18th International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation Society Symposium

Montana State University, Bozeman State Campus

Bozeman, Montana USA

New dates: 7-10 September 2021


Joseph M. Suflita, Chair, Meeting Organizing Committee

Brenda J. Little, IBBS President

On behalf of the Scientific Advisory and Local Organizing Committees, we welcome you to the eighteenth triennial meeting of the International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Society (IBBS18 –https://www.ibbs18.org).  IBBS1 took place in Portsmouth, UK in 1968. Since then, meetings have been held in many European countries, as well as, in the USA and Canada.

We know you are here because you appreciate the critical role of biology, and microbiology in particular, in the transformation of organic and inorganic substances.  The cycling of materials has long been recognized as an essential ecosystem service of global significance.  As Robert L. Starkey opined in an earlier IBBS (formerly the Biodeterioration Society) meeting, “Without the control of the destructive effects of microorganisms, there would be prohibitive losses of food, fabrics, wood, metal, masonry, structures and other diverse industrial raw materials and consumer products.  Without the breakdown of wastes, the environment would be polluted beyond use1.”  To be sure, the subject matter of IBBS is multidisciplinary, but it is exactly this diversity that we embrace. We learn from progress in different areas and extrapolate the underlying principles, concepts and approaches to the pressing issues of today.

Our scholarly activities have continued unabated for over 50 years and predate the formal establishment of IBBS itself. The meeting at Montana State University represents a milestone birthday for the Society. The symposium will celebrate with a special session in which IBBS leaders will reflect on the importance of biodeterioration and biodegradation science and communication over the past 5 decades and project the role of IBBS into the future.   Like Luis Pasteur, who in 1871 wrote, “There does not exist a category of science to which one can give the name applied science. There are science and the applications of science, bound together as the fruit of the tree which bears it2,” we envision a meeting that will bridge the artificial gaps between basic and applied research. The theme of the IBBS18 is “Microbes, Man and the Environment: Societal Challenges and the Role of Microorganisms in the Anthropocene.”

In addition to a full scientific program of plenary and contributed papers, poster sessions, and exhibits, IBBS18 will include unique opportunities for Early Career Scholars. This includes a career development workshop on the first day of the meeting, the chance to organize and chair individual sessions in conjunction with senior mentors, awards for meritorious scientific contributions and multiple occasions to network with disciplinary leaders in both professional and social settings.

We hope you will enjoy the conference facilities at Montana State University (http://www.montana.edu) as well as the host town of Bozeman, MT.  We think you will find it a vibrant destination, with many educational, culinary, cultural and scenic attractions (http://www.bozemancvb.com).  The town is located just 90 minutes away from Yellowstone National Park (https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm), a must visit for every microbiologist. An optional tour of the park will be organized for conference delegates and their guests following the meeting. Yellowstone is home to the world’s most extraordinary collection of natural thermal features (geysers and hot springs) and a diverse array of true wildlife that includes bears, wolves, bison, and elk.

IBBS18 promises to be an outstanding educational and scientific experience. The meeting provides the opportunity to revisit friends and colleagues and make new ones as well.  We are pleased that you will join us in Montana for this exciting conference!

1In the course of natural events.  Proceedings of the Third International Biodegradation Symposium. 1975.

2Pourquoi la France n’a pas trouve des hommes superieurs au moment du peril. From Revue Scientifique 1871.