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Valerine Chandrakesuma, Joe Ho, Kateryna Levdokymenko, Jay Martiniuk, Patrick Lewis Wilkie

Over 2.5 billion people in developing countries lack access to proper and safe sanitation. MYCOmmunity Toilet proposes a distributed, sustainable human waste disposal system for use in under-resourced communities. This system is low-cost, waterless, and operates off the-grid to safely decompose and convert solid human waste into usable fertilizer. When full, each MYCOmmunity unit can be composted and used to grow trees, grasses and crops, stabilizing soils and enriching the local ecosystem.


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Dr. Steven Hallam is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Dr. Hallam is a University of California, Santa Cruz and MIT trained molecular biologist, microbial ecologist, entrepreneur, and innovator with over 20 years experience in field and laboratory research at disciplinary interfaces.

Dr. Hallam’s current research intersects microbial ecology, biological engineering, and bioinformatics with specific emphasis on the creation of functional screens and computational tools that reveal hidden metabolic powers of uncultivated microbial communities. His laboratory has developed MetaPathways, a modular annotation and analysis pipeline to predict metabolic interactions from environmental sequence information. Other research areas include single-cell genome sequencing and biosensor development for environmental monitoring and enzyme discovery.

He recently become a Leopold Leadership Fellow and was elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to the fields of environmental genomics and microbial ecology.

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Dr. Joseph Dahmen is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Joe teaches design studios and courses in the architecture and landscape architecture programs and runs the Studio for Form and Energy. With his partner Amber Frid-Jimenez, Canada Research Chair in design, he runs AFJD Studio, a transdisciplinary design firm based in Vancouver. He is co-founder and Director of Sustainability at Watershed Materials LLC, an architectural materials company supported by the US National Science Foundation and private equity investment. Joe’s research and design projects investigate the technical methods and cultural effects of resource use at the scales of architecture and territory. He is a faculty associate of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.


Banner image: Michael D. Beckwith, The Leeds Library