BioBE scientists recently participated in a special session held at the 97th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Portland, Oregon. The session (titled “The Great Indoors: Recent Advances in the Ecology of Built Environments”) was co-organized and moderated by BioBE scientist Brendan Bohannan, and featured a presentation by BioBE director Jessica Green. Jessica described recent (not yet published) studies of mixed-use commercial buildings, and demonstrated the impact of human occupancy and room use type on the composition of bacterial communities in air, dust and on surfaces. Her talk sparked a discussion regarding the concept of buildings as “ecosystems” (systems of organisms interacting with their living and non-living environment) and its implications for building design and operation. For more on this discussion (and the session as a whole) see the MicroBEnet blog post by Rachel Adams.