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Faculty Directory

The Michigan State University African Studies Center has close to a hundred Core Faculty with experience on Africa, probably one of the largest in the nation. The Center features many scholars in social science, agricultural economics, African languages, the arts and humanities, education, health and medicine and many other fields.

The faculty members are listed alphabetically by college and departmental affiliation, noting geographical areas of Africa experience, and teaching and research interests.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the African Studies Center's Core Faculty, please fill out the Membership Request form

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Tyrone Rooney Department: Geological Sciences
Countries/Research: Ethiopia; Egypt
Email: rooneyt(at)

Awa Sarr Department: African Studies Center
Email: sarrawa(at)

Mohamed Satti Department: Human Medicine Dean
Countries/Research: Sudan
Email: msatti(at)

Karl Seydel Department: Osteopathic Medical Specialties Com
Countries/Research: Malawi; Zambia
Email: seydel(at)

Galen Sibanda Department: Linguistics & Languages
Countries/Research: Zimbabwe
Email: sibanda1(at)

Sieglinde Snapp Department: Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences
Countries/Research: Malawi; Tanzania; Mali; Rwanda; Ghana
Email: snapp(at)

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Biography: My research focuses on understanding the principles of resilient cropping system design and biologically-based soil management. This includes investigating the multi-functional role of accessory crops such as cover crops in mediating nutrient efficiency, soil function and healthy crop roots. A particular area of interest is the feedback loops in nitrogen and phosphorus availability mediated by plants and associated microbes. Predicting nutrient availability and tradeoffs between mineralization and assimilation processes are important questions my research group and collaborators address in organic and sustainable production systems. To foster outreach and education on soil ecological management I coordinate a website at MSU on applied soil ecology I am committed to participatory research and extension approaches with iterative feedback from stakeholders. To this end, I developed the mother and baby trial design to link long-term research trials systematically with on-farm experimentation. Collaborations across social and biological scientists are essential in a rapidly changing world, and I work closely with multidisciplinary teams including scientists, farmers, students, advisors and extension educators to foster farmer innovation and build more sustainable, environmentally-friendly cropping systems. The participatory research methods and on-farm research trial designs I work on have been adopted by agronomists and plant breeders in 16 countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and in Paraguay. Teaching interests include developing a new course with Dr. Phil Robertson addressing Soil Biology CSS 360 and contributing cropping systems and participatory research methodology lectures in CSS and courses such as ANP859, a core requirement of the new Gender, Justice and Environment Graduate specialization. As a core faculty member of African Studies and the Women in International Development program I am committed to education and scholarship in area studies and international development, including promoting south-south linkages and extending the agro-ecology lessons of the field crop LTER to Southern Africa and West Africa

Camelia Suleiman Department: Linguistics and Languages
Email: csuleima(at)

Scott Swinton Department: Agriculture, Food & Resource Economics
Countries/Research: Niger; Côte d’Ivoire; Senegal; Morocco; Tunisia; Ethiopia; Zimbabwe; Malawi; Kenya

Email: swintons(at)

Terrie Taylor Department: Osteopathic Medical Specialties Com
Countries/Research: Malawi; Sudan
Email: ttmalawi(at)

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Biography: Terrie Taylor's battle against malaria, which she refers to as the Voldemort of parasites, has been waged since 1986. An internationally recognized scientist and physician, Terrie spends six months of the year in the African nation of Malawi, conducting malaria research and treating patients, the vast majority of whom are children. The Blantyre Malaria Project, established by Terrie and Malcolm Molyneux, has carried out outstanding research and patient care in the area of pediatric malaria, specifically cerebral malaria, a syndrome in which the brain is involved.

Chantal M. Tetreault Department: Anthropology Social Science
Countries/Research: Morocco
Email: tetreau7(at)

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Biography: Chantal Tetreault is a linguistic and cultural anthropologist whose recent work has primarily focused on issues of migration and social change in France. Dr. Tetreault's current project addresses the interactional styles whereby French adolescents of Algerian descent construct and express their emergent identities as Arab Muslims and French youth. More generally, her research illuminates how cultural processes of identity construction, primarily relating to gender and ethnicity, are achieved through everyday language use. Professor Tetreault's publications and teaching both challenge naturalized assumptions about the link between identity and language, thereby contributing to new scholarship in linguistic anthropology that rejects the previously common pattern of equating cultural groups and particular language styles.