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Thermophile experts to hold international meeting Sept. 11-16 near Yellowstone National Park

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Approximately 250 scientists from all over the world will gather at Big Sky, Mont., Sept. 11 through 16 to discuss their discoveries and progress in research about organisms that live in hot springs and other extreme environments.

Hosted by Montana State University, the 11th annual Thermophile Conference will focus on three main areas: viruses; genomics and metagenomics; and evolution, ecology and biogeochemical processes.

Among the keynote speakers will be John Peters, director of MSU's Thermal Biology Institute. He will discuss geology and microbiology in Yellowstone National Park. Christie Hendrix, research permit facilitator at the Yellowstone Center for Resources, will discuss research in Yellowstone.

According to organizers, the conference is being held at Big Sky for two reasons the reputation of TBI researchers and the proximity of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is the birth place of thermophile research and a special draw for many scientists, especially international researchers, said Heather Rauser, Peters' assistant.

"Yellowstone is a beautiful and unique natural environment from which so much exciting science emerged," Rauser added. "This research impacts many areas in applied science, including medicine, bioenergy, industrial biofouling and energy efficiency, novel biomaterials, bioremediation, and extremophilic systems biology."

This will be the first time the annual thermophile conference has been held in Montana and the second time in the United States. The researchers first gathered in Italy in 1990. The conference then moved to Iceland, New Zealand, the United States (Athens, Ga., in 1996), France, India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway and China.


Contact: Evelyn Boswell
Montana State University

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