NMU Research Spotlight: Physics

Mariah Goeks, a student in Dr. Mengyan's solid state physics group, has been awarded the Nadine Barlow Undergraduate Research Support Award by the national Council on Undergraduate Research. Mariah is building a four-point probe to utilize the Van der Pauw method to measure the electrical resistivity and Hall coefficient of materials. The group project is building and testing a piece of experimental equipment to aid in the electrical characterization of materials relevant for applications such as for use in solar cells and electronic devices. The characterization measurements are important to their group’s current and future research projects since the measurements provide additional insight towards understanding how materials can behave, which ultimately contributes to developing better devices for present and future applications. See the award announcement


John Bruggink

NMU Research Spotlight: Faculty

Dr. John Bruggink has been awarded the Peter White Scholar Award for his research, "Homesite Ecology of the Gray Wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem". Wolf homesites are the focal point of wolf pack activity during the pup-rearing season and homesites probably influence pup survival, which has been identified as the variable with the greatest influence on changes in wolf populations. Many gaps remain in our understanding of homesite selection and use, and the broader impact of homesites on wolf ecology, because until recently technological and logistical constraints have precluded studying many aspects of homesite use. Dr. Bruggink is collaborating with researchers from the University of Minnesota to examine this important aspect of wolf ecology. Their goals are to understand the factors that influence homesite selection by wolves and how those factors change as pups develop and available food sources shift throughout the pup-rearing season. They will use information from wolves equipped with satellite GPS collars to identify homesites, and detailed evaluation on the ground to document homesite characteristics.

Female pre-vet student holding a cat in a lab

"The word 'research' can seem daunting and out of your comfort zone, but it can be fun and tailored to your interests! Ask questions, ask for help, and reach out to explore the possible opportunities in your areas of interest."

Breanna Demaline