Montana State University

Yellowstone microbes, breakthroughs to be discussed May 15 in Big Sky

May 5, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – Microbes in Yellowstone National Park and their potential for unlocking major discoveries in medicine, bioenergy and bioengineering will be discussed during a free public event to be held Thursday, May 15, in Big Sky.

The informal event, “Science and Suds,” will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Lone Peak Brewery, 48 Market Place.

Brent Peyton, director of the Thermal Biology Institute and professor of chemical and biological engineering at Montana State University, will give a brief presentation on “Unknown Yellowstone: Microbial Discoveries,” then open up the floor to questions and discussion. Attendees will be able to dine and sample microbrews during the event.

In his talk, Peyton will discuss the microbial side of Yellowstone and ongoing research to discover new organisms and use them in new scientific applications.  He is nationally and internationally recognized for his scholarly contributions and activities in the field of bioengineering for renewable bioenergy and environmental biorestoration.  He has published more than 95 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on these topics.  

Since returning to MSU in 2005, Peyton has built a successful research and teaching program, and his laboratory supports undergraduate student researchers, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.  His research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as the state of Montana and private industry. In 2011, he received MSU’s Charles and Nora L. Wiley Award for Meritorious Research and Creativity. He recently received the MSU Vice President for Research’s Meritorious Technology/Science Award for 2014.

For more information, contact Jamie Cornish at (406) 994-6005 or

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or