The Associates

The Biomimicry Design Alliance Associates are a diverse group of people committed to making the built environment complement instead of compete with the planet. Their backgrounds include architecture, biomimicry, ecology, industrial design, sustainability engineering, astrophysics, science education, and illustration.

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Cynthia Fishman, Founder + Director

Favorite Organisms: Mantis Shrimp Learn More and Bunny Harvestman Learn More

Cynthia Fishman, AIA | BSpec | NCARB | LEED AP | Fitwel Ambassador has an extensive background of 10+ years in sustainability and the practice of architecture. Having received her Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University and her Master of Science in Biomimicry from the only accredited program in the world at Arizona State University, she brings vision and leadership to the Biomimicry Design Alliance. Cynthia has also earned the additional accreditation of Biomimicry Specialist (BSpec). She works on all aspects from business development, to biomimicry research, to architectural consulting, to education. Cynthia is an adjunct faculty member lecturing about biomimicry at The University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning as well as at The Ecosa Institute. In addition to teaching, she has spoken about biomimicry at numerous conferences including the 2017 USGBC Arizona State Conference (keynote), the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Trend + Design Center, and at Arcosanti's conference/festival Convergence in 2018. She is also one of the recipients of the 2019 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Young Architect Award. More Information


Vanessa Ferona, Associate

Development Lead

Favorite Organisms: Weeping Willow Learn More and Marvelous Spatuletail Learn More

Vanessa Ferona offers a unique background holding an Associate of Science degree in Psychology from Columbia Greene Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies with a minor in Sustainable Development from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS). During her undergraduate academic career at UCCS, she accrued nearly three years of sustainable development work experience and had the privilege of working for the Green Action Fund as their project coordinator. Vanessa recently earned a Master of Science in Biomimicry from Arizona State University where she worked as a teacher assistant for the Genius of Biome practicum. During this time she gained a deeper understanding of how natural systems provide a fresh opportunity to re-think and re-imagine how we can begin solving human design challenges at the ecosystem level. More Information

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Brittany Jerlinga, Associate

Science Lead

Favorite Organisms: Though she has thirty favorite species of frog, is fascinated by mycelium and slime molds, is obsessed with jumping spiders, and adores African elephants and river otters, her favorite organism happens to share her son’s middle name: Axolotl. Learn More

Brittany Jerlinga is a science communicator, translating the worlds of biology and chemistry through analogy and illustration. With masters degrees in both teaching (USC) and biomimicry (ASU, expected Fall 2019), she hopes to inspire people to reconnect with their environment and tap into the secrets behind nature's genius. She spent a decade creating hands-on curriculum and teaching middle and high school STEM through biology, chemistry, geology, and environmental science, both in Denver Public Schools and for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She is routinely named by former students as the reason they are in STEM fields or have a love for science. Brittany is currently working on an illustrated book on biomimicry and its applications. She looks forward to bringing her passion for biology and innovative design— not to mention her huge collection of natural curiosities—from the classroom to the charrette. More Information

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Lola Kaplan, Associate


Favorite Organism: Pink Fairy Armadillo Learn More

Lola Kaplan is currently at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec studying environmental science, international development, and psychology. She is very passionate about the natural world and exemplifies this passion through promoting sustainability and inspiring awareness of environmental concerns among her peers. Lola spent the summer of 2019 volunteering on organic farms in the French countryside and through this opportunity has further expanded her knowledge of nature. She is very excited to bring her environmental insight to the Biomimicry Design Alliance, and as an intern helps contribute to the social media platforms.

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Annie Kell, Associate

Research Lead

Favorite Organism: Cuttlefish Learn More

Annie Kell, LEED AP BD+C | EIT Environmental Engineering comes from a background of academic research and sustainability consulting and design. She has a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics and a Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability from Rice University. She has conducted research on a variety of topics including for two national laboratories, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). For the last 5 years she has been working in the green building industry, focusing on retrofits of existing buildings and sustainability consulting for new construction. She's excited to be combining her sustainable building design experience, research skills, and love of nature to help the Biomimicry Design Alliance develop its extensive database and innovative design ideas. More Information

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Adrian Roadman, Associate

Product Design Lead

Favorite Organism: Snow leopard. Or maybe red panda. No, wait, spotted hyena.  Learn More

Adrian Roadman, M.S. comes from a diverse, but creative background. With dual bachelors degrees in Biology and Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech, she spent many years in the field studying predator population dynamics. She earned a Masters of Science in Ecology from Utah State University studying human-wildlife conflict mitigation of ringtails in Zion National Park. Simultaneous with her scientific passion, her love of sewing and product design led to her recruitment to help establish the unique undergraduate program for outdoor product design and development at Utah State University. Adrian is very passionate about teaching intentional design, minimal waste, and more sustainable practices to move our heavily consumerist society to a less ecologically damaging future. The use of biomimicry as a lens for design, research, and human growth is necessity rather than option, so she is absolutely thrilled to be able to bring her design teaching and her ecological training to the Biomimicry Design Alliance.  More Information

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Asha Singhal, Associate

Architecture Lead

Favorite organisms: Cephalopods, of all kinds, Learn More Green Dragontail butterfly Learn More 

Asha Singhal M.S. | B.Arch is an architect specializing in Biomimetic designs and a researcher, coming from a culturally diverse background of Germany & India. Her mission is to bring the genius of nature to our built environment while experimenting with disruptive technologies and their relationship with our habitats. Her early fascination with geometries, structures, and art in the natural world drew her to architecture paving way for biomimicry. Bridging interests with the world of material sciences she uses a multidisciplinary approach for innovative, sustainable & elegant solutions inspired by nature. Asha is currently working on projects in Canada, Germany, and India, while also pursuing her studies at Arizona State University. More Information