Thanks to the scientists sharing the next big thing in Microbiology with the UMass Honors Undergraduate Colloquium

For the Microbiology Honors Colloquium, we take a tour of eight microbiology labs around campus, including sequencing facilities, animal facilities, greenhouses, microscope facilities, or anything that is critical, unique, or just cool. Students take turns hosting each visit by interviewing and then introducing the scientist whose lab we are visiting. They then have an opportunity to ask questions about their profession and career, career paths, and more. We also design the department T-shirts, and take at least one longer microbiology-themed field trip to somewhere else in the area.

Here are some nice things that students said about last year’s class:

This was my favorite course this semester and one of my favorites in college. Meeting professors in their lab and outside of a traditional classroom setting was awesome and allowed the professors to appear like normal people and allow the students to see themselves as a future researcher.

and,

I loved visiting other labs and learning about how other microbiologists got to where they are today and how they decided to do their specific research. I really enjoyed out trip to the Holyoke Notch especially, as it was great to be outside and actually see what we were learning about in person.

I wanted to acknowledge the faculty that have opened their facility doors to us in year’s past.

2018 hosts

  • Sloan Siegrist
  • Michele Klingbiel
  • Mandy Muller
  • Dong Wang
  • David Sela
  • Cynthia Baldwin
  • Derek Lovley
  • Barry Goodell
  • James Holden
  • Steve Petsch

2017 hosts

  • James Holden
  • Steve Petsch
  • Barry Goodell
  • Hang Xiao
  • Yasu Morita
  • Derek Lovley
  • Jessica Schiffman
  • Sloan Siegrist
  • Steve Sandler

2016 hosts

  • James Holden
  • Sue Leschine
  • Derek Lovley
  • Sam Nugen
  • David Sela
  • Steve Sandler
  • Margaret Riley
  • Cynthia Baldwin

Gina Chaput wins EMSL User Award!

Kristen DeAngelis and Ph.D. candidate, Gina Chaput, have received an in-kind award from the DOE Environmental Molecular Science Laboratories. Entitled “Iron Chelator-Mediated Biotransformation of Lignin by Novel sp., Tolumonas lignolytica BRL6-1, in Anoxic Conditions,” this award has the estimated value equal to $59,236.00 and will provide equipment and analyses for Gina’s dissertation. Gina is currently studying how the bacteria Tolumonas lignolytica BRL6-1 modifies plant material known as lignin under conditions that lack oxygen. These analyses will allow her to look at compounds produced by BRL6-1 specifically in response to lignin as well as detect changes to the lignin structure over time.