Meet the Education Summit presenters below or use the quick links provided to view the Summit agenda and breakout session descriptions
Alex Wild is a professional photographer and Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas/Austin. Alex holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of California/Davis and has photographed insects as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work for over a decade. His research concerns ant taxonomy and evolution, and his photographs appear in numerous natural history museums, magazines, books, television programs, and other media.
Andrew Bernier’s research and professional work have led him to a nexus of sustainability and science education, systems theory, curriculum design, and digital media communication. He is greatly interested in the design process of shifting understanding of scientific and sustainability concepts toward relationship based understanding, rooted in concepts of systems thinking, and then how we effectively communicate complex topics. He has done this through three primary mechanisms: teaching, curriculum design, and journalism.
Bernier is a recent graduate of Prescott College’s Sustainability Education Doctoral Program, where his dissertation focus was the design and implementation of a curriculum model inspired by natural systems dynamics and molecular structures. Currently, he serves as Science and Innovation Senior Field Correspondent for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona. He reports on health, sustainability, environment, engineering, and technology across the state. He also serves as adjunct faculty at Paradise Valley Community College teaching sustainability.
Giane Cauzzi Brocco
Degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from Unisinos University (2012). Certified Biomimicry Specialist (2013) by Biomimicry 3.8 Institute and currently enrolled in the Master’s Degree Program in Industrial & Systems Engineering at Unisinos University. Executive Director of Mercobor Industry and Commerce of Rubber Artifacts Ltda leading the innovation area and the research and development of products and processes at the company. Professional experience in project management and quality management. Founder and Managing Editor of Biomimicry Brasil page on Facebook and LinkedIN. Member of GMAP|UNISINOS – Research Group on Modeling for Learning – currently developing a biomimicry project at the company Samarco (in the mining sector). Experience in Systems Thinking, Design Thinking and Biomimicry Thinking. Has developed several projects in the field of Biomimicry such as a new process of sustainable injection in life friendly temperature with UV light, Industrial Environmental Indicators based on natural systems from type III through Biomimicry lens and a sensory maze for human experimentation called Insperience. Has also developed along with Perestroika (School of Creative Activities) a five days course focused on Biomimicry Thinking.
After graduating from Aix-Marseille University with a master in biology, Xavier specialized as a counselor in sustainable development and circular economy. He is at the origin of the Le Biome project with a desire to unite Lavoisier, Darwin and Otto-Schmitt around a table.
Azucena Garza has worked in the environmental field for about 20 years, participating in communication and education projects for wildlife conservation, environmental awareness and resource conservation, sustainability and, most recently, biomimicry. She has designed and facilitated workshops and short courses for students and teachers from public and private schools in Mexico and the United States, and specializes in content development, translation and adaptation. She has collaborated with such organizations as National Wildlife Federation, Natural Heritage Institute, World Wildlife Fund, World Business Council for Sustainable Development – Latin America and Biomimicry Institute. She is founding partner of Punto Verde Consultores, and one of the editors of the ZQ Journal in Spanish. Azucena has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a graduate degree in Business Administration. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, she lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, their 2 daughters and Sonte the cat.
Judith graduated in marketing and sustainability, then received a training from the European center of excellence in biomimicry (CEEBIOS). Biomimicry is for her a way to rethink the world and an opportunity to practice a thousand subject. She joined Le Biome a few month ago as the third co-funder.
Jane Petring teaches at Cegep Edouard Montpetit in Montreal, Quebec. She holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and English from Michigan State University and a Certificate in Translation from McGill University. She became a biomimicry enthusiast several years ago while conducting research for an environmentally-themed component of a textbook project. Since then she has made a point of integrating elements of Biomimicry into her courses and pedagogical materials. She strives to expose students and educators to important issues and empower them to make a difference. An avid cyclist and recyclist, she rides her bike daily, looks for ways for all of us to reduce our ecological footprint and encourages the public to draw inspiration from the genius of nature in creating sustainable, innovative designs.
Théo graduated from INSA Lyon with a master degree in mechanical engineering, he then co-funded Le Biome with Xavier Coadic following his passion for Nature and Biomimicry. For him, it is a necessity to restore its rightful place to the genius of nature and life, to carry a message of sharing, education and curiosity.
Ana Gabriela Robles
Punto Verde Consultores
Luis Henrique Rodrigues
Degree in Business Administration from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (1988), Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (1990) and Ph.D. in Management Sciences from Lancaster University (1994). Coordinator of GMAP|Unisinos (Research Group on Modeling for Learning) and professor in the Post-Graduate Program in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Unisinos University. Has experience of over 15 years in the area of Management and Manufacturing, acting on the following topics: Strategic Management, Systems Thinking and Scenario Planning, Operations Research (Mathematical Programming and Computer simulation) and Theory of Constraints (TOC). Co-author of Systems Thinking Fieldbook and large national companies consultant.
Dr. Sujatha Sampath is a Physicist working in interdisciplinary areas of nano-scale physics, structural biophysics and polymer physics. Dr. Sampath’s major research focus is to understand how molecular structure impacts functional material properties of natural and engineered nanomaterials. She uses high energy X-ray and Neutron radiation from Synchrotron and Neutron sources to study and unravel the atomic and molecular structure. Her current research is in Biomimetics, studying Hierarchical Structure in Spider Silk and Synthetic Biopolymers. Dr. Sampath is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah and an adjunct Professor at Arizona State University.
Raul de Villafranca
Raul de Villafranca, is a Mexican ecological architect with 32 years of professional practice, with ample variety of scale and type of projects, including housing, master plans and strategic connectivity plan for the Mexico-USA border. He specializes in bamboo architecture, biomimicry and regenerative design. He has been a professor at Universidad Iberoamericana Mexico City since 1979, and for the last two years at UMA Valle de Bravo in the Sustainability Public Policies, Green MBA, and Sustainable Architecture Design Master Programs. Raul is a fellow with the Biomimicry Institute and a key player in the Biomimicry movement in Mexico and Latinamerica. He has lectured and/or taught throughout the region and beyond, including Iberoamericana University, Tecnológico de Monterrey University Querétaro Campus, Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan in Mexico, Landivar University in Guatemala, Uninorte in Barranquilla Colombia, PUCE in Quito, Ecuator and Scumacher College in England. He is also a contributor to the biomimicry journal, Zygote Quarterly, and editor of the Spanish version.
AJ Wacaser is an ecologist, sculptor, permaculture practitioner, strategic advisor, global managing engineer, biomimicry collaboration social software entrepreneur and has worked for over 15 years with non-profit and for-profit companies.
In 2008, he launched PlanDone.com and was named by Demo.com and ComputerWorld as one of the top 70 innovative leaders in the world. As CEO, he is responsible for all of PlanDone’s brand strategy and execution. He has focused on how nature innovates through adaptive prototyping, resilient, emergent, regenerative, sustainable organizations and communities.
At the California Academy of Sciences AJ engages the public with presentations on life science exhibits. He is using iNaturalist as a smartphone app for citizen science bioblitzes identifying function to learn about and from species all around us. AJ has been also been using iNaturalist in projects for biomimicry thinking specifically for discovery of biological models in the Bay Area through biomimicry network outings.
In 2013, AJ joined the Advisory Board for AskNature.org and received his Biomimicry Specialist Certification from Biomimicry 3.8. in 2012, AJ was a co-founder of the Bay Area Biomimicry Network and in 2015, a co-founder of Coastal Redwood Biomimicry Network.
AJ holds a M.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Illinois.
Sayuri has been designing environmental educational programs for youth and children since 1999. She has worked with Monterrey Tech, National Wildlife Federation and Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza targeting bilingual audiences in the Mexico/US border area. Sayuri has experience working with the private and public sector and act as a community organizer. She helped create the environmental education program for university students at Tec de Monterrey “Amigos de la Naturaleza”, a sustainability outreach program, and currently she is leading sustainability bilingual activities for elementary and middle school at IB schools. Sayuri lives in Austin TX, where she enjoys cooking, practicing acro-yoga with her family and moments of contemplation in nature. She feels passionate about earth stewardship and service learning.
Dr Stylianos (Stelios) Yiatros is currently a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow at Cranfield University in the UK and a Lecturer in Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics at the Cyprus University of Technology. Prior to his election at the Cyprus University of Technology, he was a Lecturer in Structural Design at Brunel University in the UK.
Stelios holds a Master of Engineering (First Class Hons) in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Imperial College London (UK) where he received the Prize for the Best Final Year Project with Industrial Application in Civil Engineering. He then pursued a doctorate in the field of nonlinear structural mechanics with a scholarship from Imperial College and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK), which he successfully completed in 2010. During his studies at Imperial, Stelios was heavily involved in the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Civil Engineering and in 2009 he was the first to be named the Best Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has published articles in international peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings and has acted as a reviewer for high impact international journals. In 2008, Stelios and his collaborators received the Trevithick Prize for the Best Paper in Engineering Sustainability from the Institution of Civil Engineers on his work in Biomimicry in structural design.