Norman R. Pace, from UC Boulder, gave a talk at UC Davis last week about microbial diversity. In his talk he discussed some of his recent Sloan Foundation funded work on “microbiology of the built environment” including studies of shower heads, indoor swimming pools, water supplies, and hospitals.
Pace is one of the pioneers of DNA based studies of microbes in the environment. His initial work on studies of ribosomal RNA from uncultured organisms (started more than 20 years ago) helped launch the field. For more information on his work see his lab page here
If you are interested in the microbes that are found in showerheads, his PNAS paper on this (which can be found here) on this from 2 years ago got a lot of press. See for example this Science Friday
and this New York Times article by Nicholas Wade.
Pace was at UC Davis as part of the Storer Major Issues in Modern Biology Lecture Series.
I note, I have written about Pace before a few times including this:
Here's hoping molecular classification/systematics of cultured & uncultured microbes wins #NobelPrize in medicine
I note we have a new project as part of this Sloan program to facilitate communication and networking and sharing information as part of this project. My lab is creating something called "microBEnet" - the microbiology of the built environment network. We are just getting our real site up and running. For now you can find out some information at a temporary page http://microbenet.blogspot.com/