Life Sciences professor Brian Hedlund.

Feb. 12, 2016

School of Life Sciences professor Brian Hedlund is now serving as a member of the board of trustees for Bergey’s Manual Trust.

The board is responsible for managing the trust, promoting microbial systematics internationally, and compiling and editing Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria, the preeminent reference publication on the taxonomy of microorganisms. The board consists of eight internationally recognized microbiologists from Europe, Asia, and North America, who are experts in microbial systematics and other subdisciplines of microbiology.

The Bergey’s Manual Trust was established in 1936 with the goal of providing a consolidated reference for comprehensive descriptions of bacteria and archaea, curated by elected expert microbiologists. Although the trust wasn’t formed until 1936, the first edition was published in 1925 (the organization and manual was not yet named after Dr. David H. Bergey). This trust is a nonprofit organization with all revenue being allocated to the continued updating of Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria and other activities to promote microbial systematics, including awarding of the Bergey Award and the Bergey Medal, both which honor scientists who have made outstanding contributions to microbial taxonomy.

The most recent edition of Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria was over 10,000 pages long and featured articles from approximately 600 authors from all over the globe. To keep up with the description of over 600 new microbial taxa published per year and modernize existing chapters, the Trust recently initiated a partnership with John Wiley & Sons publishing company to produce an online version of the manual, which will be published quarterly, to replace the printed version.

Hedlund’s lab focuses mostly on life in terrestrial geothermal systems, including the isolation and characterization of novel organisms, ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, and a variety of studies on yet-uncultivated microorganisms in nature. Recent progress has focused on the use of single-cell genomics and metagenomics and molecular ecology approaches to explore candidate phyla of both Bacteria and Archaea. The Hedlund lab also collaborates with industrial and academic partners to work on development of disease diagnostics, bacterial diseases, and biofuels technologies.