University of Oregon's Jessica Green is named Guggenheim Fellow

University of Oregon biologist Jessica Green has become the UO's 61st Guggenheim Fellow. She was one of 175 U.S. and Canadian scholars, artists and scientists named today (April 11) as 2013 Guggenheim Fellows.

Recipients were chosen because of their prior achievement and exceptional promise.

Edward Hirsch, president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, announced the 89th annual awards. The winners emerged from approximately 3,000 applicants and came from 56 disciplines, 85 different academic institutions, 30 states and three Canadian provinces. Thirty-five winners do not hold an academic affiliation.

"It's exciting to name 175 new Guggenheim Fellows," Hirsch said in a foundation news release. "These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best. Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has always bet everything on the individual, and we're thrilled to continue the tradition with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It's an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do."

Green, a biologist, ecologist and engineer, joined the UO faculty in 2007 and specializes in biodiversity theory and microbial systems. She is co-director of the Biology and the Built Environment Center, which she co-founded with UO colleagues Brendan Bohannan, biology, and G. Z. (Charlie) Brown, architecture. She also is a professor at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico.

Under the Guggenheim fellowship, Green will work at the Ecole Polytechnique in France on two closely related efforts: the development of microbial community assembly theory for urban environments and the production of a graphic novel, "Cities Unseen," about microbes in the built environment. She will collaborate with Hélène Morlon, who was the first postdoctoral researcher in Green's UO lab and now is a scientist for France's National Center for Scientific Research.

Green is the UO's first Guggenheim fellow since biologist Judith Eisen and cultural anthropologist Carol Silverman were named in 2010. In all, the university's 61 recipients have won 65 Guggenheim fellowships.

Green, who was a 2011 senior TED Fellow, currently serves on the Environmental Task Force of the American Academy of Microbiology. She earned a doctorate in nuclear engineering in 2001 from the University of California, Berkeley, and master's and bachelor's degrees in civil and environmental engineering, respectively, in 1994 from UC-Berkeley and in 1992 from UC-Los Angeles.

Her name appears on more than 40 publications, including papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the journals Nature and Science.

Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted over $306 million in fellowships to more than 17,500 individuals. Among them are scores of Nobel laureates, poets laureate and winners of Pulitzer and other prizes from myriad fields.

- by Jim Barlow, UO Office of Strategic Communications