home Meetings and Talks, Training and Courses Looking for Workshop Ideas in Microbiology of the Built Environment!

Looking for Workshop Ideas in Microbiology of the Built Environment!

We need your help!

One of the goals for microBEnet in 2014 is to host/organize/support targeted workshops within the broad area of the microbiology of the built environment.  In the past we’ve been involved in a number of general workshops since the field was so new.   Now we’d like to focus more on specific areas where people feel that a workshop would be useful.

So let us know what those areas are.  Post a comment here, post ideas on Twitter, e-mail Jonathan or myself, mail an actual letter (yeah right).

Here’s a list of ideas to get started:

Animals in the Built Environment (we’re already planning to do this sometime)

Software Carpentry for Built Environment Researchers

Open hardware and sensor development for the built environment community

Closed ecosystems (e.g. the space station, Biosphere, nuclear submarines)

Culturing from the built environment (i.e. the need to improve culture methods and produce reference genomes)

Data visualization, Data Sharing, Social Media,

Potential impacts of the Volcker rule limiting propitiatory trading by financial institutions on the microbiology of the built environment (just to see if you read this far).





David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

8 thoughts on “Looking for Workshop Ideas in Microbiology of the Built Environment!

  1. I am outside the main microBEnet tent, but how about a workshop (which I’d be glad to help organize) on microbial risk assessement?

  2. Think beyond Western model and look to small holder farmers (e.g. Africa) where the home is within the farm. This is the confluence of many problems such as: vectors of diseases for plants and humans, emerging infectious diseases from animals; economics of cash crops and commodity supply chains versus staple crops; access to knowledge as science a) behind paywalls b) in science prose and c) not in local languages. We are working on social networks to change this (www.plantvillage.com)


    1. David – really interesting idea. We are hoping to organize a workshop on “animals in the built environment” including discussion of microbial ecology in places such as zoos, animal shelters, and homes where there are different ratios of human vs animal occupancy. Farms such as you describe would be an interesting component of such a workshop.

      One health issues / exchange of microbes between humans and animals would be a component of this too.

  3. Not sure if this is where you would want to go with this, but some colleagues and I in the csu are looking to build curriculum incorporating culture and next gen seq for advanced undergrads, and the Built Environment (in this case, drinking water quality) came up.
    so a possible idea is a workshop on taking established sampling and survey protocols and adapting them for modular incorporation into undergrad curriculum?

    1. Paul,

      That’s certainly somewhere that we’re interested in going. Right now we’re focusing on writing up a highly detailed protocol for undergraduates to do bacterial genome sequencing going from “swabs to genome paper”. Let me know if you want more info as you move forward… we’re hoping to have a preprint up in the next couple of months.

  4. Since you mentioned Biosphere, the Society of Building Science Educators is having their annual retreat at Biosphere 2 in Arizona this year. It would be interesting to bring some biologists to a building science meeting, and perhaps you could organize a joint workshop. The retreat is organized this year by Prof. Alison Kwok from the University of Oregon.


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