MONT Fall 2022 Virtual Event

The Convergence of Biology and Earth Sciences

Tuesday, November 1, 12-3 PM (Mountain Time), Online

This event has already taken place. See Program below for related resources.


This virtual event explores the intersection between biology and geological sciences. The speakers will discuss how microbial communities interact with and shape their environment, and how we can use tools from nanoscience to better understand these interactions.

This event is open to all, but will be of particular interest to anyone curious about how nanoscale technologies can help us probe microbial communities in the environment. Participants across the geosciences, biological sciences, physics, and engineering are encouraged to attend!

Goals and Objectives

  • Provide examples of the interface between biology and the geosciences.
  • Provide an interdisciplinary networking opportunity.
  • Introduce participants to research, tools, and services that can be used to explore the interface between biology and geosciences.


The event will take place virtually, using Zoom. Instructions for joining the event will be emailed to registered participants a day or two before the event takes place. Contact Stephanie McCalla (stephanie.mccalla at if you have questions about the event. Contact Monica Bruckner (mbruckne at if you have questions about the connection information.


12:00-12:10, opening remarks and speaker introduction

12:10-12:40, Rachel Spietz (Assistant Research Professor, Dept. Microbiology and Cell Biology): Reductive biomining of pyrite by methanogens

12:40-1:10, Christine Foreman (Professor, Dept. Chemical and Biological Engineering): Exploration of microbes in icy environments.

1:10-1:40, Stephan Warnat (Assistant Professor, Dept. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering): Detection of Microbes in Ice Using Microfabricated Impedance Spectroscopy Sensors

1:40-2:10, Chelsea Heveran (Assistant Professor, Dept. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering): From bones to stones: engineering living building materials

2:10-2:50, Breakout Session: Chat with the Experts

2:50-3:00, Wrap-up and Closing Remarks (next steps, future, events, how to get involved, End of Event survey)