The Research Team
Passion. Drive. Expertise
The education team is a convergence of researchers who are involved in bio-inspired philosophy, sharing tools and research on biomimicry. Biomimicry is an interdisciplinary approach to study and transfer patterns and mechanisms from nature to solve design challenges, promising of sustainability in future communities.
Academic Director for Sustainable Engineering Teaching Professor at the Schulich School of Engineering
Marjan Eggermont was appointed as Teaching Professor at the Schulich School of Engineering in 2016 and is currently also Academic Director for Sustainable Engineering. She is a Biomimicry Institute Fellow and has been working in the field since 2004 with a focus on visualization and abstraction. With co-editors Tom McKeag (San Francisco) and Norbert Hoeller (Toronto) she co-founded and designs Zygote Quarterly, an online bio-inspired design journal to provide a platform to showcase the nexus of science and design using case studies, news and articles. She holds a BA, BFA, and MFA and finished a PhD in Computational Media Design focusing on bio-inspired information visualization in 2018 at the University of Calgary. She served on the board of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) from 2014-2017 and is a member of Sigma Xi. Marjan was awarded Best of Biomimicry: Excellence in Biomimicry Education within a College or University in 2013 by Biomimicry 3.8, and received an ASME Curriculum Innovation Award and a STLHE Alan Blizzard Award.
Design Strategist and CEO of Stardust Life-Centred Design
Giselle is a Design Strategist and Founder of a Life-Centered Design practice called Stardust, based in Trinidad and Tobago. Previously, she worked primarily in design, marketing and brand strategy, most recently with a global charity to address climate change through tropical reforestation and women’s empowerment. Evolving from design thinking, to business leadership and then to sustainable design has made her more specialized, but more expansive in her ability to create impact. Giselle enjoys working with bright people on massive, complex problems, in service of our collective, thriving future. Also, she does everything with a whole lot of love. Giselle works with fierce compassion to shape brands and tell stories that are meaningful and powerful. Why? Because the twenty-first century calls for agile, inclusive leadership, new thinking, and a new kind of business. She once heard Bruce Mau describe a designer as a living revolution of possibility, and her aim is to live up to that definition.
Claudia Inés Rivera Cárdenas
Associate Researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Change
Claudia is an Earth and Space Science passionate learner. She focuses on the study of atmospheric constituents and how they impact atmospheric chemistry as well as how atmospheric chemical composition changes over short and large periods of time and in small and large areas of our planet. Claudia serves as an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Change at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) where she conducts research on the abundance of atmospheric pollutants and teaches courses related to the study of the atmosphere as well as the use of instrumentation for this purpose. More recently Claudia has focused on teaching and applying Biomimicry to solve current environmental challenges. Claudia holds a Bachelor degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, a Master in Environmental Measurement Techniques and a PhD on Earth and Space Sciences. More recently she acquired a Master in Biomimicry.
Writer and Editor from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Heather is a writer and editor from Calgary, Alberta. Her work has appeared in multiple anthologies and magazines, including Lightspeed Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Fusion Fragment. She teaches creative writing at the University of Calgary and leads community writing workshops and collaborations, including youth programming with the Calgary Public Library and a STEAM collaboration with the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Heather is also a submissions editor with the award-winning Uncanny Magazine of science fiction and fantasy.
Creative Brand Strategist and Digital Product Designer
Christopher is a Creative Brand Strategist and Digital Product Designer with an extensive history in creative directing and managing the direction of B2B and B2C businesses. Through his work, he attempts to battle issues that plague the Caribbean - climate change, technical development, and artistic movement. Through an excessive drive to see Caribbean creatives prosper, he aids in the creative spaces, and through his work as a photographer, attempts to tackle preconceived stereotypes of Caribbean art. He currently works with local start-ups to help them refine their products for scale while working internationally on environmental initiatives all in the hopes of creating a better future for generations to come.
Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, and Management
Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs is passionate about making connections between knowledge and action. An Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Management. They manage a transdisciplinary research program that brings students from diverse backgrounds together to learn about fundamental biology and how to use it, communicate it, and effect change with it. Their work centers on Biomimicry and Higher Education. Much of the outcomes of their research is used to inform their research program on teaching and learning in higher education. Co-editor of two special volumes on biomimetics and higher education and a co-author of a chapter in the book Biomimicry for Materials, Design and Habitats: Innovations and Applications, Dr. Jacobs is committed to effecting change in our institutions to ensure equity in diversity and increase access and accountability and their work has been recognized with an Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations teaching award.
Associate Professor of Theory of Literature
Peggy Karpouzou is Associate Professor of Theory of Literature. She holds a DEA and a PhD in Theory of Literature from Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris III. She has taught Literary Theory, European Literature and Modern Greek Literature in several Greek universities and she has earned research grants and fellowships from the State Scholarships Foundation and ''Alexander S. Onassis'' Public Benefit Foundation. She has also participated in the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS-France), Gallica (BNF-National Library of France) and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens research programs. She is the author and editor of several works, including La Poétique de l’ironie dans la nouvelle du XIXe siècle (2003) and A. Tzouma, P. Karavia and P. Karpouzou, Bibliography of Literary Theory in Modern Greek: 1940-2007 (2019). Her research interests focus on Literary Theories and Cultural Criticism (Poststructuralism, Identity Politics, Posthuman Criticism, Ecocriticism, Spatial Studies, Interrelations of Literature and Science, Science Fiction, Travel writing) in Greek, French, and Anglophone Literature of the 19th-21st centuries. She is member of international Editorial Boards, scientific Associations and Networks in her research fields and she is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Ecohumanism. Her forthcoming book title is the edition Symbiotic Posthumanist Ecologies in Western Literature, Philosophy and Art. Towards Theory and Practice, Berlin: Peter Lang, 2023, co-edited with Nikoleta Zampaki. She is also Series Editor of the book series “Posthumanities and Citizenship Futures” at Rowman & Littlefield, and “Environmental Humanities” at TPLondon based in the U.K.
Associate Professor (Teaching) in Biological Sciences
Dr. Mindi Summers is an Associate Professor (Teaching) in Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. She teaches lecture, lab, and field courses in invertebrate zoology, animal behaviour, evolution, entomology, and biodiversity and conservation that incorporate experiential learning, research experiences, community engagement, and internationalization. Her research focuses on student learning and undergraduate research experiences in invertebrate biodiversity, applications of invertebrate form and function to biomimicry and sustainable design, promoting student and citizen engagement in conserving urban environments, and plant-pollinator interactions. Dr. Summers supports educational innovation on campus and beyond through interdisciplinary and community-based collaborations, including outreach and citizen science initiatives which led to the University of Calgary being recognized as a Bee Campus. She has been recognized for her work through the University of Calgary Experiential Learning Teaching Award, Faculty of Science Teaching Excellence Early Career Award, Faculty of Science Scholarship Excellence Early Career Award, University of Calgary Student Union Teaching Excellence Award, University of Calgary Internationalization Award, University of Calgary Sustainability Team Teaching Award, and University of Calgary Sustainability Research Team Award.
Professor for Biomimetics and Innovation
Dr. Kristina Wanieck is professor for Biomimetics and Innovation at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Freyung, Germany. The main focus of her research is the methodology of biomimetics and the knowledge transfer from academic research to industrial application. Her research interest is the efficiency of biomimetics for innovation processes in industry. She teaches biomimetics at DIT and other universities in various programs. She has a qualification as manager for product development and innovation and is responsible for business liaisons. As she is convinced that “learning from nature” has a huge potential for problem solving in many different ways, she is especially interested in working together with people from different sectors, who are interested in this topic and who would like to apply this methodology systematically to current problems, from product engineering, process and operations management, science and education, to societal challenges – for a more sustainable world.
Post-doc Researcher in Digital Environmental Humanities
Nikoleta Zampaki is Post-doc Researcher at the Faculty of Philology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. She was Instructor at the Utah University in the U.S.A., International Student and Fellow at MIT in the U.S.A., Harvard Extension School, Stanford University, Oxford University, Universität Tübingen in Germany, Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, etc. Her disciplines are Environmental Humanities, Posthumanities, Digital Humanities, Literary Theory, Comparative Literature, and Modern Philosophy. She is editor and reviewer at many journals overseas, Associate and Managing Editor at the Journal of Ecohumanism, and current member at many scientific associations across the globe. She has also participated in many conferences and she is a multilingual student by working on English, French, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Hungarian, Maori, and Turkish. Her forthcoming book title is the edition Symbiotic Posthumanist Ecologies in Western Literature, Philosophy and Art. Towards Theory and Practice, Berlin: Peter Lang, 2023, co-edited with her Professor Peggy Karpouzou. She is also co-editor with her Professor Peggy Karpouzou of the book series “Posthumanities and Citizenship Futures” at Rowman & Littlefield, and “Environmental Humanities” at TPLondon based in the U.K.