Plenary Oral Presenters
Sunday, August 17, 2008, 16:30
Prof. Bo Barker Jørgensen
Monday, August 18, 2008, 14:30
Dr. Mitchell Sogin
Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 14.30
Interactions and the evolution of microbial communities
Prof. Paul Rainey
Paul Rainey is a Professor of evolutionary genetics at the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study and Institute for Molecular Bioscences at Massey University Auckland. He is also visiting Professor at Stanford University (where he is co-director of the Hopkins Microbial Diversity Programme), Senior Adjunct Researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science & Technology, Principle Investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology & Evolution, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ. During his youth he became interested in many things biological: plants, fungi, bacteria; their interactions, their genetics, but mostly, their evolution. He completed his PhD at the University of Canterbury and in 1989, took up a postdoctoral research fellowship at Cambridge University. In 1991 he moved to a government-funded research institute in Oxford. In 1994 he was awarded a BBSRC Advanced Research Fellowship, which he took to the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford. In 1996 he was appointed to a faculty position at Oxford, a fellowship at St. Cross College, and a stipendiary lectureship at Wadham. With much dedication, he also ran his College's wine cellar. In 2003, he returned to New Zealand as Chair of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Auckland, but retained a fractional position at Oxford (until the end of 2005). In 2007 he moved his Lab to Massey University's Albany campus. His research is largely empirical (making frequent use of experimental microbial populations) and sits broadly in the field of evolutionary and ecological genetics. Evolutionary transitions and the origins of multicellularity are a growing fascination.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 19:00
Biofilms in Lab and Nature: A Molecular Geneticist's Trek to Microbial Ecology
Prof. Roberto Kolter
Roberto Kolter is a Professor in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Department at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of Harvard’s Microbial Sciences Initiative. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the President-Elect of the American Society for Microbiology. Kolter has been an influential microbiologist for a period that spans four decades. As a graduate student in the 1970’s, his studies on the regulation of plasmid replication provided some of the first molecular evidence supporting the replicon hypothesis. Kolter established his laboratory at Harvard Medical School in 1983 and since then, has made important contributions in diverse areas of microbiology. His work on peptide antibiotic synthesis and secretion provided some of the earliest knowledge on “ABC” exporters. Kolter was among the first to develop genetic approaches to investigate bacterial starvation physiology and pioneered the use stationary phase cultures as model systems in experimental evolution. Since the mid-1990s, Kolter has led the way in applying molecular genetic approaches to the study of biofilms. Presently, he continues to demonstrate his innovation and creativity in his studies that focus on the chemical biology of interspecies interactions.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 19:45
Into the Natural Microbial World
Prof. Norman Pace (Tiedje Awardee)
Prof. Norman Pace currently is Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Pace works in two scientific arenas. On one hand he is a molecular biologist, and noteworthy recent efforts have included elucidation of the crystal structure and catalytic mechanism of the RNA moiety of ribonuclease P, a ribozyme. On the other hand, Pace is a microbial ecologist. His laboratory has long been engaged in the development of molecular tools for culture-independent study of natural microbial ecosystems. Studies over two decades have expanded substantially the known diversity of microbial life in the environment. Pace is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He received the 1996 Procter and Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology and the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Microbiology; and the 2001 Selman A. Waksman Award for Distinguished Contributions in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences. Pace also is an expert in cave exploration. He received the Lewis Bicking Award from the National Speleological Society for his contributions to American caving.
Thursday, August 21, 2008, 14:30
Life on a Leaf
Prof. Steven Lindow
Steven Lindow is a Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Berkley, USA. He has had quite a decorated career and has worked with many societies and agencies. He is currently on the Board of Governors Nominating committee for the American Society for Microbiology and stands on the Scientific board for the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. Prof. Lindow has also been very active in the editorial realm holding a position on the Editorial boards of 9 journals, including The ISME Journal. The Lindow research group, affectionately known as the ICE Lab, studies a number of different aspects of epiphytic bacteria that live on the surface of healthy plants. Their work has emphasized the study of bacteria that are active in ice nucleation (Ice+), thereby causing frost damage to plants, as well as plant pathogenic bacteria that inhabit plant surfaces prior to infection. The research emphasizes both molecular genetic and ecological approaches to the study of the interaction of epiphytic bacteria with the goal to better understand the adaptations that these bacteria have evolved to exploit this unique habitat.
Friday, August 22, 2008, 14:30
Prof. Nancy Moran