Bacterial Terrariums and Other Delights

Denise King visits us from San Francisco’s exploratorium to discuss the aesthetic cultivation of bacteria. She will be presenting an introduction to identifying bacteria in the field, focusing on environments that are accessible from the Los Angeles area. Along the way she will discuss Winogradsky columns – simple containers that are filled with mud, pond water and plant material that allow the culturing of microbial communities in the laboratory, or in your own living room.

Sample columns filled with lovely multihued stuff with be available for show and tell purposes, and willing participants will be able to make their own bacterial terrarium on site. We suggest wearing casual clothes or disposable hazmat suit if you plan on participating, as it may get slightly messy. For those who plan on just observing, standard formal wear should be fine.

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