science | November 07, 2012

The Invisible World of Microbes: TED Fellow Jessica Green [VIDEO]

New Lavin speaker and TED Senior Fellow Jessica Green is showing us the amazing and important role microbes play in our everyday lives—in our bodies, our forests, and even our buildings—and she's doing it in visually stunning ways. A Professor at both the University of Oregon and the Santa Fe Institute, Green uses art, animation, and film to help people visualize the invisible world of microbes, and to better understand the profound ways that they affect and control our lives. Her talks are a feast for your eyes and provide a whole lot of new knowledge about our microbial selves for you to chew on.

As founding director of the innovative new Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center, Green uses a geometric-driven approach to urban design that she hopes will be the norm in the future. By modelling urban areas as complex ecosystems that house trillions of diverse microorganisms interacting with each other, with humans, and with their environment (called, the “built environment microbiome”), Green envisions creating cities that are more sustainable and promote better health and well being. In eye-opening and exciting talks, Green asks us to look at the magnanimously influential role of this microscopic world—and tells us how we can work more closely and harmoniously with it.