George Bullerjahn, BGSU professor of biological sciences, works in the lab on board RV Blue Heron preserving Lake Superior microbial samples for microscopy and cell enumeration by flow cytometry.
BGSU researchers harness power of genome institute for Great Lakes study
A project by three BGSU biologists and a colleague is expected to unleash a virtual tsunami of information that will be usable for years to come not only by them but also by scientists worldwide studying greenhouse gases and lake ecosystems.
Drs. George Bullerjahn, Michael McKay and Paul Morris’s study of the Great Lakes and “dead zones” in Lake Erie was one of only 41 projects chosen for support this year by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genomic Institute (DOE JGI).
The institute will sequence both the DNA and RNA of microbial inhabitants of the central basin of Lake Erie -- the spot where “dead zones,” or areas where there is no oxygen, typically occur seasonally.
“It’s a natural progression of the work we have been carrying on for several years,” said McKay, the Ryan Professor of Biology and director of the Marine Program at BGSU. “Genomic data will complement our ongoing National Science Foundation-funded research on nitrogen cycling in the Great Lakes as well as the monitoring of dissolved greenhouse gases in Lake Erie by our colleagues at Environment Canada.” Dr. Richard Bourbonierre of Environment Canada is the fourth member of the research team.
“If you pull up a bucket of water, there are several thousands of organisms living in a community structure. We want to know who’s doing what,” said Bullerjahn.
Using the genetic sequencing from the JGI, they will be able to identify what genes are active, and study the DNA as well in order to assess microbial community composition. “We can look at the oxic [oxygenated] periods versus the anoxic periods and see what genes are active. It can also lead to discoveries of new types of ‘players’ -- organisms we never knew existed,” Bullerjahn added.
The work holds great promise for revealing answers to some of society’s environmental problems, from greenhouse gases to wastewater treatment. The economic impact is also significant.
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Guldbeck’s ‘Presence’ displayed in New York gallery
Among the lush and leafy hills of upstate New York, painter Mille Guldbeck, School of Art, has found a compatible forum in which to share her art -- or rather the forum has found her. Guldbeck last year received support to create a body of work to be shown at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. -- the 19th-century country estate of Samuel Morse, portrait painter, founder of the National Academy of Design and inventor of the telegraph and the Morse Code. His estate today is a museum, gallery and nature preserve.
“Presence,” Guldbeck’s solo show of paintings and works on paper, is now on display in the gallery. She will give a talk on Nov. 12 discussing her artistic vision and the exhibit.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to exhibit her work, and we are looking forward to her public talk. Her work honors the tradition of Morse and landscape painting,” said Ursula Morgan, curator of public programs at Locust Grove.
Home of the Hudson River School of painting, which focused on nature, upstate New York is in many ways the perfect setting for Guldbeck, whose work is based in landscape but not its literal representation.
“I am engaged in a continuing dialogue surrounding the relevance of creating the handmade in a culture defined by the digital,” she said. “Perception, or the ability to really see something, is the first requirement for caring about it.” Third provost candidate forum today
Provost candidate Dr. Rodney Rogers, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at BGSU, will hold an open forum at 3:30 p.m. today (Nov. 7) in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
The session will be streamed live on the Web through MyBGSU. Evaluation forms will be available at the event, at BGSU FIrelands and online. Please return them to the search committee as soon as possible.
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