The J. James Woods Lectures on the Sciences and Mathematics presents Jessica Green on April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Atherton Union Reilly Room, speaking about “Cities Unseen: How Microbes Can Make Public Spaces, Buildings, and Human Beings Healthier.”

Admission is free and open to the public without tickets.

How can a deeper understanding of microbes help us create sustainable cities, healthier buildings (including our hospitals and homes), and more robust green spaces? Green explains how in this visually stunning talk, while ultimately touching on even deeper questions about humanity: What does it mean to be an individual? Where does your identity begin, and where does it end?

Every person has a unique and unseen universe of microorganisms living in, on, and around them. These trillions of tiny creatures define who we are. Yet we are only just beginning to understand how our microbes interact with the people around us, our buildings, and the natural environment. How do microbes make us healthier, more resilient, and more vibrant? How do microbes influence our moods, our public spaces, our relationships with everything we touch? Green, a scientist and TED Fellow, explores the microbial cities living in our gut, on our skin, and in our homes.

A Professor at both the University of Oregon and the Santa Fe Institute, Green wants people to see how the microbial blueprint of our bodies, homes, cities and forests impacts our world, and our future. As founding director of the innovative new Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center, she envisions a future for urban design that promotes sustainability, human health and well-being.

Green is internationally recognized for highly cited publications in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Her research has been featured in Discover, Scientific American, the Boston Globe, and she was selected for the 2012 Portland Monthly Brainstorm award (one of eight “innovators changing our world”). She was a National Science Foundation bioinformatics postdoctoral fellow, completed a PhD in nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, and earned a BS in civil and environmental engineering at UCLA.

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