Gallatin Valley Friends of the Sciences

Yellowstone National Park’s hot springs are natural ecosystems where microorganisms have adapted to high temperatures and unique geochemical environments. Brent Peyton, Director of the Thermal Biology Institute at Montana State University, will explain why these thermal features are ideal locations for studying robust microorganisms for biotechnology and energy applications in the second presentation of the fall Science Inquiry Series.

The talk will be presented at the Museum of the Rockies on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. in the museum’s Hager Auditorium.

The series, sponsored by the Gallatin Valley Friends of the Sciences, explores cutting edge science topics, their latest developments and their relevance to society, through speaker presentations followed by conversations between speaker and audience. The talks are free to the public.

Peyton’s presentation, “Unseen Yellowstone: Microbial Discoveries and Biotech Applications,” will describe his work in Yellowstone and how the hardy organisms isolated in the hot springs are informing advances in biotechnology and energy fields. The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for audience members to engage in conversation with the presenter in the museum lobby with light refreshments served.

Peyton is a professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at MSU and sits on the Executive Board of the National Science Foundation Center for Biofilm Engineering. His 25 years of research has focused on characterizing microorganisms and microbial process in natural and engineered systems. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications on his work, holds five patents in environmental biology applications, and was awarded the 2016 MSU College of Engineering Distinguished Professorship.

The speaker presentation and audience participation segments together will last approximately an hour.