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World Microbiome Day Extravaganza: Top Science Communicators Reveal Their Microbe Moment!

Title image for the blog. The Text reads Science Communicators reveal their microbe moment. There are various drawing of microbes hanging from the words

World Microbiome Day is June 27, 2021, and I wanted to do something BIG! Something that connects people’s Microbe Moments together while also emphasizing how every single person has a unique relationship with the microbial world. My science communication goal is to show everyone, no matter where you are or what you do, that YOU have multiple microbe moments every day and they are unique from everyone else's.

But how could I do this? What would be the best way to showcase the diversity of the microbial world and highlight the individual relationships we have with the unseen organisms?

I needed some help! So I called up a few of my science communication friends. I called up fellow podcasters, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and artists to bring you this montage video of microbe moments. In this podcast, you will hear from some of the top microbial science communicators and what their microbe moment is. It is no surprise many of them have to do with food but which foods are what surprised me. I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as I enjoyed creating it. It was great to get to work with such a fantastic group of passionate science communicators.

If you liked today’s show or would like to know any more about these fellow microbe communicators, I’ve highlighted them below and provided links to their sites. The microbial world is so big and diverse; there are infinite ways to discover your own microbe moment and I encourage you to find the way(s) that suit you best!

5:12 - Dr. Eliza Wolfson - Scientific Illustrator

Eliza Wolfson is a scientific illustrator based in the UK and a lover of microbes. She has perfectly blended her creative side and her scientific side to produce some wonderful products like her pathogen blanket! After she got her Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, she did a number of postdocs. She now works as a full-time scientific illustrator and has been featured in top journals like Molecular Cell and PLoS Pathogens. Her passion for outreach can be seen in her illustrations for the Federation of European Microbiology Societies.

9:45 - Kristina Campbell - Microbiome Writer

Kristina Campbell is a highly accomplished writer and an expert in the human microbiome. Her journey started out as a personal quest but she was driven to share her knowledge with the world such as authoring two books on Human Microbiomes. Her work extends to topics on probiotics, diet, and even digestive disorders and how they relate to your microbiome.

15:53 - Dr. Sean Allen - Petri Dish

Dr. Sean Allen is a nanoparticle/immunology researcher and the co-host, along with his brother Nathan, of the podcast Petri-dish which has been going strong since August of 2019. It is a Science podcast covering a wide range of topics including microbes, lab meat, animals, COVID, the immune system, and even the physics of lightsabers; delivering it in a hilarious and slightly profane way.

18:57 - Dr. Jennifer Tsang - The Microbial Menagerie

Jennifer Tsang has many accomplishments from getting a Ph.D. in microbiology, to running her own blog, to being published in National Geographic! She is a science communications and marketing coordinator at Addgene. In her blog, you can find a plethora of information on the microbial world from cheese microbiology to a symphony of microbes.

22:19 - Tanine Daryoush- Microbites

Tanine Daryoush is a Ph.D. student researching the ins and outs of the gut microbiome and its association with inflammation. She’s interested in understanding what makes microbes good ‘micro-tenants’ in our guts. Aside from research, she is also very interested in science communication and is one of the founders of the new website, micro-bites. Microbites break “down the microbiology world one bite at a time”, providing a summary of papers in a short and digestible way.

26:38 - Dr. Ruairi Robertson - Biomes podcast

Ruairi Roberston is fascinated by the human-microbe interactions. His current work dives into the microbiome of children and how gut microbes affect kids as they grow up. He’s passionate about science communication and has given a TEDx talk as well as written several blog articles on the gut microbiome. Ruairi also hosts his own podcast called Biomes where he explores the human microbiome from all angles!

29:47 - Dr. Noemie Matthey - Scientific Artist

Noemie Matthey is a microbiologist by day and science communicator by night. Her weapon of choice in science communication? Cartoons! She has quite the resume from publishing in a number of high-end journals to hosting her own redbubble page. She is also the artist for another microbe blog called, Bacterial World. Her drawings simplify complex microbial interactions in a fun and sometimes fantastical way.

38:02 - Dr. Andrew Page, Dr. Lee Katz, Dr. Nabil Fareed Alikhan - Micro Binfie Podcast

Together, Dr. Andrew Page, Dr. Lee Katz, and Dr. Nabil Fareer Alikhan host the podcast Micro Binfie Podcast, the show all about discussing the latest and greatest technologies in the microbial bioinformatics world. Dr. Katz is from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The other two hosts, Dr. Alikhan and Dr. Page work at the Quadram Institute Bioscience. While their podcast deals with tips and tricks for the microbial bioinformatician, in our podcast they share their favorite microbe moments and misconceptions about scientists.

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