Keystone and Co-Founder
Dr. Dayna Baumeister is the Co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8. With a devotion to applied natural history and a passion for sharing the genius of nature, Dayna has worked in the field of biomimicry with business partner Janine Benyus since 1998, traveling the world as a biomimicry thought-leader, business consultant, and professor. Together they founded the Biomimicry Guild consulting practice, The Biomimicry Institute 501c3, and most recently, Biomimicry 3.8, a B-Corp social enterprise that helps clients find innovation inspired by nature and offers the highest level of biomimicry training to professionals worldwide.
Dayna’s foundational work has been critical to the biomimicry movement, establishing it as a fresh and innovative practice, as well as a philosophy to meet the world’s sustainability challenges. As an educator, researcher, and design consultant, Dayna has helped more than 100 companies consult the natural world for elegant and sustainable design solutions, including Nike, Interface, General Mills, Boeing, Herman-Miller, Kohler, Seventh Generation and Procter & Gamble.
Dayna is known for her engaging presentations and her ability to empower others to use biomimicry in every aspect of their work. She has been a featured speaker at the National Science Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guyana Shield 2016, GreenBiz 2016, SXSW Eco 2015, and countless other events.
In 2008, Dayna designed (and continues to teach) the world’s first Certified Biomimicry Professional Program, an in-person, two-year master-level course that trains, certifies, and connects biomimicry professionals with practitioners world-wide. She also co-designed the Biomimicry Specialist Program. Both programs are creating a new kind of professional who can employ the practice of biomimicry at its highest level. Due to the overwhelming success of these programs, Biomimicry 3.8 and Arizona State University partnered in 2015 to create an online graduate certificate program and the world’s first Master’s of Science in Biomimicry. Dayna serves as the co-director of ASU’s Biomimicry Center and is a Professor of Practice at ASU.
Dayna is the senior editor of Biomimicry Resource Handbook: A Seed Bank of Knowledge and Best Practices (2014), where she compiled more than a decade’s worth of practical biomimicry experience into one comprehensive biomimicry handbook.
Her fascination with the natural world began with daily forays into the woods and mountains around her childhood home in Colorado. Since, she has fused a lifelong fascination with nature into a career that began after Dayna received a B.S. in marine biology from New College in Sarasota, Florida. After several years exploring the intricate relationships of coral reefs, she turned in her wetsuit and headed back to the mountains. She earned an M.S. in resource conservation and a Ph.D. in organismic biology and ecology from The University of Montana in Missoula, where she specialized in the dynamics of positive interactions among animal and plant life.
From discovering sloth bears in the wild with the president of a textile company in India, to candling sea crabs out of a student’s ear after snorkeling over a coral reef, Dayna’s work has taken her around the world on grand adventures. She is a natural systems thinker, who brings an unique perspective to every challenge, helping others see nature as model, measure, and mentor.
She has served the board of her local science museum, ExplorationWorks!, and is a staunch advocate for bringing systems thinking into the local school system. She is also a Dana Meadows Fellow of the Sustainability Institute.
Dayna finds physical and spiritual sustenance as a gardener, green remodeler, llama packer, purveyor of alternative healing, and naturalist. She feels fortunate to live with her family in the rugged and ever-inspiring Rocky Mountains of Montana.
Dayna wrote the Biomimicry Resource Handbook: A Seed Bank of Knowledge and Best Practices for Biomimicry 3.8 in 2011.
With colleague Tim McGee, Dayna wrote Chapter 5: Systems Thinking: Biomimicry in Packaging Sustainability: Tools, Systems, and Strategies for Innovative Packaging Design, edited by Wendy Jedlicka.
With colleagues Robyn Klein, and Janet Kübler, Dayna wrote the article Competition versus cooperation for BioInspired!, volume 7.
Dayna with colleague Ragan Callaway, wrote an article entitled Facilitation by Pinus flexilis during succession: a hierarchy of mechanisms benefits other plant species for the Ecology journal.
Updated February 2020.