Pioneering Geomicrobiologist Jill Banfield to Present 2017 Oosting Lecture on March 29

March 21, 2017

Contact: Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Jill Banfield, professor of earth and planetary science at the University of California Berkeley, will give the 45th annual Henry J. Oosting Memorial Lecture in Ecology at 4:30 p.m. March 29 at Duke University.

Her talk, “New Findings Regarding Metabolism, Ecology and Microbial Diversity in the Earth's Subsurface Regions,” will take place at Field Auditorium in Environment Hall, at 9 Circuit Drive on Duke’s West Campus. It is free and open to the public.

Widely cited as one of the pioneers of the emerging field of geomicrobiology, Banfield holds appointments in three departments at UC Berkeley, is the lead investigator for the newly established Innovative Genomics Institute, and is a senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Australian Academy of Science and was a 1999 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Fellowship, among numerous other high professional honors.

She initially focused her research on the physical and chemical properties and behavior of natural materials, but transitioned into biology to address the ways that microbial communities shape earth surface processes.

In the early 2000s, her group and collaborators pioneered genome-resolved metagenomics and metaproteomics methods that now yield cultivation-independent insights into the vast diversity of microorganisms in natural systems. These approaches can be scaled to generate a relatively comprehensive foundation for ecological studies of complex environments such as soils and sediments.

A reception will precede Banfield’s lecture at 3:30 p.m.

The Oosting lecture is sponsored by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, the Department of Biology and the University Program in Ecology.