Director: Ines Rauschenbach (email@example.com)
Microorganisms are the smallest living things, the oldest form of life on earth, ubiquitous in the biosphere and central to the essential life processes on earth. The microbiology curriculum emphasizes the uniqueness of microbial biology, its enormous diversity, and the biochemical basis of microbial life.
The curriculum examines the diverse roles of microorganisms and covers the fundamentals of microbial diversity, physiology, and genetics. The focus is on the examination of microorganisms; microbial processes in natural and managed environments; and their effects on human, animal, plant, and environmental health. The nature and activity of microbial populations in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, the interactions within microbial communities, and biogeochemical cycles and energy flows are explored. The curriculum provides students with a fundamental understanding of the applications of microbes in biotechnology, the food industry, agriculture, and medicine. Recent advances in microbial molecular biology and biotechnology have led to an in-depth understanding of the physiology, genetics, and taxonomy of microbes. Microbes are central to the food, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries and are broadly utilized ranging from food fermentations and biosynthetic processes to waste treatment and biodegradation of toxic chemicals. The field of microbiology is a major contributor toward industrial development; human, animal, and plant health; environmental integrity; and agricultural productivity.
The primary objectives of the curriculum are to broadly educate students regarding the biology of microorganisms. The curriculum prepares students for positions in industry, government, and graduate/professional study in life sciences through extensive coursework combined with laboratory and research experience.