Internationally acclaimed microbiologist Jo Handelsman, who served under U.S. President Barack Obama as the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will give the inaugural Berg Lecture on Thursday, April 27 at 5 p.m. RSVP here.
Handelsman studies how bacteria communicate with each other in soil microbial communities and pioneered the field of metagenomics. Through this research, her lab has discovered new antibiotics and biosynthetic pathways.
In her lecture, “A world without soil: Science and stewardship of our endangered natural resource,” Handelsman will discuss the importance of soil and the impacts of climate change and erosion on the world’s soil loss. She will also discuss practices to improve soil health.
Although humans depend on soil for 95% of global food production, soil health is often overlooked. In 2021, Handelsman released a book on the topic, “A world without soil: The past, present, and precarious future of the earth beneath our feet.”
The founder of Tiny Earth, Handelsman is the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and a Vilas Research Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.