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Microbes in the Wild: Environmental Microbiology - EEB 447

3 Credits

Prerequisites: BIOLOGY 207 or permission of instructor

Requirements: BS; satisfies PitE Practical Experience.

Instructor: Melissa Duhaime

Course Description

This project-based course will emulate how scientists study environmental microbes in the context of real-world sustainability issues in Northern Michigan.

Working with local partners (wastershed councils, managers, citizen science groups), you will contend with real world issues. Simultaneously, you will master the microbiological concepts and skills needed for field sample collection and rigorous analysis.

The course will include hypothesis development and study design, plus two nights on Lake Michigan in a fully equipped research schooner, learning sampling technique, navigation, and the science of regional ecosystem monitoring. Then, lab analyses and completion of your custom research project.

You will master:

  • field sampling techniques for the collection of microbes and their viruses in both the water column and sediment,
  • fluorescent microscopy of microbes and viruses, development of enrichment cultures targeting specific microbial metabolisms,
  • isolation of environmental microbes and viruses, nucleic acids extractions, and concepts of community genomics.

Students spreading plates at the Biological Station. So. Many. Plates.