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Conference Schedule

University of Montana
Conference on Undergraduate Research (UMCUR)
Friday, April 11, 2014
University Center 3rd Floor


Please view the full PROGRAM BOOKLET for all session times, titles, abstracts, and presenters. 


Registration and Poster Set-up

UC 3rd Floor Grand Foyer


Oral Sessions

UC 326-333


Poster Session #1

UC Ballroom


Keynote Speaker: Professor John McCutcheon

UC Theater

Keynote Lecture: The Hidden Role of Microbes in Animal Health and Nutrition

Keynote Abstract


When most people think of bacteria and fungi—if they think of them at all—they probably think of “germs, disease, and rot.” This is understandable, as bacterial and viral epidemics have killed more people over the course of human history than all wars combined. But it is also quite wrong: animals cannot function normally without sustained, intimate interactions with microbes.  In my talk, I will highlight a few interesting examples of microbe-animal interactions, drawing from recent studies in humans and insects. Finally, I will outline why, when viewed from a long-term, evolutionary perspective, we should not be surprised that animals not only benefit, but require interactions with microbes to survive.

John McCutcheon was born in Wisconsin but raised in Illinois. Torn between families that rooted for the Packers on one side and the Bears on the other, he sealed his fate as a Packers fan by doing undergraduate work in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin. After earning a master’s degree in genetics at the University of Utah, he was lured back to the midwest (for the final time) to do his PhD work in computational biology at Washington University in St. Louis. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona, he happily accepted a job as an assistant professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at UM, where he has been since 2010. He and the members of his laboratory study the genetic and metabolic interactions between bacteria, fungi, and insects. Some of his lab’s recent work has been highlighted in the New York Times, National Geographic, and other media outlets. He is an Associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research program in Integrative Microbial Biodiversity, and is an Associate Editor at the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.


Oral Sessions

UC 326-333


Poster Session #2

UC Ballroom

4:00-5:00pm Painting and Print Exhibition UC Tech Lounge, 2nd Floor

The Davidson Honors College
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
Phone: 406-243-2541
Fax: 406-243-6446