G.Z. Brown of BioBE and Deb Johnson-Shelton of the Oregon Research Institute attended the kickoff meeting of the AIA Design & Health Research Consortium on March 5, 2015. Held at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, the 11 inaugural university members of the consortium heard from several invited speakers from the fields of architecture and public health. Table discussions were held around the topics of education, metrics, the “internet of things”, resilience and equity, and translation. More on the consortium can be found at http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB104553.
The UO BioBE Center, along with 10 other architecture schools and schools of public health, has been chosen by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the AIA Foundation, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture to be charter members of the new AIA Design & Health Research Consortium. The full press release can be found at http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB105043.
BioBE research is featured in a new article in GEO Magazine. Titled “Die Wildnis im Wohnzimmer” (“The Wilderness in the Living Room”) and written by Ute Eberle, the article discusses the human and built environment microbiome experiments that use ESBL’s climate chamber, and quotes James Meadow.
Check out the cool video at the end of the article!
Clarisse Betancourt and Erica Hartmann travelled to scenic Mount Vernon, Washington to collect air samples from the Washington State University Bread Lab. These samples will help generate preliminary data to develop a collaboration between BioBE and the Bread Lab to determine the relationship between the bread and bakery microbiomes. The bakery air should be rich with baker’s yeasts, but how much of those special microbes spill out into the air around the bakery? And will those same microbes fill the air at the new Bread Lab facility? Only time will tell…
Gwynne Mhuireach, a Landscape Architecture PhD candidate and member of BioBE, has been awarded a Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship from the U.S. EPA to investigate heterogeneity among the microbial communities found in urban residential neighborhoods. She is particularly interested in the influence that abundance, distribution and diversity of vegetation may have on the urban microbiome, and how vegetation and microbes may interact to affect children’s well-being. The STAR Fellowship provides $42,000 per year of funding over a maximum of three years for outstanding graduate students in environmental studies. Since the program began in 1995, EPA has awarded approximately 1,884 Fellowships.
Our new paper on the bacterial connection between our hands and our mobile phones is out this week in PeerJ.
Also, James Meadow did an interview with PeerJ about the study and it’s implications as well as his thoughts about the PeerJ publishing experience. Worth a read if you’re thinking about publishing in open-access soon.
A round-up of recent media coverage is in the works…
The BioBE paper “Indoor airborne bacterial communities are influenced by ventilation, occupancy, and outdoor air source” was recently noted as one of the most downloaded papers from the journal Indoor Air in 2013.
We have two positions available at the BioBE Center. If you know of awesome candidates or places to spread the word, please do so!
Information about the positions, located at the University of Oregon (recently rated by livability.com as one of the top 10 “Best Places to Live”) are below.
Bioinformatics/Microbial Ecology postdoctoral position (for application details go here)
Jessica Green and Brendan Bohannan are currently seeking a bioinformatics postdoctoral researcher to explore fundamental questions in microbial ecology and evolution. Applicants should have a PhD with extensive training using bioinformatics to understand the ecology and/or evolution of complex biological communities, and strong writing skills. The ideal candidate will have experience developing and applying quantitative community and population ecological methods to the analysis of environmental sequence data and next-generation sequence data.
The successful candidate will play a key role in the Biology and Built Environment (BioBE) Center (http://biobe.uoregon.edu/), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The BioBE Center is training a new generation of innovators to study the built environment microbiome – the diversity of indoor microbial life, their genetic elements and their interactions. The vision of this national research center is to understand buildings as complex ecosystems and to explore how architectural design mediates urban microbial ecology and evolution. For a description of partner projects see http://www.microbe.net/.
Microbial Ecology Research Tech position (for application details go here)
The Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon currently has an opening for a full time Research Assistant to work in the area of microbial ecology. The successful candidate will play a key role in the Biology and Built Environment (BioBE) Center (http://biobe.uoregon.edu/), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The BioBE Center is training a new generation of innovators to study the built environment microbiome – the diversity of indoor microbial life, their genetic elements and their interactions. The vision of this national research center is to understand buildings as complex ecosystems and to explore how architectural design mediates urban microbial ecology and evolution. For a description of partner projects see http://www.microbe.net/.
Extensive experience using molecular techniques is required, including some combination of skills in DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, cloning, next-generation DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, and phylogenetic analysis. Ability to work in a team atmosphere is a must. A Master’s degree in biology is desirable, but individuals with a bachelor in biology or related field and extensive experience are also encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be responsible for conducting laboratory research under the direction of Jessica Green and Brendan Bohannan.
An editorial in the journal Indoor Air from Jessica Green is out today. Jessica describes her vision for incorporating biological insight into architectural design decisions, what she calls “bioinformed design”. In the article, she lays out the arguments for why she believes this is the future of building design and how bioinformed design will shape healthier buildings in the future.
Recently on Nautilus Jessica Green wrote a short piece along side a fun interactive graphic that takes a look at what shapes the microbiomes of buildings.