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Faires Faculty Forum features biology professor, microbiology research

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Posted on Monday, March 22, 2021

Dr. Joseph Balczon, associate professor of biology at Westminster College, will present “Today’s Special at the Microbial Food Court: Algae-Under-Glass” at the Faires Faculty Forum at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, March 24, via Zoom.

Balczon will discuss research conducted while on sabbatical in fall 2019. The research involved the ecology of microbes (single-celled ciliated protozoa) that eat diatom algae which have cell walls made of hydrated silica. Balczon will present the findings of his research in microbiology and discuss the processes of the study.

Balczon, who joined the Westminster faculty in 1997, is a faculty member in the biology program and a member of the Environmental Science Committee. Balczon specializes in research on the maintenance of antibiotic resistance by bacteria and environmental toxicology. He earned an undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University at Erie, Behrend College, and his master’s and Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University.

The Faires Faculty Forum was established in 1990 by Dr. Barbara Faires, Westminster professor of mathematics emerita, during her term as dean of the College and vice president for academic affairs.  Faculty members from all disciplines volunteer to present lectures on their current research, artistic productions, and scholarship of teaching and learning.  Each forum presents new ideas with innovative lecture techniques.

Contact Balczon at 724-946-7215 or for additional information on his research in microbiology.

Zoom links will be emailed to current and emeritus faculty prior to the forum. For others who wish to attend, please contact Dr. Erin Wilson, faculty development officer, at to obtain a link.

For more information about Westminster's biology major, please visit