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Our Faculty

Looking west over campus as the sun sets

Your research will change the world

UM is known for its research in wildlife biology, forestry, pharmacy, chemistry, climate change and more. And while STEM is big at UM, research in the humanities, social sciences and other fields is also fundamental here.

In 2022 the University of Montana became a nationally and globally known center for research when UM was named an R1 institution, one of just 146 institutions nationwide to be listed among the ranks of “Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity."

Research at UM

Supportive environment STEM powerhouse Best in the nation

“I couldn’t have found an environment that was more supportive. So many people at UM are invested in my career and my research.”


"I think everyone should go to their smaller-town universities, especially for STEM.”


“UM is one of the best – if not the best – wildlife biology graduate schools in the nation so I definitely had an interest in coming here."


1 of 146

R1 institutions in the US


in NIH funding in 2019


in research awards in 2021


nationally in research growth


student fellowships in 2021


in research expenditures since 2016

#6 Fastest Growing Research University

As research at UM has boomed, so has research spending. In 2021, UM reported $138 million in research awards, a 38% increase over the previous year. In fact, UM is the sixth-fastest growing research university in the nation, known for its work in wildlife biology, forestry, pharmacy, chemistry, climate change and more.

Research is in our roots

Research is central to our mission at the University of Montana and our students will learn from scholars who are at the top of their fields.

Published in 'Nature'

Only an anthropologist would treasure millennia-old human feces found in dry caves. Just ask Dr. Meradeth Snow, UM researcher and co-chair of UM’s Department of Anthropology. She was recently part of an international team that used human “paleofeces” to discover that ancient people had far different microorganisms living in their guts than we do in modern times.

The art and science of camping

For a nation that loves to camp, the past few summers have been fraught with more issues than mosquitoes and getting damp firewood to light. For many, just landing a site in a national park has been a logistical landmine, requiring more flexibility and fortitude than folding a six-person tent alone.

That challenge is one Will Rice, UM assistant professor of outdoor recreation and wildland management, has studied in depth. His work explores the scarcity and rising demand for campsites – and the unintended income and racial inequities that come with it.

International recognition

Before Hilary Martens earned master’s degrees in geophysics from the University of Cambridge, University College London and the California Institute of Technology, she earned her undergraduate degrees from UM in physics and music. 

Now she's back on campus as an associate professor, directing the Martens Lab, a geophysics research group that studies earthquakes in Montana and the interactions between the Earth and its water surfaces. In just a few short years, her findings have generated a number of large and prestigious grants to further her research.

Yellowstone research goes big

New research from a UM grad student and a Yellowstone National Park biologist suggests that a common parasite associated with cats turns wolves into risk takers, who when infected are much more likely to disperse across the landscape and become pack leaders. The story caught fire with media outlets worldwide, with both CNN and NPR picking it up.

Undergraduate research happens here

Undergraduate research experience is common at UM – even as a first-year student! Just ask Andi Newbrough, an honors student who worked as a research assistant studying rhinoceros beetles as a freshman.

Vital vaccine research

In 2020, UM was ranked among the top 10 universities on Successful Student’s list for “Best Universities Solving the Coronavirus Pandemic,” joining schools like Harvard and Oxford in its commitment to helping defeat the coronavirus. UM received the recognition for its vital vaccine research, conducted in the Center for Translational Medicine.