Over the last few years I have become more interested and involved in Biomimicry. From August 2013 – August 2014 I served as the Biomimicry Fellows Coordinator for The University of Akron Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC). In this role I coordinated UA biomimicry PhD Fellows and their corporate sponsors to improve communication and help facilitate collaboration. I also became a project manager of sorts, managing a joint Council Meeting between UA faculty and PhD Fellows, industry teams from Parker Hannifin, Sherwin-Williams, GOJO, Ross Environmental and members of Great Lakes Biomimicry, the first Founding Affiliate of Biomimicry 3.8 the world-renowned international biomimicry organization. I think the biomimicry “movement” is deeper than designing synthetics that emulate the natural system but is a unique way for biologists to come to the design table with engineers, business and marketing professionals, designers, artists and other scientists – ultimately changing the way we think about and develop our future world. Recently Biomimicry has received attention – being named one of the “Five Tech Trends That Can Drive Company Success” by Forbes. Interest was so great, a detailed article on Biomimicry soon followed (see link HERE). For more information on Biomimicry follow the links above or check out Janine Benyus’ book (Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature) which inspired the movement (and me!). Janine also has two great TED talks (2005 Talk, 2009 Talk).
Janine Benyus meeting one of our geckos
Janine Benyus meeting with the first Biomimicry PhD Fellows
May 2015 Update: Check out our website HERE on biomimicry in Louisville, KY! Kicked off by a great Symposium on Biomimicry held May 7th 2015, supported by the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville. Check back for more updates or contact me directly for more information.
December 2015 Update: Learn more about my path in Biomimicry HERE in The Biomimicry Institute’s “Meet the Biomimic” series.
January 2016 Update: My first biomimicry-related manuscript is in press! In collaboration with two excellent elementary school teachers from Louisville, we piloted a 4-day 4th grade science lesson using ants to explore how biological organisms can be the champions who solve our (human) problems. The article will be published in Science and Children.
October 2016 Update: Another article on biomimicry is out!
Stark, A. Y. 2016. Biomimicry: what’s in it for us? A biologist’s perspective on how biomimicry can inform studies of the natural world. Zygote Quarterly 17(3): 80-93 (refereed opinion piece)