Late-Breaking Evening Session: Honoring the Castenholz Legacy

Honoring the Castenholz Legacy

Monday, August 6, 2018 6:00-8:00pm
Interested attendees please RSVP Michelle Wood (appreciated but not essential)

Confirmed Speakers

Ferran Garcia-Pichel
Ullman Professor for the Environment, School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

Scott Miller
Associate Professor, Division of Biological Sciences
University of Montana

Jack Meeks
Research Professor of Microbiology
University of California Davis

Toivo Kallas
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Microbial Genetics and Biotechnology
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

Steve Giovannoni
Distinguished Professor of Microbiology
Oregon State University

Annick Wilmotte
Research Associate, FR/FNRS, University of Liege
Curator, BCCM/ULC Cyanobacterial Collection

Monday evening’s special session  is a tribute to Professor Richard Castenholz, a founding member of ISPP, who died unexpectedly in May at the age of 86. Dick was widely regarded as the world expert in the ecophysiology and systematics of cyanobacteria. He edited the Cyanobacterial Section of the 2nd Edition of Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, was working on the 3rd edition when he died,  and served as a member of the Bergey’s Trust  from 1991-2001.  His work contributed substantially to the  recognition that cyanobacteria should properly be classified within the domain of the bacteria, and not with plants or algae.    He was a Fellow of AAAS and the American Academy of Microbiology, and recipient of  numerous distinguished awards, including the 2005 Bergey Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Bacteria Taxonomy.  An avid sailor, birder, and fan of opera and poetry, Dick left behind his wife Phyllis, a son and grandson,  two much-pampered dogs, and many friends and scientists whose lives he changed.  He provided exceptional graduate training to more than 30 graduate students, at least a third of whom earned tenure as faculty in major U.S. Institutions.  Together they discovered Chloroflexus aurantiacus (Pierson and Castenholz), pioneered research on intra-specific physiological variation and adaptation in cyanobacteria,  and demonstrated the important role of the passive sunscreen scytonomin in sheath-forming cyanobacteria. Dick and his students worked in extreme environments around the world – from the Antarctic to Baja California.  His annual expeditions to Yellowstone National Park are legendary, with the sum of his work leading to over 150 publications and more than 13,000 citations.  At 86, he was still working in the lab nearly every day, isolating new strains, advising undergraduates, and writing papers.  Please join us on Monday for pizza and a series of talks in tribute to this amazing and much beloved scientist.

Michelle Wood and Ferran Garcia-Pichel
Interested attendees please RSVP Michelle Wood (appreciated but not essential)

One day registration for ISPP 2018 is available. Please visit

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