The Missouri Department of Conservation is co-hosting a free presentation by author and botany professor Nicholas P. Money about the extraordinary diversity of the microbial world from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28, at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City. A social hour will begin at 6 p.m. prior to the presentation.

His talk is entitled “The Amoeba in the Room and the Fungus in the Sky.” Money is a professor of botany at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Among his recent books is “The Amoeba in the Room – Lives of the Microbes.” Science is making significant new discoveries about microscopic life such as fungi, bacteria and protozoans found in soil, water and in forms of life visible to the human eye, including people. He will discuss the diversity in environments from the backyard pond to the ocean floor. He will also describe his recent research linking fungal spores to rainfall.

Reservations are not required. For information, call 816-759-7300.

MDC is presenting this program in partnership with the Big Muddy Speaker Series, a lecture series based on Missouri River issues supported by a coalition of private conservation groups and public agencies. For information, visit http://bigmuddyspeakers.org/about.