Today, Dr. Roland Hatzenpichler of Montana State University joins the #QualityQuorum to discuss the central importance of archaea to our knowledge of the microbial world, ranging from history of their study, misconceptions about archaea, the microbiological bounty of Yellowstone National Park, and how ancient archaea may be the Asgard like ancestors of us all.

Today, Dr. Geo Santiago-Martinez, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Microbiology at the University of Connecticut joins the #QualityQuorum to discuss the mysteries of the archaeal world, and how one group of these organisms produce methane gas as a byproduct of metabolism. These methanogens are thus involved in climate, symbioses, biotechnology, and even astrobiology!

Today, Sarah Bordenstein, Associate Research Professor of Biology & Entomology at Penn State University and Director of Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project joins the #QualityQuorum to tell us about the most successful pandemic on the planet, the fascinating endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia, and how she has used this fascinating system to teach young people about molecular biology, bioinformatics, and evolution.

Today, Dr. Jeri Barak of the University of Wisconsin Madison joins the #QualityQuorum to chat about how various microbes (some of which can cause disease in humans) can gain access to plants, sometimes via group behavior. With media coverage of Salmonella contamination in lettuce, Dr. Barak’s work is especially timely! She will also discuss what it is like to be a plant pathologist!