Environmental Microbiology // Eck Institute for Global Health // University of Notre Dame

Eck Institute for Global Health

Environmental Microbiology


Dr. Joshua Shrout


Number of Credits:



Semester Offered:



Course Description:

Microorganisms are everywhere. These bacteria and archea survive in extreme environments that include the deepest ocean regions, hot springs (like Old Faithful), Antarctica, and Death Valley. These organisms span the gamut of utility as some bacteria are absolutely required to maintain our own health while other bacteria display pathogenicity where the smallest of doses can kill. Separate from these extremes, there are other bacteria and archea being utilized routinely in various industries to generate chemicals, antibiotics, food products, and clean water. This course will cover the diversity and specific characteristics of many microbiotic genera and the molecular interactions these organisms utilize to function and survive.


Learning Goals:

By conclusion of the course you will:
  1. Know the basic componenents of DNA, amino acids, polysaccharides, and lipids and identify how these funadamental chemical building blocks are involved in processes required for all living organisms.
  2. Know the requirements for bacterial and archeal cellular metabolism, be able to balance chemical equations that summarize such metabolism, and recall the different metabolic pathways presented during the course.
  3. Differentiate the environmental conditions required to survive, thrive, or even dominate a niche using examples of the specific species discussed in class and apply this understanding to explain unique aspects to the survival of these specific species.



Fall 2013- Environmental Microbiology