Stone Memorial Lecture Set for April 23

Kenneth H. Nealson, a Wrigley Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Southern California, will present the 2011-12 Stone Memorial Lecture at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 23, in 101 Althouse Laboratory on the Penn State University Park campus. This free public lecture, titled "Extracellular Electron Transfer (EET): Some New Things to Think About," is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Nealson, who grew up on a farm in Iowa, earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a doctoral degree in microbiology at the University of Chicago in 1965 and 1969, respectively. He performed postdoctoral work at Harvard University before taking a position as a marine microbiologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1973. At the Scripps Institution he studied the mechanisms of light emission by bacteria, the physiology and ecology of luminous bacteria, and the control of light emission via quorum sensing -- a system of stimulus and response used by many species of bacteria to coordinate gene expression. In 1985, Nealson was named distinguished professor at the Center for Great Lakes Studies in Wisconsin, where he moved his research area to metal biogeochemistry, with a focus on metal-reducing microbes and extracellular electron transport (EET). In 1997, he became the project scientist for NASA's Mars Sample Return Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. Later, in 2002, he joined the faculty at the University of Southern California as the Wrigley Professor of Environmental Sciences, working on EET, microbes in extreme alkaline environments, and marine metagenomics. In addition, he currently is affiliated with the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, leading a group in environmental genomics.

Nealson is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Most recently, he earned a D.C. White Award for Research and Mentoring from the American Society for Microbiology, a Waksman Outstanding Educator Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology, and a Proctor and Gamble Award for Excellence in Environmental Microbiology from the American Society for Microbiology. He is a member of many professional and academic societies, including the American Society for Microbiology, the Society for General Microbiology, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Society for Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology, and the Geological Society of America.

The Stone Memorial Lecture honors Robert W. Stone, head of the former Department of Microbiology for 23 years. The departments of microbiology and the biophysics and biochemistry departments in 1979 to form the present Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

For more information or access assistance, contact Donald A. Bryant at 814-865-1992 or

Last Updated January 09, 2015