Indiana State University Newsroom

Cave expert to discuss microbiology

January 29, 2010

A woman featured in an IMAX film and National Geographic Explorer magazine will talk about what she finds in caves on Tuesday, Feb. 2 as a part of Indiana State University's Biology Speaker Series.

Hazel Barton, a biology professor at Northern Kentucky University, will talk about cave microbes and their ability of the microbes to survive in extremely harsh places with very few nutrients such as caves. These studies may give clues about how to search for life on other planets.

Barton is the Ashland Endowed Professor of Integrated Sciences and assistant professor of biology at Northern Kentucky University and director of the National Speleological Society.

She has explored caves in five continents and her cave research has been featured in the IMAX movie "Journey into Amazing Caves." She also has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Forbes, National Geographic Explorer and Outside Magazine. Her research has been featured on NPR, BBC Radio, Animal Planet, The History Channel and The Discovery Channel.

The seminar for this speaker will begin at 4 p.m. in the Science building room 012. There will also be cookies served at 3:30 p.m.

The series, sponsored by the ISU department of biology and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College science and math department, brings in internationally recognized research scientists to speak to students and community members. For more information, visit or call 812-237-2501. Refreshments will be served from 3:30 to 4 p.m. with the seminar beginning at 4 p.m.


Contact: Rusty Gonser, Indiana State University, assistant professor, at 812- 237-2395 or

Writer: Kendra Thomas, Indiana State University, intern, or 812-237-3773