Biomimicry 3.8 Institute Fellows are faculty and administrators affiliated with a college or university and committed to advancing biomimicry education at their respective institutions. Fellows typically have completed at least one week-long biomimicry training with us and are active in our Biomimicry Education Network. To learn about applying to become a Fellow click here.
Valérie learned about Biomimicry, in 2009, when she attended the Veracruz summer 2009 workshop. Biomimicry has been a turning point in her life. Taking Nature’s inspiration seriously at different levels (shape, system, processes) has been invigorating to her. As a Geometry teacher she was aware that Nature’s shapes have been a main reference in human creative proposals. The systems emulation concept turned out to be a friendly subject more than a rigorous engineering concept. Finally the process emulation resulted simply awing and new to her. In architectural and building industry, almost everything concerning process emulation, seems yet be done, which results challenging to her.
Francisco Bonilla Sevilla
Francisco is a program designer and Instructor at Universidad Anáhuac in México City where he is affiliated with the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, and the School of Design. Sevilla lectures on sustainable technologies, wastewater treatment, and design and the environment. He is also founding partner of the Universidad del Medio Ambiente (University for the Environment) in Valle de Bravo, Mexico where he lectures on green business and new organizational models.
Sevilla holds a degree in Architecture from La Salle University in Mexico City and earned his MBA at Anahuac University. He has authored numerous articles and, in 2007, published the book El Orden y el Caos (Order and Chaos). He is CEO of Ecolo-Systems, an organization whose purpose is to develop sustainable projects regarding water (desalination, waste water treatment, treated water reuse, water efficiency).
Ian Clarke is currently an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies at OCAD University in Toronto Canada. He has a BSc (Honors) in Biochemistry a PhD in biochemistry from Queen’s University in Kingston Canada and an AOCAD in fine art (printmaking) from the Ontario College of Art & Design. (Yes, he got the degrees in that order, so ask him about it sometime.) He has taught biology and biochemistry in various capacities at OCAD University, Queen’s University, and for the British Columbia Open University. Previous to joining OCAD University full time he researched the roll of cancer stem cells in brain tumors at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Ian started his exploration into biomimicry by taking the Biologist at the Design Table training in 2006 in Montana. He is active in biomimicry design education and research at OCAD University. And in his oodles of spare time, he still tries to make some art.
José Luis Cocom
José Luis Cocom Herrera is an architect with a bachelor and masters degree from Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY). He has worked as a consultant for the Mexican government and has been a lecturer in many Universities in Yucatán. He is full-time professor at UADY and a member of the Academic Body of Heritage Conservation within the School of Architecture. Currently, he is the coordinator of the Habitat Design Program, which is focused on addressing environmental and territorial issues of habitat development through design. He learned about Biomimicry in 2011, when he took the 9-day Workshop in Veracruz, México, led by the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute. This gave him the opportunity to interact with the living world and recognize, through nature’s extraordinary processes, a source of knowledge and inspiration at the service of man. Due to his newfound way of sharing and learning from nature he started developing, with the help of colleagues, the Biomimicry Program at UADY.
Marjan is Associate Dean and senior instructor in The Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, teaching in the area of engineering design. She is also a fine artist that exhibits nationally and internationally. Marjan teaches visualization, drawing, design history, biomimicry, and green engineering topics. She is interested in biomimicry as a teaching tool because it allows for a great deal of creativity and “bridging” of subjects: science, engineering, design, art, biology, chemistry, etc. Marjan recently started her PhD in Computational Media Design and is taking biomimetic computation courses with a focus on flocking, swarming, and evolutionary computing.
Margo Farnsworth works as a consultant in strategic development for organizations, businesses and individuals; as an adjunct faculty for Lipscomb University’s Institute of Sustainability and as Senior Research Consultant for the Cumberland River Compact where she also served as Executive Director for seven years. While with the Compact, Margo brokered a bi-state water agreement between Tennessee and Kentucky, helped build seven watershed associations to work on nonpoint source pollution and enabled them to proceed with projects such as measuring the carbon sequestration value of buffer zones and measuring sedimentation for restoration. She has also worked as a Naturalist, Science Teacher from Middle School to University levels, Mammalogist and Park Ranger. With degrees in Science Education and Parks Administration her professional accomplishments include research in environmental education, qualitative mammal studies and service on numerous local and state environmental boards and committees. Recognition of her work has come from various disciplines including a State Resource Management Award of Excellence, the “Friend of Fisheries” award, State Environmental Educator of the Year and the Freeman Tilden Award for Outstanding Interpretation. Margo assisted General Mills in a water reuse project and is currently looking forward to integrating biomimicry into her work at all levels.
Adelheid Fischer is manager of InnovationSpace, a sustainable product-development program at Arizona State University. She leads the program’s biomimicry initiative, which introduces students to the use of biology as a means of sustainable innovation in design, business, and engineering.
Fischer is also a writer whose work focuses on natural history and environmental issues. She is coauthor of Valley of Grass: Tallgrass Prairie and Parkland of the Red River Region, winner of the 1999 Minnesota Book Award for nature writing. With Minnesota ecologist Chel Anderson, she has coauthored North Shore: An Ecology of Place, forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. She currently is working on a new book that explores the ecology of grief and loss in the sky islands of southeastern Arizona. Fischer makes her home at the foot of South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, where she shares her yard, and sometimes her house, with nighthawks, southern house spiders, scorpions, coyotes, cactus wrens, and the occasional javelina.
Anamarija Frankic is Assistant Professor at EEOS, UMass Boston, and adjunct professor at the Institute of fisheries and oceanography in Split, Croatia. She also serves as an Environmental Advisor to the Government of Croatia, Ministry of Culture. Her background in biology, ecology, limnology and marine science, translates in her work in coastal ecosystems conservation and management nationally and internationally. She helped develop and implement major conservation projects in Croatia, and the Adriatic region funded through the GEF, WB, UNEP and EU. The vision, mission and goals in her work are based on the integration of three key areas – teaching, service and research – in order to best practice coastal ecosystem stewardship right now and here. In 2009, she initiated and started the Green Boston Harbor Project (GBH) with a vision that any urban harbor can become green and sustainable area if managed within environmental limitations, while recognizing strength in ecological and human diversities. While at UMass Boston she developed and teaches Intro to Biomimicry course, and started the “Adopt a Student for a Green Job” program that supports most of her undergraduate and graduate students through their educational process and provides employment.
Dr. Karen Frasier-Scott received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Arizona Medical School in 1983 and was a Research Assistant Professor in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Texas Medical School and tenured Associate Professor the University of Houston until 2005. When she retired she returned to school at the University of Houston-College of Architecture and received a Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Design. She was the first intern at the Biomimicry Guild (now Biomimicry 3.8) in Helena, MT and is a founding member of BiomimicryTX. She is helping to form a strategic partnership with Biomimicry3.8 using a deep knowledge of biological adaptation models to help designers, engineers, architects, business leaders and students solve design challenges sustainability. She is teaching Biomimicry/Design within the Industrial Design Program in the College of Architecture at the University of Houston-Central Campus. She is reaching out to the STEM, Business, Science, and Governmental community in Houston to build biomimicry education partnerships. She is also President of her own design company, EnviroTech Design in Houston, TX where she is combining her expertise in biomimicry, science and design.
Cindy is program coordinator, faculty, and advisor for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s Sustainable Design Online program. In this role, Cindy fosters a culture of awareness and creativity through the evolution of this fully-online, ground-breaking design program that brings together sustainable innovation and collaborative problem-solving; her ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem of change agents committed to environmentally-responsible and socially-just design. Cindy has extensive research experience in the fields of climate change and polar ecology, and has taught several courses and workshops in the fields of sustainability, biomimicry, biology, and natural history. She was the founding program coordinator of the University of Montana’s campus-wide sustainability program and most recently served 3.5 years as the founding director of university education at Biomimicry 3.8 Institute where she developed and managed higher education programs including the Biomimicry Professional Certification Program, the annual Biomimicry Education Summits and the Biomimicry Affiliate and Fellows Programs. Cindy received her M.Ed. from Griffith University (Australia), her M.S. in wildlife biology from Oregon State University, and her B.Sc. in biology at the University of Guelph (Canada).
Evan Greenberg is a researcher and design consultant investigating biomimicry, advanced fabrication processes, and the behavior of responsive and distributed systems across a range of scales from product design to architecture and urban design. He has worked with architects, engineers, artists and fashion designers and has lectured and taught around the world. Evan is Studio Master in the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the Architectural Association (AA) in London, where he graduated with distinction in 2007, and is also Technical Studies tutor at the AA. He co-directed the AA Visiting School San Francisco (Biodynamic Structures) from 2009-2011.
Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Maella Minaksi González Cetz is an architect with a masters degree from Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY). She is a full-time professor and the Academic Program Coordinator at the Architecture School where she teaches Biomimicry, Habitat Design, Visual Arts, Biology and Marine Biology. She also coordinates a Project Workshop and short courses in Biomimicry. Maella is interested on the cognitive contributions of Biomimicry in teaching and learning of design. As a participant in the Biomimicry and Design Workshop in Veracruz, México (2011), she gained an understanding on the importance of Biomimicry for the evolution of design and became fascinated by the adaptation of natural models in their own context.
Carl is an Industrial Designer who sees biomimicry as a stepping stone towards evolving the way we approach design and nurture sustainable, innovative thinking. His background involved working in the toy industry making a variety of products, from collectable figurines to yo-yos. Having been exposed to the unsustainable practices going on in toy design and the toxic manufacturing environments in China, he was interested in looking for new avenues to address these issues. Carl now teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto, Canada, exploring biomimicry and how it may evolve traditional design processes.
Bruce is an Assistant Professor of Design at OCAD U where he teaches Design Process, Interaction Design, Design Drawing, Think Tank (co-chair) and Biomimetics (curriculum leader). As a licensed Architect, Bruce maintains an active practice addressing issues of sustainable community structures in the developing world. Current projects include working with a multidisciplinary team of physicians and specialists in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania to construct a sustainable community for children affected and infected with HIV. Bruce is an active member of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia, The Ontario Association of Architects, The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Associate of the Architectural Institute of America, member of Architects for Humanity and the Toronto Society of Architects, and an associate of the Ontario College of Art. Bruce holds degrees in Psychology, Architecture and Painting.
Dr. Jawa is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his Masters/Bachelors from the Russian Peoples’ Friendship University, Moscow. Dr. Jawa is recognized as an outstanding engineering educator for his innovative and engaging teaching pedagogy. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award, and several grants. Dr. Jawa has developed a course, Biomimicry for Engineers, and his students are involved in a number of biomimetic projects including pine cone based structural design, limpets for attachment mechanisms and rip cage for collapsible pressure vessel design. His current focus is on developing a systematic approach that would help engineers to incorporate Life’s Principles early on in the engineering design process.
Before joining Cal Poly Pomona, Dr. Jawa founded and developed APlusStudent.com, Inc., an online supplemental education company focusing on K-12 math. He also served as a faculty at Rowan University, NJ and Kettering University, MI. He is well known for his innovative, K-12 robotics outreach program, which has reached hundreds of students in the US and abroad. Dr. Jawa is a scuba diver and a marathon runner. He is also a running instructor, teaching people how to run effortlessly and injury free.
Janet Kübler, Ph.D.
California State University
Northridge, CA USA
Janet Kübler is a marine biologist who has been using biomimicry in her teaching and research since she attended Biologist at the Design Table training in North Carolina in 2005. For decades, Janet has investigated how marine algae and aquatic plants respond to climate change, looking for how some species and systems are resilient to change and variability in the environment. Biomimicry shifts the perspective on that work to ask how we can have systems that flourish and thrive in the future. She is currently supported the Science, Education and Engineering for Sustainability (SEES) National Science Foundation-wide investment, to explore seaweed resilience to ocean acidification. Janet teaches Function Biology and Design Innovation and Introductory Biology with biomimicry at CSUN, where she also mentors younger scientists to consider how their research results can be made readily available for biomimetic applications. She has a BA from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maine.
Amy Leidtke, MID
Amy Leidke is an accomplished industrial designer, artist, and educator with a standing record of success combining the disciplines of research, planning, ideation and design development, teaching, public speaking, and community engaged scholarship in an inclusive professional design practice. She has a special interest in collaborative strategies for inclusive design thinking, arts and design education policy, and design ethics. For the past twenty years, she hase enjoyed teaching at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), in the Department of Industrial Design, at both graduate and undergraduate levels, working with some of the most talented young future designers one could imagine. Amy believes future designers need to be prepared to participate as equal stakeholders in holistic problem solving processes, developing along with scientists, engineers, and policy-makers, new ‘bio-friendly’ solutions to manufacturing techniques, standards for material use in mass-production of things, and developing comprehensive whole systems strategies for product life cycle.
Tom has taught bio-inspired design to undergraduate and graduate students at the California College of the Arts (CCA) and the University of California, Berkeley, since 2006. His current course, How Would Nature Do That?, is an upper division interdisciplinary studio class offered at CCA. He is also founder and president of BioDreamMachine, a California non-profit dedicated to bringing bio-inspired design to public schools. He writes a regular blog on the topic of biomimicry at GreenerDesign.
Curt McNamara, P.E. (BSc/University of Minnesota, MEng./Portland State University) is a practicing designer with 20 years experience in medical, commercial, and industrial markets. He is a scholar of R. Buckminster Fuller and authored the entry on Fuller in the UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. An active Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers member, Curt received the IEEE Millennium Medal in 2000 for his ongoing work in education. He has co-created a learning module on modularity in biology and design, taught the first engineering for biomimics course for the Institute, and managed the Institute’s first Biomimicry in Higher Education Webinar. Curt created and teaches the Innovation and Systems courses for the MCAD Sustainable Design certificate, and ensures every student going through the program gets a grounding in the techniques of biomimicry.
Delfín is a biologist with a degree from the Faculty of Science of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). From mid-2005 to December 2008, he worked as an assistant for research and planning on six different projects related to human impact on natural entities, and developed at the Laboratory of Ecology at the Faculty of Science in the UNAM. In 2008, Delfín attended the Urban Arboriculture course hosted by the Mexican Association of Arboriculture and the Autonomous University of Chapingo and participated in the Institute’s Biologist at the Design Table workshop held in Montana. Since January 2008, he has been collaborating with two architecture firms, Bunker Arquitectura and Taller 13 Arquitectos, where he develops vegetation diagnoses and evaluations; he is also involved in plant list design in urban and residential landscaping. During that time, he has also been a teaching assistant on two undergraduate courses at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), Campus Santa Fe, in Mexico City.
In August 2006, jointly with B. A. Raúl de Villafranca, Delfín delivered the lecture The Principle of Biomimicry: Respect for the Wisdom of Natural Systems, in the Sustainable Design and Ecological Building course offered at UIA. Since then, he has been a member of the Biomimicry Mexico group housed on AskNature.org and has delivered many lectures and courses on biomimicry design methodology.
Peter Niewiarowski is a Professor of Biology at The University of Akron where he is currently the interim director of the interdisciplinary PhD program, Integrated Bioscience (IB). He teaches introductory and advanced courses in ecology and evolution and has active research projects in amphibian population dynamics and physiology, as well as lizard life history ecology and evolution. In 2008 he teamed up with a material scientist colleague who was already working on creating synthetic mimics of gecko adhesive toepads. Since then, continued research collaborations focused on the biology of gecko adhesion have not only extended his work with gecko adhesion, but also pushed the biomimicry paradigm back into his teaching and outreach.
Peter met Doug Paige in 2010 as part of a biomimicry initiative in northeast Ohio, and now Doug and Peter are creating a partnership between The Cleveland Institute of Art and The University of Akron to provide undergraduate and graduate training in biomimicry. The IB program and the bio-related research at Akron combined with the industrial design program emphasizing sustainability at CIA provide an extraordinary opportunity for Doug and Peter to build a research and training specialization in biomimicry.
Doug Paige has been teaching Industrial Design at The Cleveland Institute of Art since 1998, with a focus on problem solving methodology. Doug has been incorporating sustainability into the curriculum since 2000. Projects have included collaborations with local organizations to bring together students and the community for special projects including Cleveland Public Art urban bike racks, APOC furniture from deconstructed houses, and Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to explore biomimicry as a methodology for studying the Cuyahoga River bulkheads and fish health.
Doug spent 17 years with Thomson Consumer Electronics and consulting firms in California and Ohio, designing products from computer equipment and hi-tech luggage to day cruise ships. Doug has been a contributing author for three publications: Managing as Designing, Process Materials and Measurements – design resource book, and Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative “Watercraft.” Passions include kayaking, design, and the art of fermentation beverages.
Raúl de Villafranca
Mexico City, Mexico
Raúl de Villafranca Andrade is a Mexican architect with a degree from Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA). Since 1980 he has worked for his own design and construction firm. He has been a professor at the UIA, Mexcio City campus, in the Architecture and Urbanism department since 1979. He works inside the environmental design cycle as a member of the pushing core team, introducing ecological matters into the curricula. He is also the coordinator of the diploma course on sustainable design and construction. Since 2006, he has been applying biomimicry in site analysis and thesis seminar courses in the architecture undergraduate program at UIA. He is certified by the National Charrette Institute as a facilitator and administrator, and he was a participant at the Urban Revision Charrette “Framework for a Sustainable City Block,” hosted by the Rocky Mountain Institute and Re:vision. The past several summers he organized and backed a 9 day, Biomimicry and Design Workshop in Veracruz, Mexico, led by the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute.
Portland State University
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Portland, Oregon USA
Faye merges a 20-year corporate career, managing business in Latin America and Asia-Pacific for Nike Inc. and S. C. Johnson & Son Inc. with a decade of brokering cross-sector partnerships and supporting social enterprise development. Returning to her rural roots, she recently launched Forest Fractal, LLC, a social enterprise dedicated to the restorative economy and now focuses her efforts on rural economic development and experiential learning. As an adjunct instructor at Portland State University School of Business Administration and Pacific Northwest College of Art Collaborative Design, Faye has incorporated biomimicry into business strategy, design thinking, product design & business operations courses. Her current interest is an exploration at the intersection of social entrepreneurship and biomimicry to develop market-based solutions to global issues such as watershed health, invasive species and the rural flight of youth to mega-slums.
Faye earned her bachelors’ degrees in Food Science and Technology and Microbiology from Oregon State University and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
Gloria Cetz Zapata
Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Gloria Magdalena Cetz Zapata is a biologist with a degree from Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY). She has a passion for fungi and is a lecturer of Mycology. She has also taught courses on the integral use of agricultural byproducts. She is responsible for all academic practices within the Biology program and coordinator of the Mesoamerican Floristic Resources lab. In 2011 she participated in the Biomimicry and Design Workshop held in Veracruz, México. Ever since, she has been developing and teaching biomimicry introductory courses, as well as raising awareness about the importance of preserving nature for our well being.