Rock-forming microbes – the good, the bad and the ugly

31 May 2018

Robin Gerlach, Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering from the Centre for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University-Bozeman, USA.
Robin Gerlach, Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering from the Centre for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University-Bozeman, USA.

Microbes involved in cement production, art, environmental remediation, building damage, corrosion and kidney stone formation will be the focus for a public lecture at Aberystwyth University on Wednesday 6 June 2018.

‘Rock-Forming Microbes – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ will be delivered by Robin Gerlach, Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the Centre for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University-Bozeman, USA.

In his lecture Professor Gerlach will provide insights into the actions and results of mineral-precipitating and mineral-dissolving microbes.

“These microbes happen to be all around and within us”, said Professor Gerlach, “and depending on the circumstances they can be used for benefit or cause damage.”

Professor Gerlach and collaborators are trying to harness the beauty of, and control the beast within these diverse microbes.

“Controlling the actions of these microbes provides an opportunity to develop novel building materials, stabilize building foundations and dams, seal leaking wells, control radioactive wastes, create pieces of art, and improve the treatment and prevention of kidney stones”, he added.

The lecture takes place in the Llandinam Lecture Theatre A6 on Penglais Campus at 5:30pm on Wednesday 6 June 2018. The lecture will be preceded by a drinks reception at 5:00 pm in the Llandinam concourse. All welcome.

Professor Paul Brewer, Head of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University said: “We are delighted to host the latest Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE) public lecture at the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, which this is year is celebrating its centenary. We look forward to hearing Professor Gerlach’s lecture which promises to provide a fascinating insight into the world of microbes, and how they affect our lives in ways most people would never have imagined.”

The lecture is part of the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE) public lecture series.