Public Outreach

Seeing Microbes / Сүү, цагаан идээн дотор юу байдаг вэ? – A photographic workshop report.

From July 23 to 26 we organized a workshop under the title ‘Seeing Microbes – Сүү, цагаан идээн дотор юу байдаг вэ?‘ in Khatgal, which is one of our major research sites in northern Mongolia’s Khövsgöl province.

After conducting ethnographic fieldwork and collecting a variety of dairy samples in Khatgal during the summers of 2017 and 2018, the motivation of the workshop was to find an effective way to disseminate preliminary results to the herder community we’ve been collaborating with during that time. Another major objective was to share different forms of knowledge about traditional Mongolian dairy products from the perspective of various specialists coming from different backgrounds, including pastoral herders, ethnographers, dieticians, molecular- and microbiologists as well as lab-technicians and bio-informaticians.

The program of the workshop was designed interactively and comprised insights into Mongolian dairying techniques, presentations on beneficial bacteria, ancient DNA and nutrition, experiments in DNA extraction and microscopy, and Swiss cheesemaking.

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Mongolian version of the public workshop advertisement.

Yak milking.

Talking about DNA.

Boiling yak’s milk and pouring it from a height in order to seperate fat and produce a layer of foam that will later turn. into delicious cream.

Cheese wild onion filled deep-fried dumplings

Cutting curds pt. II.

By testing the home environment, the DairyCultures project will examine how these “good bacteria” become integrated into the culinary process

Mongol Ujin Camp – Workshop venue in Khatgal

Cutting curds for letting them dry under the open sky.

Tasting local dairy products

Pop-up lab with foldable microscopes

Microbial Medley: Raw yak’s milk from Mongolia and Austrian bio-rennet used for making Swiss Schiebli cheese.