Orton K. Stark Lectures

Dr. Thomas M. Schmidt

Dr. Thomas M. Schmidt, Center for Microbial Sciences, University of Michigan, will present the Orton K. Stark Lecture, "Hyenas, Humans and Laughing Gas - Signatures of a Microbial World" at 4:15 on Wednesday, April 22, in 112 Pearson Hall. He will also present the Orton K. Stark Research Seminar, “Shallow Breathing: Tradeoffs between Power and Efficiency by Microbes in Low O2 Environments” at 3:00 on Thursday, April 23, in 116 Pearson Hall. 

These lectures are funded by the family, friends and students of Orton K. Stark, the founding chair of the Department of Microbiology at Miami University. These events, free and open to the public, are sponsored by the Department of Microbiology with assistance of the Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology Program.

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Combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree

{4+1} Our combined degree option allows students at Miami to combine Master’s level research with an undergraduate major, resulting in graduation with both a Master of Science in Microbiology and a Bachelor’s degree in their major (either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science).  Students can count up to 12 hours of graduate (500-level) Microbiology courses towards their undergraduate degree.

The combined program is intended to take 5 years, instead of the 6 (or more) usually required to obtain both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree. Students completing M.S. degree will be positioned for entry into research careers or advanced graduate education at the doctoral level.

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This Week in MBI

Microbiology Grad Student Seminar:

Isha Kalra
Title: "Lipid accumulation in an Antarctic psychrophilic green alga and a model mesophile under environmental stress”
Mon., April 13 @ 4:15 PM; 218 Pearson Hall

Monica Feng
Title: “Properties of Mycoplasma pneumoniae biofilms”
Wed., April 15 @ 4:15 PM; 218 Pearson Hall

Phage Biology for First-year Students!

Phage course imageMBI 223: Bacteriophage Biology introduces first-year students to microbiology using a unique hands-on approach. Students will collect environmental samples to isolate viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) to analyze, and will learn basic microbiology techniques as they purify DNA for genome sequencing and prepare thie phages for electron microscopy.

In the second course in the series, MBI 224: Bacteriophage Genomicsstudents will perform hands-on analysis of the genome of their phages. Students will learn about DNA structure, genome organization, and basic principles of bioinformatics, and use this knowledge to annotate their bacteriophage genome using computational methods.

Read more about our phage biology courses

Our Logo

We have adopted the Greek letter "µ" as representative of our department and of our field of study. The letter "µ" is a symbol for the scientific prefix micro-, which indicates one millionth of a unit of measure. This is quite appropriate for Microbiology (or µBiology) as the size of the organisms we study are on the order of 1 µm (a.k.a. micron - a millionth of a meter), or smaller. In addition, the symbol is spelled mu, which is also an abbreviation for Miami University (M.U.) Taken together, µ for micro and M.U. for Miami University gives us µmu as shorthand for Microbiology at Miami University, which is the basis of our logo.

Undergraduate Research in µBiology

  • Rhea Johnson and Annette Bollmann

    Bacteria in the Environment

    Rhea Johnson, an Undergraduate Summer Scholar, fell in love with microbiology when she took a required course for her major. She added Microbiology as a second major along with Kinesiology and has now been conducting research with mentor Annette Bollmann, Associate Professor of Microbiology, for the past two years.


  • Art Oliva and Paul Urayama

    Using Lasers to Study Mitochondria

    Art Oliva, a Microbiology major and Undergraduate Summer Scholar, is working with mentor Paul Urayama, Associate Professor of Physics, on research to help understand the effects of high pressure on cellular metabolism. They use laser-induced fluorescence to study the function of mitochondria—the powerhouses of cells that share an ancestry with modern bacteria.