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Microbiology: A Laboratory Experience

  • Microbiology-a-laboratory-experience

  • Affiliation: SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury



As a form of life too small to see and most often associated with disease, few people understand or appreciate the numerous positive contributions that microorganisms provide for all living things.

Designed to support a course in microbiology, this laboratory experience permits a glimpse into the microscopic world and engages student interest in microbiology as a topic, field of study, and career. Microbiology: A Laboratory Experience provides a series of laboratory exercises suitable for a one-semester undergraduate microbiology or bacteriology course with a three- or four-hour lab period that meets once or twice a week.

This lab manual conforms to the American Society for Microbiology curriculum guidelines and takes a ground-up approach. Beginning with an introduction to biosafety and containment practices and working with biological hazards, the text then covers basic but essential microscopy skills, aseptic technique and culture methods, and builds to include more advanced methods. The exercises incorporate a overarching investigation of a bacterial isolate, which nurtures a sense of discovery and student engagement.  The curriculum is rigorous but manageable for a single semester and incorporates best practices in biology education.


Holly Ahern

Holly Ahern is a professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury. With over 25 years of teaching and research experience, she is the author of laboratory textbooks and articles published in both the scholarly and trade journals. Ahern is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and the SUNY Adirondack President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She was named a National Science Foundation American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Biology Scholar in 2008, completing the Biology Scholar Transitions Residency program in 2011. By deploying classical microbiology methods in new ways and engaging her community college students in research, Ahern and her student research team investigate novel ways to both observe and destroy stealth pathogens such as those responsible for tick-borne diseases.