IGN 11
Engineered Ecology: How Ecologists are Informing and Improving Engineered Systems

Wednesday, August 7, 2013: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
101E, Minneapolis Convention Center
Lee F. Stanish, University of Colorado
Joseph Knelman, University of Colorado at Boulder
Lee F. Stanish, University of Colorado
Historically, there has been a disconnect between engineers and ecologists when it comes to understanding the guiding principals that regulate processes in engineered systems. However, a recent explosion of research into the “built” environment suggests that, in spite of this reigning paradigm, ecological theory may be absolutely necessary in understanding the function and stability of processes underlying everything from wastewater treatment to biofuels. Considering the close connection between engineered systems and humans, ecologists clearly can have a huge impact on improving human health and well-being. This Ignite session intends to highlight some of the new and exciting ways in which ecologists and ecological theory are working to understand and improve engineered systems. Speakers can take a variety of approaches, such as 1) introducing a currently under-appreciated engineered system and proposing new ways of applying ecological principals; 2) demonstrating, using a case study, the utility of ecological theory in engineered systems; or 3) defining an application approach. Some possible topics include building design and architecture, urban planning and landscape design, bioenergy, food production systems, and water and wastewater treatment. Talks that demonstrate beneficial cross-talk between ecologists and engineers are encouraged, especially those that have led to shifts in teaching and education.
 The greening of palm oil mill effluent (POME): Can we turn greenhouse gas emissions into clean energy?
Teresa M. Legg, University of Colorado; Philip G. Taylor, University of Colorado; Hana Fancher, University of Colorado; Alan R. Townsend, University of Colorado at Boulder; Diana R. Nemergut, University of Colorado
 Bioenergy, biodiversity...or both?
Todd A. Ontl, Iowa State University; Lisa A. Schulte, Iowa State University; GL Drake Larsen, Practical Farmers of Iowa
 Mapping the human microbial cloud in the built environment
Adam E. Altrichter, Biology and the Built Environment Center, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon; James F. Meadow, University of Oregon; G.Z. (Charlie) Brown, University of Oregon; Brendan J.M. Bohannan, University of Oregon; Jessica L. Green, University of Oregon
 Molecular ecology of drinking water distribution systems
Kimberly Ross, University of Colorado at Boulder
 When plant-mediated water flows increase biogeochemical efficiency in an aridland urban treatment wetland, and pleasantly surprise the engineers
Daniel L. Childers, Arizona State University; Jennifer Hannan, Arizona State University; Jorge Ramos Jr., Arizona State University; Christopher A. Sanchez, Arizona State University; Laura Turnbull, Arizona State University; Nicholas A. Weller, Arizona State University
 How collaboration between ecologists and engineers can improve green roof efficiency
Olyssa Starry, University of Maryland, College Park; John Lea-Cox, University of Maryland
See more of: Ignite ESA Sessions