Jennifer Biddle's talk on microbes will take place May 20.
Photo by Lisa Tossey
The University of Delaware School of Marine Science and Policy’s popular Ocean Currents Lecture Series is returning for another summer of exciting marine-related talks at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
The lectures, which are free and open to the public, take place once a month from May through August. Talks begin at 7 p.m. in Room 104 of Cannon Lab at the Lewes campus on Pilottown Road. Last year’s topics ranged from the sharks of Delaware Bay to cooking with seafood, and this year’s lineup will be just as enticing.
The 2010 series begins Thursday, May 20, with an opportunity to meet one of the school’s newest faculty members, Jennifer Biddle. In her talk “20,000 Microbes Under the Sea,” the assistant professor of marine biosciences will discuss tiny organisms that live in sediment beneath the seafloor.
Biddle, who studies microscopic bacteria, said that learning how they survive in harsh conditions and with very limited energy sources could tell us a lot about life on Earth and possibly other planets. Her talk will cover the extremes experienced by microbes — such as high temperatures and pressure — as well as scientific drilling completed to extract samples from under the seabed.
“One-third of microbial life may be contained in marine sediments, and we know little about it,” Biddle said. “From hydrothermal vents to the cold, deep ocean, sediments have interesting microbes, some of which have never been seen before.”
Biddle joined the faculty in January after completing a postdoctoral fellowship funded by NASA’s Astrobiology Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to that position she held a postdoctoral fellowship in Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Geosciences. She earned her doctoral degree in biochemistry from Penn State after graduating with honors from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s in biotechnology.
Light refreshments are served at the hourlong lecture. While the event is free, seating is limited and reservations are required. For reservations, or to check dates, times, and topics of upcoming lectures, contact Michelle Scorziello at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-645-4346.
For more information about events held by the School of Marine Science and Policy, which is housed in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu and click on Workshop, Seminar, Lecture and Event Schedules.