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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ACS Celebrating Chemistry highlights indoor environments, profiles BioBE researcher

The American Chemical Society elected to celebrate “The Great Indoors” in their annual child-friendly earth day publication. In addition to discussing issues related to indoor air and water quality, this issue contains a profile of BioBE researcher Erica Hartmann, talking about how she got interested in science. You can also find experiments kids (and adults) can do at home to learn more about our indoor environment!

Making microbiology of the built environment relevant to design

G.Z. Brown, Jeff Kline, Gwynne Mhuireach, Dale Northcutt and Jason Stenson argue in their recent commentary in Microbiome Journal that scientists can make the field of microbiology of the built environment more relevant and applicable to real-world design problems by addressing health and sustainability in tandem, and that practice-based research represents a promising approach to advancing knowledge of the indoor microbiome and translating it to architectural practice.

BioBE meets BuildWell

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Erica Hartmann presented BioBE research at the 2016 BuildWell conference in San Francisco. Held at the beautiful Golden Gate Club, BuildWell brings together architects, builders, financial experts, manufacturers, and researchers to discuss how to make buildings healthier for occupants and for the planet. In addition to BioBE research, topics included green (presented by John Warner of the Warner Babcock Institute) and biomimicy (presented by Janine Benyus of the Biomimicry Institute). All of the presentations painted a bright picture of the future of buildings, where materials are bio-inspired, multifunctional, and net-zero or net-negative carbon.

BioBE human microbial cloud research featured on Science Friday

Get up close and personal with BioBE Center Director Jessica Green and postdoc Roxana Hickey as they discuss research on the human microbial cloud performed in collaboration with the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory! The Science Friday video released today highlights recent findings published by former Center member James Meadow and colleagues in the journal PeerJ, along with present and future research being conducted in the BioBE Center. To learn more, stay tuned for the Science Friday podcast on January 29th at 2 p.m. on Portland station KOPB at 550 AM and 1600 AM in Eugene or at 11 a.m. online at

Video: Your Very Special Microbial Cloud
Produced by Luke Groskin

Related story: Science Friday chases bugs with UO research (AroundtheO)

Gwynne Mhuireach to teach a design-oriented microbiome course this winter

Researchers studying the microbiology of the built environment have discovered linkages between architectural/urban design and microbial communities. Gwynne will introduce design students (architecture, landscape architecture, planning, etc.) to this field of research and elicit their responses regarding application of the scientific findings to design practice. Students will be asked to post questions to microBEnet later in the term – stay tuned!

AIA Design + Health Consortium 2015 Progress Report released

BioBE work was highlighted in the recently released annual progress report from the AIA Design + Health Consortium. Our team of BioBE members and health researchers from the Oregon Research Institute was selected for the inaugural Consortium cohort, and is the only team studying the impact of architectural design on microbial communities and related human health implications. Download the entire report here:

Andy Siemens received a UROP mini grant award


Andy is one of the recipients of the University of Oregon Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) mini grant award. This award will provide Andy with $1,000 to support his ongoing research. Andy’s research project focused on the effects of different light wavelengths on dust microbiome under the guidance of Jessica Green and Erica Hartmann. Congratulations Andy!