Biomimicry Professionals 2013

Meet the 2013 Certified Biomimicry Professionals


Elisha Long
Real Estate Development
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I currently work in commercial real estate development with a small firm that specializes in large-scale, complicated projects, utilizing traditional financing as well as tax credit investments. I am constantly looking for ways to improve the built environment, people’s relationship with “place” and our ability to tread lightly.  Projects include; the rehabilitation of an historic brick and beam warehouse into a center for sustainable energy for an international non-profit, which is anticipating LEED Platinum certification; 500,000SF build to suit for a major financial services firm which also includes a large parking garage as well as two parks totaling over two acres and three new roads; mixed use rehabilitation of 2 historic warehouse buildings into artists live work studios with commercial office and retail space. Past project of note is the former AIA Top 10 Green Building award winner, Artists for Humanity – EpiCenter, which was the first LEED Platinum certified project in the city of Boston, including management of the project I was also responsible for environmental education efforts. I started my professional career as a residential carpenter and spent some time working for myself creating custom furniture. I received a MS in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver, BA in History from Kenyon College, green building certification from Colorado State University and am a LEED accredited professional.

Estelle Martinson
Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa

Estelle was born and educated in South Africa and is currently employed by Standard Bank as a process engineer. She has experience training visually impaired students in computer programming and has a passion for inclusive design. She has done rural development research and worked as a volunteer for Grameen Foundation in the Philippines, documenting a unique foot massage technique used in a remote mountain village. She has a strong connection with nature, and is a keen photographer, taking every available opportunity to walk in remote and wild places.

Jamie Brown
International sustainability finance consultant
Basel, Switzerland

Jamie is American but grew up mainly in Kenya, Honduras and Guatemala as a result of her father’s work in international development. She received the U.S. Presidential Scholar’s medallion from Bill Clinton, a BA in International Development and Music from Tulane University in New Orleans, and an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics. She now lives in Basel, Switzerland and works to engage the global finance policy system on sustainability. Jamie first came to Switzerland in 2007, joining the team at BASE, to manage the design, establishment and initial operation of the UNEP Sustainable Energy Finance Alliance. Now a part of the United Nations Environment Porgramme, this is the only convening body in the international system for public finance agencies in the clean energy sector. After its formal launch in 2008, Jamie served as Head of Secretariat for the first three years of SEF Alliance operations before establishing J. Brown Consulting, which specializes in international projects related to finance and sustainability. Previously, Jamie worked for the US Agency for International Development in Nicaragua on environmental impact mitigation after Hurricane Mitch, and in Colombia on local governance and democracy building. She also worked in international trade and small business development for the New Orleans Mayor’s Office and for an equity investment company in London that finances PFI health infrastructure for the UK government.

Katherine Miller
Patent Attorney
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Katherine is a scientist and patent attorney. She is also a cellist at heart. She holds a Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago, with specializations in the fields of immunology, cell, and molecular biology. Katherine earned her Ph.D. from Yale University in the Department of Neurobiology, focusing on cortical development. After a postdoctoral fellowship, she made a paradigm shift to patent law, having earned her J.D. from Suffolk University in Boston while working as a technology specialist at Mintz Levin. Katherine is a patent agent registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts. As an advocate for innovation, Katherine uses her scientific and legal training to advise clients and win patents on their behalf in the area of biotechnology, including the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, stem cell technology, cancer therapeutics, immunology, neurobiology, genetic engineering, and medical/research devices. Currently, Katherine is an associate at Mintz Levin in the Boston office. Katherine is also an avid cellist. When she is not working on behalf of her clients or learning the nuances of biomimicry, you may find her in a concert hall, either as a performer or audience member.

Lisa Dokken
New York City, New York, USA

When I was 12 my dad gave me Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. That instilled in me a life long passion for wanting to protect nature. But I didn’t actually make it my career until, 20 years later, I read the Bruntland Commission’s definition for sustainable development. It was then I knew I wanted to help make the world a more sustainable place so our children’s children could still experience the wonder of nature. After getting an MPA in Environmental Policy from Columbia University I landed my dream job in the United Nations Development Program helping developing countries implement sustainable development policies. As a core member of our team I directly influenced the design, adoption and implementation of innovative capacity building approaches to address environmental degradation, conservation, social inequity and economic decline in over 30 national programs in Africa, Latin America and the Arab States. Priority areas included: good governance and strengthening civil society, strategic planning and policy development, advocacy and support for sustainable development and integration of social and economic priorities in sustainable development planning. I was responsible for a budget of $10 million. After a stint in Mexico City, my husband and I got a chance to move to Singapore and later Hong Kong. I took a breather from work to raise our two daughters, but stayed connected to my passion for the environment and development working on various initiatives including raising money and supplies for an orphanage in Cambodia; helping the Tabitha Foundation build water wells in SE Asia; starting sustainability initiatives in local schools; and working for the Clinton Climate Initiative, where I also had the chance to facilitate a breakout session of their first meeting outside of the U.S. Somewhere in the middle of all of this I was the director of sustainability for a proposed mixed-use community in the Northern Rockies leading the strategic planning and corporate social sustainability and conservation initiatives. Currently I am the Environmental Program Manager for PCI Media Impact. We make serial dramas for social change in developing countries. Specialties: More personally, I enjoy trail running (albeit a challenge in NYC), traveling internationally, and rediscovering New York City.

Michael Dupee
Waterbury, Vermont, USA

Michael Dupee currently serves as Vice President, Sustainable Innovation Exploration at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Prior to that, he originated the role of Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) in 2004. In that role, he led GMCR’s sustainability efforts, including providing strategic direction and reporting publicly on its programs; managing GMCR’s portfolio of integrated sustainability initiatives and funded partner projects; and generating understanding of and recognition for GMCR’s sustainability work, internally and externally. He serves on the boards of Grounds For Health and the Vermont Council on Rural Development, as well as the Save The Children Corporate Partnership Council. He is a 2011 First Mover Fellow at the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program and was a 2005 Fellow and 2009 Coach in the Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows Program. Prior to 2004, he was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York, NY, making and managing investments in distressed financial assets. He earned his J.D., cum laude, and M.B.A. degrees at Georgetown University and his B.A. in history, magna cum laude from Boston College. He is a 5th or 6th generation Vermonter (but who’s counting, really?) and shares life with his wife Carmen, son Zeke, and 2 dogs. He loves music (listening, performing, writing), kids movies, spy and swords-and-horses fiction, snowboarding and sailing. Most of his exercise comes from trying to keep up with 2 year old Zeke, but he is a hobby distance runner, as well.

Rachel Hahs
Chicago Illinois, USA

Rachel has ten years of experience in the environmental field focusing on due diligence, greenhouse gas management, environmental management information systems (EMIS), and sustainability reporting for private and public sector clients. She is an Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP), has received Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) certified training, and was selected in 2011 to join the URS Emerging Leader program. As a URS regional leader of both the Sustainability Business Line and internal Green Team program, Rachel works to increase sustainability services and support internal greening efforts, including development of employee sustainability training programs. Rachel is a Certified Biomimicry Professional Candidate (2015), learning to redefine sustainable innovation through application of nature’s genius to humans’ toughest challenges. She is also an Innovation Fellow at the 2014 Chicago Art of Science Learning Innovation Incubator focusing on urban nutrition. Rachel graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri with a B.A in Environmental Studies and minor in Spanish. In her spare time, Rachel can be found running after a child or three, learning to garden, searching for nature in Chicago, and enjoying the best the City has to offer.

Brennan Jensen
Salinas, California, USA

I am a member of the biotic community on an obscure insignificant arm of an insignificant galaxy, in an infinitely old, finite and unbounded universe. Every cell within my body has been forged in the furnace of a star. I am comprised of a multitude of organisms, themselves comprised of a multitude. Together, we function as a single being within a community of other beings, a multitude of species that comprise the inhabitants of earth. I am a lover of natural history, of nature and ecosystem, and the rising and falling of the tides. I am an environmental educator, activist, community member and friend to the earth. A graduate of Humboldt State University (BS in Environmental Science Technology; BA in Spanish), I am indelibly community minded yet globally aware, with a deep sense of place and a strong commitment to the environment. In recent years I secured over $38M in funding to deliver critical resources to create localized solutions to climate change, foster community and promote environmental excellence. My efforts successfully facilitated the diversion of over 2,000 tons of waste from local landfills, the installation of 4,000 whole house energy upgrades and the elimination of 36M lbs of GHG emissions annually. As lead implementer of the unprecedented energy efficiency market transformation program, Energy Upgrade California, I served at the helm of a statewide program uniting 58 counties, 500 cities and all 4 major utilities in common purpose, surpassing in the 1st quarter the results achieved by the California Solar Initiative in its 1st year. With a passion for building collaborative partnerships and a facilitative approach that seeks to find creative solutions to complex problems, I have devoted my professional life to conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives that inspire action, change behavior, cultivate an appreciation for nature and serve to address the pressing social and environmental challenges of our time. Presently the Director/Principal for a budding woman-owned small business, Emerging Ecologies, I seek to create sustainable, engaged and resilient communities inspired by nature. Offering development/grant writing, program management and capacity building services, I aspire to grow and interconnect organizations to do more together as members of a community-level ecosystem working in mutualistic symbiosis for the common good.

Ana Carolina
Industrial design
Mexico City, Mexico

Ana Carolina is industrial designer with a passion about nature geometry, beauty and classical philosophy. Graduated by the University of Brasilia in the capital of Brazil, is specialized in Strategic Design and recently in Biomimicry by the Biomimicry Institute 3.8. Currently works as a freelancer in graphic and product design and also consulting for small business. CEO of Nous Studio, dedicated to creative industries (art and design) operating with graphic design projects, product and educational activities in Biomimicry , Geometry of Nature , Golden Grids and Creativity . As a concept , the Institute encourages its partners and students to use their own daily experiences into their creative processes and to deeply try to understanding the idea behind each creation. After having contact with Biomimicry, the Studio extended this insight to all nature (as we are nature), understanding that Life , whether human or a any tinny natural organism, can be an inexhaustible source of strategies to feed ideas and dreams to be realized. Participates in two study groups. With Nous, about Golden Patterns, Beauty and geometry of nature, very interesting knowledges that is used specially in graphic design. The other one started in the specialization course on Biomimicry and seeks to develop toys that take kids outdoors, linking strategies of nature to their own lives, aiming for a healthy and in touch with nature growth. As an academic and professional experience already worked on projects of products for people with physical disabilities , hearing and visual aids, accessibility, interior design for seniors and universal design . In graphics, worked with publications, visual identity for events and small companies and today is focused on infographics and illustrations.


Daniela Esponda
Industrial Design
Mexico City, Mexico

Industrial designer born in Mexico. Jewelry and hex nuts collector, enterprising and descendant of Spanish family. Graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana, currently serves as Creative Director in GreenMomentum a market intelligence firm dedicated to incubation, acceleration and consulting for small and medium enterprises that have technological development and sustainable innovation. Founder and CEO of “REAN Sustainable Solutions”, a developer company of sustainable technology and innovation which has allowed to capture the creativity, ingenuity, love for animals and nature that characterized over the last three years on various sustainable products projects that have led to optimize the implementation of new and better solutions to problems that have been identified from its latent curiosity. One of her most notable projects is called “Yubarta, ecology buoy” which is a system for absorption and degradation of hydrocarbon seas, lakes and mangroves, with which she won the third place in the Seoul Design Olympiad in South Korea which was granted by the Prime Minister. This project was also exhibited in Cleantech forum of Europe 2013 in Bilbao, Spain. Throughout her career she has participated in the creation of two ecological parks in the creative and development areas, one for the Oaxaca government and another for a private company, she also work in the development of modular systems for the creation urban green walls in order to reduce water consumption to maintenance, this product is available in the market. For 5 years she was involved in the collective “Innovando la tradición” (a creative platform where artisans, designers and artists share skills, knowledge and stories to rethink and honor the ceramic traditions of Oaxaca. We offer services to potters and pottery communities in Oaxaca that support the development of their trade) with two designs that are currently on sale through the 1050 degree brand.

Denny Royal
Human Centered Designer
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

As a principal and Azul 7’s design thinking practice leader, Denny Royal has grown and nurtured the organization’s human-centered design approach. Denny’s background in design research, customer experience, brand, design and technology allows him to help clients solve challenges from a holistic perspective. Denny has engaged with a wide variety of clients including extensive work in travel, financial services, education, and a recent focus on health and wellness and health care innovation. Denny holds a deep interest in behavior design with the goal of encouraging real behavior change rather than incremental improvement. Denny uses his background and training in design thinking and behavior design to speak and train others in these methodologies. He speaks regularly at health care and design industry conferences and events advocating for a human-centered approach to the design process. Denny’s professional experience includes solving brand, service and product challenges for clients such as Royal Caribbean, Target, GE and Aetna’s emerging businesses unit, Healthagen. Denny holds a BFA in design and a minor in cultural anthropology from Ball State and has continued his training at the Stanford (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford) and through the Persuasive Technology Lab. In 2012, Denny was selected as a Presidential Innovation Fellows finalist.

Jane Toner
Architecture/Sustainable Design Consultant
Kew, Australia

Jane Toner has a firm belief that nature has the answers to living sustainably on planet earth and has recently completed studies to become Australia’s first Biomimicry Specialist. Her passion for environmental and social sustainability is demonstrated through activities that include: establishing a Biomimicry Swarm, acting as a Living Building Challenge Ambassador and Facilitator, and doing volunteer construction work in Nepal with Architects Without Frontiers & OzQuest. Jane is a core member of the Australian Institute of Architecture (AIA) Sustainable Architect Forum, which provides direction for the AIA regarding architects and their role in the sustainability agenda. Since joining SBE in 2003, Jane has provided innovative and practical ESD advice to multi-disciplinary project teams and stakeholders for projects that include: leisure and aquatic centres, residential projects, ecotourism facilities, master-planning projects, hotels, offices, public buildings, childcare, healthcare and retail. She has assisted in developing ESD Guidelines, such as the DEH ESD Operations Guide and was on the Technical Working Committee for the Green Star Communities Pilot. Jane’s expertise in sustainability has been recognised by invitations to adjudicate sustainability awards and competitions for organisations such as the Australian Institute of Architects, Student.

Jo Fleming
Industrial Design
San Diego, California, USA

An Aussie at-heart, now calling the US home, Jo has lead and operated highly successful product design programs for major global consumer, biomedical and life science players. By night and weekend, she heads up Project LOL, a non-profit organization she co-founded back in 2011, that focuses on empowering at-risk youth through creative programs and mentoring. Having spent time travelling around Africa, Australia, the US and Europe, Jo has had many phenomenal ‘nature moments’ ranging from nervously watching a leopard stroll past the safari vehicle just feet a way in Kruger NP, breaking through the perfect morning reflection and cob webs on the Okavango Delta in dugout canoe after bush camping overnight, staring right into the iridescent faces of fish on the Barrier Reef as she snorkeled or narrowly avoiding tripping on a Rattler on a local Canyon hike. One of Jo’s very favorite things is to spot a Hummingbird hovering for a moment before it darts off to the next tree. It is always a brilliant day, when a Hummingbird shows up. Jo’s aspirations as part of completing the 2013 BProfessional Cohort are to generate momentum in using her powers for good rather than fossil-fuel evil as a biosphere ambassador kitted out with newly developed biomimicry skills to empower, educate and inspire youngsters, adults and industry alike in the genius of the natural world and sustainable, holistic innovation.

Joe Zazzera
Interior Landscape Designer
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Joe Zazzera is the founding principal of Scottsdale Arizona based Plant Solutions. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, an Accredited Green Roof Professional and a graduate of the first (2011) cohort of the Biomimicry Specialist program. In 2013 Joe was awarded Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine’s “Master of the Southwest” designation for his artistry and work in the area of living walls. Joe is contagiously enthusiastic about connecting people to nature. “Without a doubt, the (re) connect element of biomimicry is what most ignites my passion, I have spent the last 32 years helping fulfill this innate need for myself and others. Biomimicry and the possibility of re-naturing architecture, elevates that passion to the next level.” Joe is an avid road cyclist and art lover. He lives in the Sonoran Desert with his wife Karen, along with local bobcats, owls, snakes, coyotes, gila monsters, javelina, roadrunners, tarantula and a few thousand other organisms.

Peggy Chu
Researcher/Architectural Consultant
Hong Kong, China
Director & Founder, O2EFFECT LTD.

Peggy Chu is a US architect specializing in sustainable design. She has worked internationally in corporate architecture integrating green building practices across the Asia Pacific region. She is a native of California where she began her career in the planning, design and construction of schools. Currently, she lives in Hong Kong working as green building consultant and university researcher. Having an interest in animal behavior and adaptation, Peggy worked briefly as a volunteer at a lion conservation program in Africa – finding it one of the best experiences of her life. However, volunteering at the local animal shelter back home gives her a different type of satisfaction, “…in a moment of joy, you can’t squeeze a lion.” An idealist, Peggy hopes to make a positive impact on the world.

Preshant Dhawan
Bangalore, India

Purpose: I see myself as an experimentalist and amateur researcher in the pragmatic pursuit of sustainable happiness. Passion: Passionate about the pursuits and activities that I feel will help achieve a state of sustainable happiness. Potential: In the journey so far, I have picked up and surrounded myself with a few objects, relationships, academic degrees and experiences. I have a degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture and a diploma in management from the Indian School of Business (ISB). During my 21 years of work experience I have been an entrepreneur/practitioner running a design practice for 7 years apart from working/employed with a range of firms like LML Vespa, Mahindra Holidays, Total Environment Building Systems, RSP Architects, YOO Ltd. and now IIHS where I handled a wide range of roles from design and operations management, campus and business development to strategy and corporate communications. As an entrepreneur I was involved in diverse projects ranging from documenting the Alchi Monastery in Ladak to being the Campus Architect for the expansion of Dyal Singh College in Delhi. I am one of the few architects who provided design services in the walled city (Shajahanabad) in Delhi and have also written on issues related to design and especially human centered design. I currently work as the Head of Campus Development at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements ( and I am based out of Bangalore, India. I am married to Seema, who is also an architect and have a 3-year-old daughter ‘Aadya’.


Diana Hammer
Helena, Montana, USA

My childhood fascination with Nature – captivated watching monarch caterpillars transform into butterflies, catching snakes, frogs, and toads, collecting rocks, learning about plants – led to me to pursue a degree in the environmental sciences from Macalester College and then a Masters in Public Health (environmental health focus). I am in awe of Nature’s beauty, power, and ingenuity. I am a firm believer in the importance of clean air and water and as Thoreau says, “a decent planet” so do my best in my work at the US Environmental Protection Agency to help make that happen. Specifically, I manage the cleanup of hazardous waste sites – contamination resulting from us not living mindfully on Earth and of not following Life’s Principles – and advocate for children’s environmental health. Before joining EPA, I spent four years living in the mountains on the edge of the Sahara Desert working as an agro-forestry volunteer with the US Peace Corps and as a consultant with WWF and IUCN- working with local gardeners and herders on live fencing, micro catchments, ethnobotany, watershed management, valley restoration, tree nurseries, and other projects. I welcome change and strive to make the world a better place. I have a serious love of travelling, exploring new places – India, Nepal, China, Africa, Central America, Europe, the US, Canada, and Mexico. I live with my family in a passive solar home in Helena, Montana, USA where we make every opportunity to enjoy Nature in all seasons – hiking, biking, skiing, boating, gardening, reading, working on projects, and spending time at our cabin near the Continental Divide.

Ricardo Mastroti
Sao Paolo, Brazil

Ricardo is a Biologist, with a masters in Oceanography. He has 15 years experience in managerial positions dealing with sustainability, environmental and corporate affairs at P&G, Aracruz Celulose, InterCement and Camargo Corrêa Group. He is the Education and Institutional Relations Manager at Yunus Social Business-Brazil. He has also worked in the Amazon Region and participated on scientific exploratory cruises along the Brazilian coast. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Biological Sciences and MSc Degree on Oceanography, both from University of São Paulo. Attended “Banking on Ourselves” and “Ecoliteracy: Principles of Radical Change” courses at Schumacher College – UK. Ricardo’s areas of interest include Biomimicry, Permaculture, Ecoliteracy, Social Business, Alternative Finance and Network Collaboration Platforms.

Tamsin Woolley-Barker
San Diego, California, USA

Dr. Woolley-Barker is an Evolutionary Primatologist, Science Writer, and Bio-Design Consultant with over 25 years of bioinspired research, education, and writing experience. Her regular column for, The Biomimicry Manual, is expanding into a book. She blogs at BioInspired Ink, with over 10,000 reads from over 50 countries. Tamsin is especially interested in developing techniques for businesses and other organizations to become more resilient by mimicking the ways other natural systems are structured for adaptability. She is currently working on a book on this topic, called BioInspired Inc: 12 Natural Steps to Survive and Thrive in the Face of Change, and serves as Content Developer for the California Association of Museums’ Green Museums Initiative.


Miguel Palape
Ritoque, Valpariso, Chile

Miguel Palape is a Civil Engineer with an outlook that encompasses more than just engineering. He believes in changing the status quo by using people’s talents in order to create, develop and transform the structures we use to build our world. He looks for patterns in society to understand, then models them and uses these models to strengthen business. For Miguel, cooperation, collaboration and sharing is the way forward to create new paradigms, designs, products, services, etc. while always keeping in mind that we belong to Planet Earth and must maintain balance with the natural world around us. In pursuit of this dream, Miguel co-founded “Blue Mining”, a company created to bringing the principles of Biomimicry and Sustainability into the Mining Industry. As a classically trained civil engineer, Miguel has more than six years of experience in the field of geotechnical engineering and mine waste disposal, including numerous large-scale international mining projects that possess multidisciplinary challenges. His qualifications include a Master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering and Soil Mechanics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile. He spent three years in South Africa working as a Tailings Disposal Specialists, where he discovered Biomimicry. Miguel is currently collaborating with the “Matriztica School” to start a Biomimicry Regional Network in Chile.

Sue Okerstrom
Mounds View, Minnesota, USA

Sue Okerstrom is a Materials Scientist and Technical Fellow at Medtronic, world leader in medical device technology and therapies. She currently applies materials analysis and microscopy expertise to characterize materials, investigate product failures and provide innovative technical solutions to engineers and scientists across Medtronic business units. She has a broad technical background beginning with a BS in Environmental Studies and subsequent MS in Materials Science and Engineering. She has also worked as a freelance artist. She founded the innovation committee of the Medtronic Form, a grass roots technical community. She believes that openness to experiences and ability to associate them to other areas facilitates innovation and problem solving. Sue is looking to Biomimicry to help provide world saving solutions.

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