Dr. Juergen Wiege from University of Georgia Visits Biofuels Institute of Jiangsu University
Upon an invitation by Dr. jianzhong Sun and Dr. Weilan Shao from Biofuels Institute at Jiangsu University, on August 8-9, 2013, Dr. Juergen Wiege, a member of the American Academy of Microbiology and Distinguished Research Professor of the University of Georgia, USA, made an academic visit to Biofuels Institute of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, P. R. China. Within his two days’ stay, Dr. Juergen toured the facility at biofuels Institute of Jiangsu University and delivered two consecutive interesting and impressive presentations: “Extreme places and extremophiles” and “How to Give an Effective Seminar”. These seminars were very impressive and welcomed by professors, professionals, and graduate students from School of Environment and Biofuels Institute of Jiangsu University who attended the seminars.
    With respect to the seminar for extremophiles, Dr. Wiegel defined the concept of extremophiles, and its classification for various bacterial groups, and also demonstrated his research data during the past two decades in his laboratory to support the hypothesis regarding the relationships between different kinds of bacterial extremophiles and their living environments. In honor of his eminent work and contribution on the extremophiles, many novel species of extremophiles that he first identified were named with his last name, e.g. Thermoanaerobacterium wiegeliii.
     In his speech, Dr. Wiegel also summarized the salt tolerance mechanisms of some extremophiles newly found to be able to grow under the combination of high salt content, high pH, and high temperature, the so called halophilic alkalithermophiles. His research work on these microorganisms, including the acetogenic, anaerobic, and thermophilic cellulolytic bacteria that may be relevant to the ethanol or butanol fermentation processing, has clearly demonstrated a significant perspective both in the science and its potential industrial application. After presentation, he also had a discussion with our professionals and graduate students on some research topics we may potentially develop the collaboration in the future.
    Following the talking mentioned above, Dr. Wiegel further delivered an interesting presentation titled as “How to Give an Effective Seminar” for the purpose of improving a speaker’s capability to give a successful presentation in an international conference or job interviewing. During his two hours’ presentation, Dr. Wiegel specifically detailed how to give an effective seminar from the perspectives of outline design, visual solution, speech style, body language, time control, etc. and further provided some useful tips for question and answer strategies dealing with seminar audience. It is highly appreciated by those attendees who participated in this seminar because they actually learned a lot from his systematic and energetic presentation.
     Dr. Juergen Wiegel is a distinguished research professor at University of Georgia, USA, and a member of the American Academy of Microbiology. He has ever served for numerous editorial boards on some scientific journals, as well as some panel members for either national or international committee. Dr. Wiegel has conducted some exploring investigations on the microorganisms that are involved in important biochemical transformations. More recently, he found a group of novel extremophiles being able to grow under the combination of high salt, high pH, and high temperature (halophilic alkalithermophiles), which constitute a novel order, Natranaerobiales. Dr. Wiegel also named many novel genera and species of extremophiles, e.g. Thermoanaerobacterium wiegelii, which has been chosen with his last name to honor his contribution. His contributions also include that he described the family Clostridiaceae and Prokaryotes sections in the first and second editions of Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Owing to his outstanding contribution in science, he was awarded a “Bergey Award” at the International Union of Microbiological Societies in 2008.
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