Dance Biomechanics Research

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? 


Test tubes

Research Centers and Labs

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


A blue spotted salamander crossing the road at Presque Isle Park

NMU Research Spotlight: Blue-Spotted Salamander Migration

NMU Alumni Eli Bieri ('21), was recently featured in a story by the Washington Post on his research on blue-spotted salamanders.

Bieri,  alongside Dr. Jill Leonard,  lead a study to quantify roadkill during the breeding migration of blue spotted salamanders at Presque Isle Park. They discovered that over 400 salamanders were hit by cars, representing 10-20% of the migrating population. Bieri teamed up with the Superior Watershed Partnership and petitioned the City of Marquette to close the stretch of Peter White Drive where the salamanders were crossing. Since 2020, the road has closed at night during the migration season to allow the salamanders to safely cross.  

Read the article 




NMU Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Darren Simmons, a Medicinal Plant Chemistry major from Houston, Texas conducted a McNair Research Internship this summer with Dr. Wilson from the Department of Chemistry. Together they completed a one of a kind project about medicinal properties in the plant Radula complanta (Flat-leaved liverwort). He originally planned on observing the application of ultraviolet light in the lab to see if that would increase concentration of beneficial chemicals, but ended up identifying pathogens and microbes in the plant. Discovered a fungus that grows within liverwort that was not mentioned in the few studies that have been conducted on the plant, and found similar microbes in both C. sativa and R. complanata. With the help of Dr. Wilson, Darren submitted the continuation of this research as a NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP) proposal.


Professor Yu "Leo" Liu, alongside students Ender Harris, Natalia Correa, Jacob Cortez, Sam Smith, David Gregorich, Garrett Meso, and Derek Baluyut

NMU Research Spotlight: Chemistry Research Project Receives National Grant

Professor Yu "Leo" Liu is among 14 professors nationwide who were recently awarded two-year summer research grants from Organic Synthesis Inc., advancing "green chemistry" by eliminating the use of metal-based catalysts. 

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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