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Mark O. Martin

If I haven't given (as the young people say) "mad propz" to protists, mea maxima culpa. Just as many conservation biologists bemoan how the public focuses on "charismatic megafauna," I find that many college courses seem to ignore prokaryotes (other than E. coli, which becomes somehow "typical" of all prokaryotes), and promote an oxycentric point of view. This is particularly an issue for small liberal arts institutions like my own, which in turn provide a large share of students entering PhD programs.

My ardor toward the microbial world---including the remarkable protists---continues unabated. When I was in graduate school, I would listen to the late and much missed Arthur Giese hold forth on the beautiful pink protist Blepharisma, and its completely weird and wonderful transition to a "cannibal giant" morph!


I try to promote the prokaryotes because of what I perceive in my own academic environment, and among my students. Apologies all around; I don't mean to promote another form of chauvinism!

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