The purpose of this blog is to share our appreciation for the width and depth of the microbial activities on this planet. We will emphasize the unusual and the unexpected phenomena for which we have a special fascination.
We welcome other microbiologists to answer queries, comment on our musings, write guest commentaries, and provide feedback.
I am an actively retired microbiologist, currently living in San Diego, California. I spent most of my research career working on growth physiology and bacterial cell organization. In 1985-86, I served as president of the ASM. I have a deep love of teaching, and have been told that my natural habitat is the other side of the lectern. I have authored several textbooks and co-edited treatises. I continue to write. After retirement, I have tried to satisfy my curiosity in broader microbiological phenomena, especially those related to ecology and symbiotic relationships. My hobby is wild mushrooms. For a short account of my activities, visit my home page.
I can be reached at elios179 [at] gmail [dot] com.
For Elio’s memoirs of his first 21 years of life, click here.
From 1983, when I joined Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor until 2018, when I retired and closed the lab, I was deeply involved in research and education. More than 130 individuals trained in my laboratory during those 35 years and most of those trainees followed careers in science in both academic and industry settings. Research in the Kolter Lab always gravitated around the study of microbes. We explored a large number of different subjects ranging from basic bacterial physiology to bioactive compound discovery. Lists of my publications can be found in PubMed and Google Scholar.
Now, as Professor Emeritus I continue my involvement in science through teaching, writing, blogging and communicating microbial sciences to the public, including through exhibitions in museums of natural history and invited lectures. Our photographic exhibition World in a Drop, produced jointly with Scott Chimileski and first shown at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in 2017, continues to travel to numerous locations around the world. Our exhibition Microbial Life is the major special exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. It opened on February 2018 and will remain open through March 2021. Our book Life at the Edge of Sight (co-authored with Scott Chimileski) was released by Harvard University Press September 2017.
Feel free to contact me at rkolter [at] hms.harvard [dot] edu.