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American Society for Microbiology honors Richard W. Castenholz

June 08, 2009

The 2009 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award is being presented to Richard W. Castenholz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oregon. This award recognizes outstanding efforts by a scientist who has demonstrated the importance of microbial biodiversity through sustained curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community.

Dr. Castenholz is known for isolating and curating hundreds of cultures of cyanobacteria, especially thermophilic species, and as Michael Madigan, Ph.D., one of Castenholz's supporters notes, "Dick Castenholz is the world expert in the field of cyanobacterial ecology and systematics." His research has led to global exploration of these organisms in marine, alkaline, geothermal, acidic, endolithic, cold, hypersaline, and oligotrophic habitats. He merged his extensive collection with that of E. Imre Friedmann, Ph.D., and created the Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Castenholz is the curator and director of this unique collection of extremophilic microorganisms which holds over 1,200 strains and has a searchable website. His generosity in sharing cultures has been invaluable to the scientific community. .

Dr. Castenholz received his Ph.D. in botany from Washington State University; he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

-end-

The USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award will be presented during the 109th General Meeting of the ASM, May 17-21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

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