Microbiology studies the smallest organisms and their impacts.

Micro-organisms are the oldest known and most diverse forms of life found in every type of environment. Many are used beneficially in areas such as baking, brewing, the manufacture of dairy foods and pharmaceuticals.

However, some microorganisms are also responsible for disease, food spoilage, water contamination and the destruction of materials.

Knowledge of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and archaea is important in both the environmental and medical fields.