Coming up at the #ASM2012 mtg. “The Great Indoors: Recent Advances in the Ecology of Built Environments”

The American Society for Microbiology meeting is starting tomorrow and there are multiple things related to microbiology of the built environment there.  These include a session that was organized by Brendan Bohannan which I am chairing.  The detail of the session are below:

Session Title: The Great Indoors: Recent Advances in the Ecology of Built Environments

Session Date/Time: Sunday Jun 17, 2012 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Session Room: Esplanade Ballroom 300

Although humans in industrialized countries spend nearly 90% of their time in enclosed buildings, we know very little about the biology of the indoor environment. However, this is starting to change. Over the past few years, the field of indoor ecology has grown dramatically. Ecologists are beginning to apply ecological theory and concepts to understanding buildings as ecosystems. A new understanding of the biodiversity of built environments is emerging, as well as a new appreciation of the importance of interactions between humans and non-human life indoors. The proposed symposium will showcase this emerging understanding. We will feature presentations that demonstrate the utility of ecological theory for understanding built environments, that describe the dynamics of biodiversity indoors and that illustrate the interactions of humans with indoor ecology. Our focus will be on the ecology of the dominant forms of non-human life indoors – microorganisms – and their interactions with humans.


  • Jonathan Eisen microBEnet: the microbiology of the built environment network
  • Nicholas Be: Examination of the environmental air microbiome using deep sequencing
  • Katie Kirsch: A microbial analysis of environmental surfaces in hotel rooms
  • Mark Hernandez: Stability of airborne microbes to master environmental variables
  • John Senko: Microbial communities associated with flue gas desulfurization systems
  • Kimberly Ross: Drinking water delivery networks as microbial ecosystems
  • Jordan Peccia: The effect of environmental conditions on the allergenic potency of Aspergillus fumigatus spores


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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.