Biology in Dingle
BI199/BI299 – Feast, Famine, Fever, and Fermentation

The organisms typically studied by microbiologists; bacteria, fungi, slime and water molds, algae, etcetera; have had a profound influence on the history and culture of essentially every human society, most notably in the areas of disease (both plant and animal) and more enjoyably–fermented foods, and drinks.

From the devastating plant disease that initiated the famine and disease epidemics known as the The Great Hunger (or An Gorta Mór), to the banbidh, or “white foods” that formed the basis of the Irish diet before the potato arrived in the 16th century, to the enjoyable beer (beoir) and whiskey (uisce beatha) unique to Ireland, the lens of Irish Culture and History provides an ideal focus to illustrate and teach basic principles of microbial disease, physiology and diversity.

This course will utilize the resources of the Dingle Peninsula and SHU’s campus in Ireland for an engaging series of site visits and case studies coupled with classroom and limited laboratory work that will provide a foundational knowledge of the breadth and diversity of microbial science.