Janine Benyus is a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including − Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

In Biomimicry, she names an emerging discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's designs and processes (e.g. solar cells that mimic leaves, agriculture that models a prairie, businesses that run like redwood forests).

Since the book’s 1997 release, Benyus has evolved the practice of biomimicry, consulting with sustainable business, academic, and government leaders, serving on the Eco-Dream Team at Interface, Inc., and conducting seminars about what we can learn from the genius that surrounds us.

Benyus  has cultivated a deep knowledge of the natural world, beginning with direct observation in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, continuing in habitats from Maine to West Virginia where she worked as a backcountry guide, and now, in her home wilds of Montana.

Her writing career began in the early eighties, when she translated “science-speak” for several research labs including the world’s largest forest research organization. In an effort to reach a larger audience of wildlife enthusiasts, Benyus wrote an interpretive guide to animal behavior called Beastly Behaviors: A Guide to How Animals Act and Why (1992). In her next book, she coined the term Biomimicry (1997) to describe the emerging field of bio-inspired innovation.

In 1998, Benyus co-founded an education and innovation practice called Biomimicry Guild. Through workshops, research reports, biological consulting, and field excursions, the Guild helps innovators learn from and emulate natural models. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies that create conditions conducive to life.

Benyus’s international keynotes have introduced tens of thousands of people to biomimicry, and she also hosted and co-wrote a two-hour public television special based on her book, which aired on “The Nature of Things with David Suzuki” in over 70 countries.

Benyus is creating the Biomimicry Design Portal -- a public database of biological literature organized by design function. She is also developing a “biology-taught-functionally” course for engineers and designers, the only biology most will encounter in their university education.

In addition to her biomimicry work, Benyus teaches interpretive writing, lectures at the University of Montana, and works towards restoring and protecting wild lands. She serves on a number of land-use committees in her rural county, and is president of Living Education, a nonprofit dedicated to place-based living and learning.

Benyus has received several awards including the Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award, the Lud Browman Award for Science Writing, the Science Writing in Society Journalism Award, and the Barrows and Heinz Distinguished Lectureships.

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