UO biologist is passionate about communicating his science

Biologist Brendan Bohannan studies the biodiversity of microbes — such things as bacteria and viruses. He also likes to talk about such research.

His work — supported by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture — has taken him to South America to explore how land-use changes alters microbial biodiversity in the soils for rainforests along the Amazon River. Closer to home his group has been looking at the biodiversity of methane-producing microorganisms in North American wetlands.

As a leading member of the UO's Biology and the Built Environment Center, he has been on the ground floor of a new direction of research that is focusing on the microbial biodiversity of our indoor world — the buildings where most people spend most of their time, and where little research has been conducted.

Bohannan is well versed as a well-established scientist who communicates with the public about science. He was a 2009 Leopold Leadership Fellow, a position that works with scientists to train them to be communicators. In 2011, he was selected in the first class of 21 Google Science Communication Fellows.

Catch the excitement with these two recent items featuring Bohannan:

► "Google This: The Story of Science" -- An interview with Bohannan by Lisa Raleigh, director of communications for the UO College of Arts and Sciences and editor of CASCADE, the college's magazine. The interview was published in the Spring 2012 issue.

► “A Scientist in Who-Ville: New Perspectives on the Invisible World of Microbes” -- This approximately hour-long video, provided by the UO Channel, captures Bohannan providing an overview of the microbes to the general public in the opening talk of the three-part series "Microbes and the Modern World: From the Globe to the Gut" that began April 17. The Graduate Evolutionary Biology and Ecology Students, a graduate student organization in the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, organizes annual talks built around a current hot topic in science.