Kathleen Park Talaro is a microbiologist, educator, author, and artist. She has been nurturing her love of microbiology since her youth growing up on an Idaho farm where she was first fascinated by tiny creatures she could just barely see swimming in a pond. This interest in the microbial world led to a biology major at Idaho State University, where she worked as a teaching assistant and scientific illustrator for one of her professors. This was the beginning of an avocation that she continues today—that of lending her artistic hand to interpretation of scientific concepts. She continued her education at Arizona State University, Occidental College, California Institute of Technology, and California State University. She has taught microbiology and major’s biology courses at Pasadena City College for 30 years, during which time she developed new curricula and refined laboratory experiments. She has been an author of, and contributor to, several publications of the William C. Brown Company and McGraw-Hill Publishers since the early 1980s, first illustrating and writing for laboratory manuals and later developing this textbook. She has also served as a coauthor with Kelly Cowan on the first two editions of Microbiology: A Systems Approach. Kathy continues to make microbiology a major focus of her life and is passionate about conveying the significance and practical knowledge of the subject to students, colleagues, family, friends, and practically anyone who shows interest. In addition to her writing and illustration, she keeps current attending conferences and participating in the American Society for Microbiology and its undergraduate educational programs. She is gratified by the many supportive notes and letters she has received over the years from devotees of microbiology and users of her book. She lives in Altadena, California, with husband Dave Bedrosian, and son David. Whenever she can, she visits her family in Idaho. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, reading true crime books, music, crossword puzzles, and playing with her rescued kitties.
Barry Chess has been teaching microbiology at Pasadena City College for over 15 years. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from California State University, Los Angeles, and did several years of postgraduate work at the University of California, Irvine, where his research focused on the expression of eukaryotic genes involved in the development of muscle and bone. At Pasadena City College, Barry developed a new course in human genetics and helped to institute a biotechnology program. He regularly teaches courses in microbiology, general biology, and genetics, and works with students completing independent research projects in biology and microbiology. Over the past several years, Barry’s interests have begun to focus on innovative methods of teaching that lead to greater student understanding. He has written cases for the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and presented talks at national meetings on the use of case studies in the classroom. In 2009, his laboratory manual, Laboratory Applications in Microbiology: A Case Study Approach, was published. He is thrilled and feels very fortunate to be collaborating with Kathy Talaro, with whom he has worked in the classroom for more than a decade, on this ninth edition. Barry is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and regularly attends meetings in his fields of interest, both to keep current of changes in the discipline and to exchange teaching and learning strategies with others in the field.