Café Scientifique 2013-2014


Thursday, February 6, 2014

6 pm Café, 6:30 pm Talk
Mining City Center
400 W. Park St.
Butte, MT

David Quammen


Spillover: The Animal Origins of Human Disease

David Quammen is a science journalist, National Geographic contributor, and Montana author. His dozen books include The Song of the Dodo, Natural Acts, and most recently Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. In 2013, Spillover was a finalist for seven national and international awards, and it received two.
At this Café Scientifique, Quammen will draw on his research for Spillover to discuss emerging diseases, global pandemics, and the ecology and evolution of scary viruses. His guiding metaphor is that every emerging disease begins as a mystery story, and the scientists who study them (such as Montana Tech’s hantavirus researchers, Rick Douglass and Amy Kuenzi) are the gumshoes who work the world’s most dangerous cases.
The public is welcome. Free admission.


Thursday, February 20, 2014
6:00 P.M.
The Baxter Ballroom, 105 W. Main, Bozeman, MT

Brent Peyton


The Unknown Yellowstone: Microbial Discoveries and Biotech Applications


Though relatively small in size, thermal ecosystems like the hot springs of Yellowstone contain massive numbers of heat-loving microorganisms called thermophiles. To survive in these extreme conditions, these hardy organisms have developed unusual properties that may be harnessed for innovative biotechnology applications. Thermal environments have been a source of many beneficial microorganisms and bioproducts. For example, the biotechnology revolution, such as the human genome project and solving crimes through DNA analysis, was made possible by the discovery of a thermostable enzyme (Taq polymerase) from Yellowstone. Interestingly, most of these heat-loving microorganisms have never been grown in a lab, and thousands lie waiting to be discovered. Come learn about the microbial side of Yellowstone and some of the research to discover new organisms and new biotechnology applications with Brent Peyton, Director of MSU's Thermal Biology Institute and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Brent Peyton is the MSU Director of the Thermal Biology Institute, and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. 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 over 95 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on these topics. Since his return to MSU in 2005, Brent has built a successful research and teaching program, and his laboratory supports undergraduate student researchers as well as post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. His research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, as well as by the state of Montana and private industry. In 2011, he was the recipient of MSU's prestigious Wiley award for meritorious research and he recently received MSU's 2014 award for meritorious science/technology transfer.


Thursday, April 10, 2014
6:00 P.M.
The Baxter Ballroom, 105 W. Main, Bozeman, MT

Emily Graslie

From Art to Science - a new perspective on communication


Frank discussions about environmental health can be difficult to inspire, whether it's because of the tone of presentation or the medium used. As proactive communicators driven to connect with large audiences, we - science communicators, teachers, and enthusiastic members of the public - have had to utilize a variety of different social and digital media in order to get the conversation started. Effective and wide-reaching campaigns to raise awareness on local and global scales require not only that the communicator and their cause have credibility, but that those individuals may successfully deliver imperative information.  This presentation will discuss the trials and tribulations of these effective and sometimes not-so-effective measures taken by professionals, institutions, and amateurs, and how knowing your audience is more than half the battle.

Emily Graslie graduated from The University of Montana in 2011 with a BFA in studio art.  After developing a late-blooming love for science, in January of 2013 she launched an educational YouTube channel called 'The Brain Scoop' out of the university's Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum. The Brain Scoop aims to encourage and inspire a love and appreciation for science, biology, and the natural world in all viewers. In July of that year she moved TBS to Chicago, where it is now filmed out of The Field Museum and continues to grow an impassioned international audience. 


Read the Chicago Tribune article about Emily’s move to the Field Museum at 

or listen to Emily on “The Brain Scoop” at



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