Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Applied & Environmental Microbiology
Gordon Research Conference

Human and Microbial Perspectives of Microbial Economics


July 16-21, 2017


Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA Site Information


Yuri A. Gorby

Vice Chair:
Kirsten Kusel

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by June 18, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

As one of the longest running of all Gordon Research Conferences, Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM) continues to provide a unique forum for discussing new approaches, technologies, and insights that advance our understanding and increase our exploitation of the oldest life forms on Earth. And with the advent of synthetic genomes and synthetic biology, this forum now addresses the potential and implications of some of the newest organisms in the Universe.

The 2017 GRC-AEM will highlight diverse strategies adopted by microorganisms for coping with energy and resource excesses and limitations within a broad spectrum of natural, industrial, and clinical environments. Given the intentionally ambiguous subtitle, some sessions will embrace "Microbial Economics" as it pertains to the cost/benefit of microbes to humans, while others will consider "Economics" from the microbe's perspective and explore the diversity of lifestyles and metabolic strategies for coping with resource availability and limitation. Domestic water treatment, microbiologically influenced corrosion, and synthetic genomics for industrial, agricultural, or medical applications all provide fodder for scientific and philosophical discussion.

As with previous AEM Conferences, 2017 will provide an open forum for presenting and discussing the latest research on ecological and industrial applications of microorganisms at scales ranging from the single cell to macro-ecological systems and will embrace a diverse range of research areas, including synthetic biology, ecophysiology, metagenomics, and postgenomic technologies. The GRC-AEM is happy to align for the second time with the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Applied and Environmental Microbiology. GRS-AEM 2017 will provide an ideal forum for early career researchers to exchange knowledge, approaches, and information regarding "microbial economics" in energy and resource-limited systems, where strategies and mechanisms of cooperation and competition are constrained by environmental factors.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Applied & Environmental Microbiology" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by March 16, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Synthetic Genomics and the Economy of Minimalism
    (Max Haggblom / Clyde Hutchinson)
  • From the Microbiome to the Holobiont
    (Joel Kostka / Julia Vorholt / Joel Kostka)
  • Applied and Environmental Electromicrobiology
    (Kenneth Nealson / Leonard Tender / Orianna Bretschger)
  • Biofilms: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful
    (Yuri Gorby / Eva Sapi / Matthew Fields)
  • Going Deep: Challenges and Strategies for "Life Underground"
    (Kirsten Kusel / Barbara Sherwood-Lollar / Ken Takai)
  • Microbial Interactions
    (Stephane Vuilleumier / Huimin Zhao / Christian Hertweck)
  • Microbial Contributions to Macro-Ecology
    (Chris Bowler / Noah Fierer / Cecilia Alonso)
  • Metals, Microbes, Mining, and Mars
    (Joseph Suflita / Denise Akob / Kelly Wrighton / Amalie Tuerk Levy)
  • Global Perspectives
    (J. Colin Murrell / Thomas Mock / Stephane Vuilleumier)
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