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Virtual Middle Tennessee Professional Development Workshop

2021 Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project Workshop

June 7 – 9; 9:00am – 4:00pm

Download PDF of Workshop Announcement

Join other teachers in the greater-Nashville area to explore biodiversity, biotechnology, and bioinformatics using The Wolbachia Project. This virtual workshop will provide equipment (if needed) and reagents for a hands-on experience that can be integrated into your Biology or BioSTEM curriculum.

Eligibility: High school teachers and administrators in Middle Tennessee / greater-Nashville area.

Requirements: (i) Must have wifi access and Zoom capability with a camera; (ii) must be able to pick up and return equipment to Vanderbilt University. Participation is limited due to availability of loaner equipment.

Application deadline: 11:59pm Friday, May 21st

Draft Schedule

Pre-Workshop (May 31st – June 4th)

  • Pick up loaner equipment from Vanderbilt University
  • Pre-workshop survey
  • Collect at least 2 arthropods

Monday, June 7th (9:00am – 4:00pm)

  • AM: Introduction to Wolbachia and biodiversity databases; Discuss hypothesis-driven research
  • PM: DNA Extraction

Tuesday, June 8th (9:00am – 4:00pm)

  • AM: PCR
  • PM: Vector control & Bioethics

Wednesday, June 9th (9:00am – 4:00pm)

  • AM: Gel electrophoresis; Interpreting controls
  • PM: Sanger sequencing & Bioinformatics

Post-Worksop (June 10th – June 18th)

For more information about the workshop or if you are interested in hosting a future workshop at your school/institution, please Contact Us.


White woman with blonde hair, blue shirt, black cardigan looking at the camera and smiling.Sarah Bordenstein is Director of The Wolbachia Project and Senior Research Specialist at Vanderbilt University. She develops and disseminates worldwide educational resources related to symbiosis and biotechnology. Sarah is an expert in microbial ecology, genomics, and science education. In her research program, she applies quantitative and computational genomic analyses to study phage WO and plasmid biology in Wolbachia.


White woman with blonde hair in a bun and a blue dress smiling at camera

Athena Lemon is the Project Coordinator for The Wolbachia Project. She is one of the newest additions to the project, and is passionate about science communication and outreach. She is in charge of most of the day-to-day operations of The Wolbachia Project, and is working on updating protocols, making videos, and troubleshooting common problems. When not in lab, Athena knits, quilts, and gardens. She has a fospice pitbull rescue named Topanga.