Microbial Symbiosis (BIOL 4803/8803), Spring
Microbial symbioses affect almost all life on this planet. Key eukaryotic organelles, including the mitochondrion and chloroplast, evolved from bacteria living inside ancient host cells. Today, similar associations between microbes and plants and animals occur in every major biome, playing critical roles in ecosystem productivity, the evolution of new species, and human health and agriculture. This course explores core topics in the study of bacteria-eukaryote symbioses, including partner recognition and communication, molecular adaptations to intracellular lifestyles, symbiont-symbiont interactions and metabolic synergism, and the role of symbiosis in bacterial genome evolution. Course lectures and discussions draw heavily from the primary literature, focusing on the most recent discoveries in the field, key methodological advancements, and on diverse associations ranging from hydrothermal vent symbioses to the human microbiome.
Introductory Microbiology (BIOL 3380), Fall
This course provides an in-depth overview of microbes and the interactions of microbes with ecosystems. Specific topics include microbial structure/function, diversity, physiology, metabolism, genetics, ecology, evolution and pathogenesis. The course format consists of interactive lectures, which will draw on information from the textbook (Brock Biology of Microorganisms) and the latest scientific discoveries in the field of microbiology.
Introductory Microbiology Lab (BIOL 3381), Fall
This lab is designed to explore commonly used microbiological techniques, such as culturing microorganisms, conducting microbial isolation techniques, staining, identifying various biochemical properties of different organisms, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA isolations, genetic complementation, bacterial conjugation, transformation, and transposon mutagenesis.