Join Pittsburgh’s new network of creative minds working together to strengthen the bond between people and the natural world.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a global Biophilia Network. Read on to learn about our next event!

Virtual Biophilia: The Psychological Experience of Nature

Register to Attend

Join us Thurs., May 2 at 6 p.m. where we will address the idea most people share: how spending time in nature can be good for you. In this talk, Dr. Kate Schertz will discuss some of the research that backs up those intuitions. You’ll learn about some of the individual benefits of spending time in nature, such as improved working memory, attention, and mood. We’ll also talk about interpersonal benefits, such as higher feelings of social connection and how nature may influence who we think about. Finally, we’ll discuss what people tend to think about in city parks and what features of parks may be responsible for these thoughts.   

Register in advance for the meeting here. The Zoom meeting will begin promptly at 6 p.m. (EST), 3 p.m. (PST). After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Meet the Speakers: 

Kate Schertz, Ph.D.
Dr. Kate Schertz is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan, working in the Emotion & Self Control Laboratory. Her research focuses on how our surrounding physical environment influences how we think and feel, with a particular interest in how natural environments can improve various measures of mental health, cognition, and wellbeing. She is interested in how natural spaces can contribute to sustainable, healthy, and more equitable communities. Kate received her PhD in Psychology in 2022 from the University of Chicago.

Meetings are free to attend; however, advance registration is required. To R.S.V.P., please use this link.

Designed as a series of posts on the Phipps blog and a hashtag for use on Twitter and Instagram#bioPGH is a new social call-to-action for people throughout the region to more closely examine the beauty and importance of the nature around them.

The Biophilic Mind is a blog focused on presenting primary-source articles at the intersection of human health and the natural world. The Biophilic Mind aims to highlight high quality, recent research about the connections between well-being and nature.

Inspired by the Biophilic Cities initiative, the Biophilia: Pittsburgh Directory seeks to present an overview of the biophilic organizations, events, activities and projects in Pittsburgh, to aid the public in enhancing their connections to nature and discovering collaborative opportunities. 

In this archive, you may access presentation materials and video recordings from previous installments of our monthly Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting series. Additions will be made often, so visit regularly for the latest materials to deepen your Biophilia: Pittsburgh experience.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh meets monthly at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where, over delicious small-plates and light refreshments, an expert guest speaker discusses ways of connecting people to nature and showing how these connections can improve our lives in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities.

Our Goals

• To welcome and inspire others with the concept and principles of biophilia
• To foster collaboration and learning between professionals from a wide variety of disciplines
• To communicate biophilic principles in action-oriented ways to a wider audience for exponential and regional impact

What Is Biophilia?

The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who defined it as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.”

The implications of biophilia extend across a vast array of disciplines including design and engineering, nutrition, psychology, public health, education, biology and the humanities. Biophilia is expressed all over the world every day, through complex collaborations such as the design and construction of buildings and landscapes; and intimate, personal encounters including nature hikes and home gardening.

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman, Phipps staff