Diversity and Evolution of Microbial Life
The diversity of microscopic life forms, both prokaryotic (bacteria and archaea) and eukaryotic (protists, fungi, phytoplankton), will be explored. The evolutionary forces responsible for this diversity will be described in detail and contrasted to those at work in macroscopic eukaryotes. Students will learn about the molecular methods used to identify and classify both culturable and non-culturable microbes, and genetically characterize entire populations.
This course will focus on the structure and physiology of free-living and pathogenic bacteria. The diversity of their metabolic activities, the interaction of microbes with their environment, symbiotic relationships, and cell-to-cell communication are major topics. Lectures and laboratory exercises are coordinated to explore topics in basic microbiology, environmental microbiology, molecular microbiology, and the production of economically or medically important products through microbial biotechnology.
Richard Mah, M.Sc.