Environmental microbiology lecture pre-lecture interview

Every year the Society hosts the Annual Environmental Microbiology Lecture and this year we were lucky to hear the popular Professor Ken Nealson from the University of Southern California talk about bacteria that can use electricity as an energy source – defying previous assumptions of how bacteria should behave.

Ken was able to capture and impresses the audience at the Royal Society of Medicine and gave a fascinating talk on Extracellular electron transport (EET): opening new windows of metabolic opportunity for microbes that everyone enjoyed . There were more than 150 people in attendance and the lecture was followed by a reception where Prof. Nealson was around to answer questions from everyone.

The lecture was recorded by our friends at Wiley Blackwell and will be available on the SfAM website very shortly, however you can hear Ken in the pre-lecture teaser interview (below), Ken discusses the potential applications of bacteria that can move electrons around such as disposing of human and animal waste and the larger context of what it means when engineering and microbiology combine.

Ken is also due to give a TED talk later this month and SfAM feels honoured to be able to share his EMI lecture for you first.

Ken Nealson is holder of the Wrigley Chair in Geobiology and Professor of Earth sciences at the University of Southern California. His current research focuses on the evolution of life in the universe and microbial life in extreme environments.

He gained recognition in the 1970s with his groundbreaking Ph.D. by discovering the mechanism by which bacteria communicate with each other. But Nealson’s collective body of research has become even more acclaimed since the discovery of quorum sensing. He has revealed new organisms and even spent time advising NASA on how to detect life on other planets.

The previous EMI lectures are all available for you to view here.

Paul Sainsbury

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