Conversations on Sustainability: Microbes and Climate Change

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
11:00am to 11:45am
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Caltech researchers and engineers on campus and at JPL, which Caltech manages for NASA, pursue science-driven solutions to mitigate climate change. In Conversations on Sustainability, you will hear directly from Caltech experts about their progress and can ask your own questions.

In the fifth conversation in this series, Caltech scientists and MacArthur Fellows Dianne Newman and Victoria Orphan speak with science writer Lori Dajose (BS '15) about the role of microorganisms in sustaining life on a warming planet, from enabling precision agriculture to cycling carbon in the ocean to mitigating the greenhouse gases produced by livestock.


This is a free event, but registration is required.

About the Participants

Dianne Newman
Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology & Geobiology; Ecology & Biosphere Engineering Lead, Resnick Sustainability Institute
Newman and researchers in her lab study how microorganisms co-evolve with their environments, whether that environment is a plant's root system or the human lung. Their long-term goal is to contribute new approaches to promoting both human and environmental health. Newman served as the founding director (2012–2020) and as Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair (2017–2020) for the Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2016.Victoria Orphan
James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science & Geobiology; Allen V. C. Davis & Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair

Orphan's geobiological research spans the interface between environmental microbial ecology, geochemistry, and geology. Her lab investigates the activities and interactions of environmental archaea, bacteria, and viruses—from the ocean surface to deep in the Earth's crust—to elucidate how they perform globally important geochemical processes like cycling methane and sequestering carbon. Orphan directs Caltech's Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions and Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2016.
Lori Dajose (BS '15)
Lori Dajose is a content strategist and science writer in Caltech's Office of Strategic Communications covering biology, bioengineering, and neuroscience. Lori received her undergraduate degree from Caltech in 2015 and began working in OSC shortly afterward.

This series is presented by the Caltech Science Exchange, which brings expert insight to the scientific questions that define our time. The Science Exchange offers trustworthy answers, clear explanations, and fact-driven conversation on critical topics in science and technology.