Sparkuhl Public Lecture with Dr. Laura Katz from Smith College

Ewart Angus Centre Room 1A6 Health Sciences Centre

13/11/2019, 7:30 pm - TO 13/11/2019 - 8:30 pm

Organizer: Alumni Advancement

My Calendar

Created in honour of Dr. Joachim Sparkuhl and his life-long passion for science and truth, McMaster is pleased to welcome Laura Katz, PhD, from Smith College in Massachusetts to campus. Dr. Katz will give a talk entitled:
Through the looking glass: insights into biodiversity on Earth through genomic analyses of microbes

We live on a microbial planet: microbes have inhabited the Earth for ~3 billion years, and are greatest in numbers in terms of biomass, population sizes and diversity. Yet, we still know very little about many of the microbial lineages sharing our planet. Work in my lab focuses on microbial eukaryotes (i.e. cells with nuclei) and we have used genomic tools to understand microbial diversity in two ways: 1) by surveying uncultivable species from diverse habitats such as bogs, fens, and tide pools; and 2) through analyses of unusual genome features in ciliates and amoebae. Together, these types of studies challenge traditional views on the nature of biodiversity and the principles of genetics that dominate current text books.

Laura A. Katz, Elsie Damon Simonds Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Smith College, earned her A.B. from Harvard College where she studied History of Science. She joined Smith College in 1998 after obtaining a PhD from Cornell University and completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton, the latter where she began working on understudied microbial lineages. Laura’s research focuses on reconstructing the eukaryotic tree of life, analyzing biodiversity of microbial organisms in local habitats, and determining principles of genome evolution in ciliates and amoebae. Laura is fascinated by what one colleague termed “all those darn exceptions in biology.”

When and where

7 p.m. – Doors open & light refreshments
7:30 p.m. – Lecture
Ewart Angus Centre Room 1A6
Health Sciences Centre
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West

To register please visit: