Jeannette Yen

Professor, School of Biological Sciences; Director, Center for Biologically Inspired Design at Georgia Tech; Courtesy Appointment


B.S. Bryn Mawr

M.S. University of Washington

Ph.D. University of Washington


Plankton, Biologically Inspired Design, Copepods, Krill, Pteropods


Dr. Jeannette Yen is a Professor of Biology and has been at Georgia Tech since 2000. Her Ph.D. from the University of Washington is in the interdisciplinary environmental science of biological oceanography where she studies how fluid mechanical and chemical cues transported at low Re flow serve as communication channels for micro-aquatic organisms, primarily zooplankton: key link in aquatic food webs. She has been to all 7 continents, including Antarctica for her research and education []. 

Yen is the Director of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID). The goals of CBID are to bring together faculty who seek to facilitate interdisciplinary research and education for innovative products and techniques based on biologically-inspired design solutions.  CBID participants believe that science and technology are increasingly hitting the limits of approaches based on traditional disciplines, and Biology may serve as an untapped resource for design methodology.  Jeannette team-teaches the interdisciplinary course in biologically inspired design http://www.  

Jeannette curated Learning from Nature, exhibit at the Museum of Design of Atlanta, 2020. 

Yen has grants from the Carter Center to help eradicate Guinea Worm disease and from NSF for Biologically-Inspired Design for Engineering. I. M. Pei is Jeannette’s uncle. Yen’s work was featured in the NYTimes at

Yen has publications in these and other journals: Limnology & Oceanography, Journal of Experimental Biology, Phil. Trans. Royal Society of London, Polar Biology, European Journal of Computational Mechanics, Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, Design Creativity, International Journal of Architectural Computing, International Journal of Engineering Education.  

Yen has chapters in these and other books: Biomimetics. Nature Based Innovation, Y. Bar-Cohen, editor. Taylor and Francis. Bulletproof feathers. How science uses nature’s secrets to design cutting-edge technology. Robert Allen, editor. The University of Chicago Press. Functional Morphology and Diversity, Volume I in the Natural History of the Crustacea series. Les Watling and Martin Thiel, Editors. Oxford U. Press. Chemical Communication in Crustaceans. Thomas Breithaupt & Martin Thiel, editors. Springer. Animals Groups in Three Dimensions. J. Parish and W. Hamner, editors. Cambridge Press.