Kenneth Noll

Kenneth Noll photo

Welcome to Microbes and More, my website to help you discover the amazing world of microorganisms and other topics that I have explored. Many of the stories of these microbes are presented here as flip books full of pictures, interesting facts, and links to other sources of information about them. In addition to the microbe topics, I have links to another website of mine about Charles Darwin. I portray Mr. Darwin in a variety of public venues and, if you would like to have me do so for your organization, please visit my site to learn how that can be arranged. This microbes site also has a page with resources for teachers where you can find out about my work teaching microbes to children, exploring Mark Twain’s use of microbes in one of his stories, and the fascinating world of microbes in termites’ guts.

I am a microbiology researcher and professor who will be retiring as of Jan. 1, 2022. I formerly conducted research and taught courses in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut. My laboratory conducted  research on microbes that lived at very high temperatures and the publications that resulted from my work can be accessed here, at PubMed

Invite Charles Darwin to talk to your group

 

I have been portraying Charles Darwin in schools, museums, University presentations, and public events for three years. I present Darwin’s life and work in a manner that affords a personal connection with audiences. You can learn more about these presentations at my website Charles Darwin: A Life in Stories and at my Facebook page Stories with Mr. Darwin.

Kenneth Noll portraying Charles Darwin

Extremophilic microbes

Extremophiles

Illustration from Merino, et al. Front. Microbiol., 15 April 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00780.

Learn about Extremophiles, microbes that live in very extreme environments by reading my flip books. They are full of interesting facts and colorful images of these fascinating places. Read about organisms that live in hot places (thermophiles), salty places (halophiles), alkaline (alkalophiles) and acidic (acidophiles) sites, dry places (xenophiles), and cold regions (psychrophiles). Even read about the possibility of life on Mars, a possible haven for extremophilic life.

KASET collecting pond samples

I provide resources for teachers interested in some of the topics of presentations that I have made for children and the public. For several years I ran a summer program for middle school children in which we explored microbes in ponds, the woods, and kitchens. On the resources page I provide the lab manual that I used in this program. I was also involved in an NSF-funded project that involved termites. As part of that I created a termite farm that kids could make to keep termites they capture in the woods or purchase. I also give instructions for its construction and tips on how to capture termites in the woods. I made a presentation about Mark Twain’s unpublished story “Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes.” At this site I provide a description of that story and provide materials that could be used to talk about this work and the state of knowledge of microbes in Twain’s time.

Mark Twain photo