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Conference Speakers

ASM Foundation Speaker Dr. Diana E. Northup, Professor: General Library - Science & Engineering, Associate Professor of Biology, University of New Mexico. Dr. Northup, a dedicated spelunker and chaser of deep cave microbes, will enlighten us on "Snottites, Phlegmballs, and Deadly Gases Oh My! The Microbial Ecology of Sulfur Caves".

Dr. Diana Northup has been studying things that live in caves since 1984. She has a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of New Mexico. She and her colleagues on the SLIME (Subsurface Life in Mineral Environments) Team are investigating how microbes help form the colorful ferromanganese deposits that coat the walls of Lechuguilla and Spider Cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park (funded by the NSF Life in Extreme Environments Program); how microbes participate in the precipitation of calcium carbonate formations called pool fingers; and the microbial diversity located in the hydrogen sulfide cave, Cueva de las Sardinas in Tabasco, Mexico. Diana has recently been honored by having her work featured on NOVA and by being asked to serve as a Guest Editor for Geomicrobiology Journal for a special issue on Geomicrobiology of Caves. She is also the recipient of a Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation grant to study the impact of humans on microbial populations in caves. Currently, Dr. Northup blends the best of both worlds by teaching biology students information searching skills as the Biology Librarian in Centennial Library at the University of New Mexico, where she is an Associate Professor, and by actively researching cave microbial ecology using molecular and microscopy techniques. She is also an Associate of the Museum of Southwestern Biology.

For a list of Dr. Northup's publications, click here. For a list of her honors, click here. NOVA interview with Diana Northup on The Lives of Extremeophiles (PBS Television), click here. Her email is: [email protected]

Dr. Robert V. Miller, Regents Professor, Oklahoma State University, Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Stillwater OK. Dr. Miller will present us with "A Postcard from Antartica: Bacteria and the Ozone Hole"

I first became interested in microbiology as a high school student in Modesto, California when I acquired an internship to work in the microbiology research laboratory of Gallo Winery. My interest grew when, as an undergraduate at the University of California at Davis, I majored in microbiology and worked for Robert Hungate as an undergraduate assistant. My education continued at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where I trained in molecular biological aspects of microbiology with Paul Sypherd and received my Masters and Ph. D. in 1972.

Interest in bacterial genetics was kindled with my postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, Berkeley where I studied molecular aspects of recombination under the mentorship of Alvin J. Clark the discoverer of the recA gene in Escherichia coli. Ecology was introduced to me by my friend and colleague Gary Sayler when we were both young and naive Assistant Professors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Upon moving to the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University of Chicago, I began to combine these interests in the study of the evolution, mechanisms of genetic exchange, and DNA-damage coping mechanisms of environmental bacteria. I continued these interests when I moved to Oklahoma State University in 1991.

Dr. Miller earned his B.A. in Microbiology, University of California-Davis (1967) , M.S. in Microbiology, University of Illinois (1969) , and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from U of Illinois in 1972.

To view Dr. Miller's current research projects and list of publications, click here.

Dr. Gordon G. Southam, Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair in Geomicrobiology, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON Canada. He will address the topic of "Bacterial Mineral Interactions".

Dr. Gordon Southam is a world-class researcher in Geomicrobiology, who is recognized as an expert by the American and Canadian Societies for Microbiology, the Geological Society of America, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. Additionally, his collaborations with industrial partners in Canada, the U.S., Australia and South Africa have positioned him as an international leader in developing bacterial mining processes. In addition, Dr. Southam was recently appointed as a Co-Investigator at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center's Astrobiology Institute for the Study of Biomarkers.

Dr. Southam received his B.Sc. in 1986 and Ph.D. in 1990 from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Guelph. Postdoctoral research (1990-94) was affiliated with the Western Mining Corporation, Canada; WMC, Australia; and the Ontario Geological Survey before moving to the Dept. of Biological Scineces, Northern Arizona University (Assist. Prof. 1994-97; Assoc. Prof. 1997-2001).

As Chair in Geomicrobiology at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Southam is building on his many collaborations to extend basic and applied research in three key geomicrobiological areas: 1) studying the harmful effects of metals on the environment and how to improve conditions using bacteria, 2) characterizing microorganisms living in such extreme environments as the deep subsurface of a South African gold mine and the hydrothermal pools of Yellowstone National Park, and 3)developing novel techniques that exploit geomicrobiological processes for the mining industry.

Publisher of 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts in 19 key journals covering Microbiology, Physics and Earth Sciences; key presenter at more than 70 scientific meetings and invited conferences; and a member of the U.S. Department of Energy Field Research Advisory Panel - Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has served the American Society for Microbiology as Chair of Section J - Morphology and Ultrastructure; the Canadian Society for Microbiologists a member of the Education Committee and is currently secretary of the Geobiology and Geomicrobiology division of the Geological Society of America.

For details of Dr. Southam's research projects, click here. For a list of his publications, click here. His email is: [email protected]




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Last updated: August 15, 2017