Friday, November 7, 2008

Microbial ecologist from Michigan State University to deliver Merck Science Seminar

Dr. Jay Lennon, assistant professor of Microbiology at Michigan State University, will present the third annual Merck Science Seminar at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Wednesday, November 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lennon’s presentation, “Energetic Importance of Terrestrial Carbon in Lake Ecosystems” will be held in Conference Room H of the Public Affairs Center. The seminar is free and open to the public.

Lennon’s research is in the area of aquatic ecology with a focus on the microbial community. During the seminar, he will present on the export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from land to water based on data collected at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. He will discuss experiments, surveys and theory that examines how terrestrial DOC is used by aquatic microbes, and how this material subsequently moves through aquatic food webs.

The seminar is sponsored by a grant from the Merck Institute of Science Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The grant is part of the Merck/AAAS undergraduate science research program started in 2000, and UIS was one of only 11 universities in the nation to receive the award in 2006.

In addition to funding the annual seminar, the grant has supported the research of four undergraduate students each summer for the past three years. The students were mentored in collaborative projects by faculty from the science programs, including Chemistry (Keenan Dungey and Gary Trammell), Biology (Michael Lemke, Amy McEuen and Lucia Vazquez) and Clinical Laboratory Science (Wayne Gade and James Veselenak).

For more information, contact Keenan Dungey, associate professor of Chemistry, by phone at 217/206-7345 or by e-mail at