Welcome to the amazing world of microbiology! This edition of Nester’s Microbiology marks the official beginning of my role as the textbook’s lead author. I’m not entirely a newbie—I’ve been a coauthor for over a decade, so I was the logical choice to take over when Eugene Nester retired. It’s an honor as well as an incredible responsibility, but I truly love sharing my passion for the subject with students. When I teach my introductory microbiology course, I always start with comments I’ve received from previous students. Why student opinions? Because I’m admittedly biased by my love of microbiology, so my students’ words might have more influence that first day. I’ve decided to do the same here because, well, I want you to be as excited about microbiology as I am! First of all, I cannot believe that people actually graduate from college with no knowledge of the microbiology that is taught in your class. I’m starting to see it and the effects of microorganisms wherever I go (because let’s face it, they’re everywhere) and I’m just shocked that not everyone is required to know something so basic and essential to human life. ~ Bailey Clopp It’s not just that I want you to look forward to learning about microbiology—I also want you to succeed. So that leads me from my “pep talk” to my “stern talk.” To do well in a microbiology course, you have to approach your studying with the intent to understand the information rather than just memorize it. That’s where the textbook comes in. My coauthors and I have spent countless hours making every explanation clear and logical—so read your book! You’ll be amazed at the information that’s at your fingertips! Work to understand the various processes and learn the vocabulary required to explain them to someone else.