Opening Scientific Plenary 

Thursday, August 1, 4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Peggy Cotter
Title: CDI/CDS system-mediated cooperation, competition, and DNA transposition in Burkholderia
Dr. Peggy Cotter will present data from her lab demonstrating how contact-dependent inhibition (CDI) / contact-dependent signaling (CDS) systems allow bacteria to compete or cooperate with neighboring bacteria depending on relatedness. They will demonstrate what they've discovered – that the genes encoding the CDI/CDS system in Burkholderia thailandensis E264 are located within a mobile genetic element that defines a new class of transposon that requires the transposase as well as the CDI/CDS system proteins for transposition. This element could allow the bacteria to use a ‘kill or convert’ strategy within dynamic sociomicrobiological communities.

Dr. Peggy Cotter
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Dr. Beronda Montgomery 
Michigan State University

Scientific Plenary

Friday, August 2, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Beronda Montgomery
Title: Shaping up and Responding: Color Vision and Light-Dependent Developmental Plasticity in Cyanobacteria

Explore the ways in which photosynthetic organisms exhibit finely tuned abilities to sense and respond to changes in their ambient environment with Dr. Beronda Montgomery. Cyanobacteria respond to changes in light in a process known as chromatic acclimation, which tunes physiology and photosynthetic pigmentation to light cues. Some cyanobacteria also alter the shape and volume of their cells in response to changes in ambient light, including changes in light intensity and predominant wavelengths or colors of light available. Hear descriptions of the photoreceptors and associated signaling pathways used to tune cellular responses and thus organismal fitness in cyanobacteria.

Carski Plenary Lecture

Saturday, August 3, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Louise Temple 
Title: Addicted to Students: 25 Years of Doing Microbiology with Undergraduates

Using stories from her teaching years, she hopes to provide stimulating examples that encourage younger colleagues to create a learning environment for students that matches their personal goals, styles, and personalities, and that fosters scientific curiosity.

Dr. Louise Temple 
James Madison University

Dr. Stanley Maloy
San Diego State University

Closing Scientific Plenary

Sunday, August 4, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Stanley Maloy
Title: Phage and the Evolution of New Infectious Diseases

Dr. Stanley Maloy will describe how phage can influence adaptation of bacteria to an environment by providing enhanced or novel metabolic properties, acquisition of antibiotic resistance, resistance to protozoan predation, or new virulence properties (such as exotoxin genes). We have identified environmental reservoirs of bacteria that carry phage-encoded exotoxin genes associated with a variety of human diseases. Movement of phage different types of bacteria can facilitate the evolution of new infectious diseases. Some of our key discoveries were made by students participating in an interdisciplinary summer program prior to beginning undergraduate studies at SDSU, and supported by a grant from the Keck Foundation.


Closing Education Plenary

Sunday, August 4, 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Bryan Dewsbury 
Title: Teaching for Meaning and Purpose

​Discussions around teaching excellence have evolved from fully burdening students with responsibility for reform, to challenging instructors to transform their pedagogical approaches. In this talk Dr. Bryan Dewsbury argues that inclusive teaching in its truest form asks questions of the system, and the ways in which it empowers or does not empower its key stakeholders. He uses five years of data from an introductory biology classroom to demonstrate how inclusive approaches can significantly reduce the predictive power of traditional academic variables like high-school GPA and SAT scores. Students in these classrooms also continued to enjoy equal or more academic success than their peers in conventional classrooms. Finally, he discusses how his inclusive approach engendered a sense of meaning and purpose in students from these classrooms as expressed in written reflections about the process. 

Dr. Bryan Dewsbury 
University of Rhode Island