Microorganisms catalyze a large number of reactions that are of great importance to terrestrial and aquatic environments. To improve our understanding of the dynamics of a specific environment, it is important to gain a better understanding of microbial structures and their functions under varying environmental conditions.
Students will learn basic concepts in microbial ecology. Qualitative and quantitative concepts will be presented to assess microbial communities and associated processes in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Microbial diversity in such ecosystems will be illustrated in discussions of selected habitats.
Lectures will cover general concepts of environmental microbiology including (i) quantification of microbial processes, (ii) energy fluxes in microbial ecosystems, (iii) application of state-of-the-art microbiological and molecular tools, and (iv) use of isotope methods for identification of microbial structures and functions. Topics to illustrate the microbial diversity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems will include (i) interactions between microbes and mineral/metallic solid phases, (ii) microbial carbon and nutrient cycling, (iii) microbial processes involved in the turnover of greenhouse gases, (iv) biofilms and microbial mats, (v) bioremediation, (vi) microorganisms in extreme habitats, and (vii) microbial evolution and astrobiology.
available at time of lecture - will be distributed electronically as pdf's
Brock Biology of Microorganisms, Madigan M. et al., Pearson, 14th ed., 2015