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Cafe Scientifique

Cafe Scientifique: The Microbial Planet and Its Amazing Genetic and Functional Diversity

By simple measures such as numbers, mass and distributions it is clear that we live on a microbial planet. However, despite a scientific awareness of microbes dating back to the late 17th century, it has only been in the last few decades that we are becoming aware of the evolutionary origins and amazing genetic and functional diversity of microbes. It is clear that this unseen majority drives environmental processes which impact ecosystems, global processes and human societies. Understanding has always gone hand in hand with new methods to study this cryptic but immensely complex world. Rapid advances in DNA sequencing technologies and bioinformatics make this is an exciting time to be an environmental microbiologist.

Dr Neil Gray is a Reader in Geomicrobiology in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University. With a background in chemistry, for the past 25 years he has developed and applied experimental approaches and techniques which explicitly link microbial biodiversity’s structure to function in environmental settings. He has published more than 50 academic papers and book chapters in this research area.


Tue 15 Jan

8pm

Today's Price:
£4.50 suggested donation / Students free

Seating:
Unreserved