2016 Pacific Northwest Women in Science Retreat

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I (Ashley Bateman) recently won a scholarship from the Women in Graduate Sciences organization at the University of Oregon, to attend the 2016 Pacific Northwest Women in Science Retreat. The event was held at Camp Magruder in Rockaway Beach, OR from July 8th-10th. The attendees and workshop leaders featured over 100 women from across the STEM career spectrum, from graduate students, technicians, and post-docs to government and industrial early and late career scientists. The focus of this retreat is on professional skill development and professional networking, especially for and with other women scientists in the region. The retreat featured 3 main workshops: A COACh workshop on the Performing Art of Science Presentations, a Rehearsals for Life: workshop, and a Bragging workshop led by the enthusiastic Judy Giordan. We also heard from and asked questions of a diverse group of women on academic, industrial, and alternative career panels.

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Understanding the microbiome of the Boston subway

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BioBE members Jessica Green and Erica Hartmann contributed to a study looking at the microbiome of the Boston transit system, the MBTA. The paper, published in mSystems is out here. The first author on the paper, Tiffany Hsu, also wrote a post on microBEnet.

Erica Hartmann also travelled to Shanghai, China, to represent the Boston subway study team at the second annual Metagenomics & Metadesign of Subways and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB) meeting. Researchers from around the world participated in the first ever world sampling day to collect microbes in subways and shared their experience and progress at this meeting. For more information, check out the project website.

“Microbiology of Built Environments” FAQ

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The American Academy of Microbiology has published a FAQ report on the microbiology of the built environment colloquium convened in September 2015. The report is “based on the deliberations of experts who gathered for a full day to discuss a series of questions developed by the steering committee regarding the role of complex microbial ecosystems found in built environments.” The BioBE Center was represented during the event by Jeff Kline.

BioBE undergrads share their research at UO symposium

Undergraduate students Andy Siemens and Kyla Martichuski were selected to give oral presentations at the Sixth Annual University of Oregon Undergraduate Symposium. The Symposium took place on Friday, May 20, 2016 and featured 186 research and creative projects, including 80 oral presentations. Both Andy and Kyla will have a chance to share their hard work later this week when they defend their honors theses.

Recent activities at the BioBE Center

April was a busy month at the BioBE Center! Read more about our recent activities below:

BioBE Center Director Jessica Green presented “Building Wellness: Creating Healthier Homes, Hospitals, and Offices with Microbiology” at the Heinz Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering (April 5). She also presented at the Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference hosted at Harvard Medical School in Boston (April 25-27), contributing to Session II: Microbiomes, Health and the Built Environment along with Rob Knight (UCSD), Erika von Mutius (University of Munich) and Jack Gilbert (University of Chicago).

Senior Research Associate Jeff Kline presented “The Impact of Weatherization on Microbial Ecology and Human Health” with Scot Davidson of Enhabit at the 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show in Austin, Texas (April 5). The following week, Kline and ORI research scientist Deb Johnson-Shelton presented a poster at the AIA Design and Health Research Consortium 2016 Convening held in Alexandria, Virginia (April 12-13). This project is a collaboration between the BioBE Center, Oregon Research Institute and Enhabit, and is funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

ESBL Director Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg and PhD student Gwynne Mhuireach presented “The impacts of design on energy and health in the built environment”  to 50 7th-grade students at Ohara Elementary School in Eugene (April 12). The event included a 60-minute workshop with presentations and hands-on exercises.

Postdoc Roxana Hickey attended the Sloan Microbiology of the Built Environment Data Analysis Workshop in San Diego (April 3-5). The workshop was led by researchers from University of California San Diego and the Marine Biological Laboratory and featured training in QIIME, QIITA and VAMPS for analysis and visualization of built environment data. Hickey also attended the Northwest Biology Instructors Organization (NWBIO) Conference hosted by the University of Oregon and Lane Community College in Eugene (April 15-17).

Postdoc Erica Hartmann attended OA Strategic Leadership Conference at the University of Oregon (April 18). This one-day event featured sessions and networking opportunities designed to enhance professional development in the areas of management and strategic leadership.

Hartmann and Hickey attended the Sloan Early Career Workshop in Chicago (April 26-29). The workshop was hosted by researchers at the University of Chicago and featured a series of seminars by leading experts in microbial ecology, building science and architecture, followed by a team grant proposal writing activity. Check out tweets from the event under hashtag #mobeECW16.

The Green lab and BioBE Center hosted visiting graduate student Anders Nygaard from Oslo and Akershus University College in Norway. Anders met with Center members to learn about facilitating research between biologists, architects and engineers.

BioBE hosts Microbiome Science Youth Outreach event

The BioBE Center hosted its inaugural Microbiome Science Youth Outreach workshop this past Saturday, March 12. The event featured hands-on activities covering microbiology, bioinformatics and architecture led by volunteers from the Green lab and Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory. It was attended by 21 middle-school and high-school students and mentors from the Youth Mentoring Program of the Centro Latino Americano (CLA). CLA is a multicultural nonprofit organization in Eugene dedicated to the empowerment of the local Latino community. The Youth Mentoring Program offers one on one mentoring relationships, group mentoring, and facilitates educational and enriching activities for students in Lane County.

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