Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 20, 2019


Dr. Michael Rotter brings his expertise in evolutionary ecology, chemical ecology, plant-animal interactions and climate change to the MU campus.

Photo by Chloe Arndt

Visiting Professor Shares Passion for Science with MU

Ryan Daine


Up the staircase of the Science Center, within the Niswander Department of Biology, lies the office of one of MU’s most recent additions to its lineup of professors. Dr. Michael Rotter, a visiting professor beginning his first year of teaching at Manchester, can be found just around the first corner of the wing, and he almost always has his door open, ready to receive questions from curious students who may wander past.

Inside his office, there’s a desk adorned with various scattered papers, a window with a killer view of the grassy Mall, and a bright man with plenty to share concerning his passions for the various fields of applicable sciences. A small university can easily go “under the radar” when there are so many other larger state institutions offering incentives to freshly graduated PhDs looking to apply for work. The small size and atmosphere of Manchester’s campus, however, was a big draw to Rotter.

Indeed, he felt that the position offered at MU was, as he says, “extremely attractive,” based on the unique community that is fostered on campus. “I can get to know the students really well, and be able to help them through all of their years here at Manchester,” he said before adding, “And really guide them through what it takes to become a scientist.”

Rotter is especially interested in fields such as evolutionary ecology, chemical ecology and plant-animal interactions that exist globally. The current issue of climate change is another key focus, and he feels that at Manchester, with its diverse offerings and each individual’s unique take on problems, there is a place that truly fosters student discussion. “There is definitely a culture here where students are interested in making an impact for a lot of these bigger environmental issues,” he said.

Although he is a “visiting” professor who is only obligated to a two-year long contract,  Rotter still feels very enthusiastic about what he will be able to do during his time at MU. For instance, he plans on sharing his deep knowledge with his students; implementing fun learning activities and offering a creative outlook on the typically analytical aspects of science; and continuing his research alongside prospective scientists, collaborating with them both inside and outside of the labs and classrooms.

Further, Rotter encourages students, whether in a science oriented major or not, to come visit him in his office and talk with him. He is always thrilled to discuss interesting topics concerning biology and the unique environment of the Midwest; he’s a young, bright professor who offers a unique take on the problems and fascinations of the natural world.