A student sampling a creek for microbes
A student sampling a creek for microbes

Microbes are a ubiquitous form of life that, although unseen, are essential to environmental and human health. These tiny creatures are too small to be seen without a microscope and are very difficult to identify without the sophisticated tools of molecular biology. As a result, we still know little about their identity and abundance in the environment.

Students in Dr. Amorette Barber's and Dr. Erin Shanle's "Introduction to Genetics and Cell Biology" classes have completed a semester long project that will help shed some light on the microbes living right here in Prince Edward County.

The students collected samples of the environments surrounding the Longwood Environmental Education Center and then spent the semester using molecular biology techniques to identify the microbes they found based on the sequences in their DNA.  

All of the student's findings are available on the blog they created for the project.