Insights into Biodiversity on Earth: The 2019 Sparkuhl Public Lecture
On November 13, join the Faculty of Science for the 2019 Sparkuhl Public Lecture featuring Dr. Laura Katz, the Elsie Damon Simonds Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Smith College, who will deliver her talk, 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 very little is known about many of the microbial lineages sharing our planet.
The Katz Lab focuses on microbial eukaryotes (i.e. cells with nuclei) and has 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.
When: November 13, 2019, 7:00 p.m. (doors open and light refreshments), 7:30 p.m. lecture
Where: McMaster University, Ewart Angus Centre Room 1A6, 1280 Main Street West
This lecture is FREE and open to the public. REGISTER NOW
The Sparkuhl Public Lecture series was established in memory of scientist, philosopher and teacher, Dr. Joachim Sparkuhl, a biologist who had a life-long passion for learning, and spent his life exploring the implications of science and the scientific method on human knowledge.
Along with the lecture, Dr. Sparkuhl’s fund also provides a summer research scholarship in biology – the Dr. Joachim Sparkuhl Undergraduate Research Award in Genomics, Genetics & other Biological Sciences – an endowment created to honour his commitment to research integrity, to advance the study of biology, and to support original research.
More about Dr. Laura Katz:
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.”