Title: IB PhD Student, Biomimicry Fellow
I’m from California, where I’ve lived most of my life. I graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Entomology, which, up until now, was the only thing I was ever really interested in formally studying. At UC Davis I worked in a variety of labs, spending most of my time in a mosquito genetics one. After graduating, I worked for several years at a local biopesticide company, where I did efficacy bioassays ad infinitum. At UA, my advisors are Dr. Todd Blackledge and Dr. Ali Dhinojwala. I joined the Integrated Bioscience program because biomimicry was being taught, and because its program was so unconventional. There aren’t really any other programs in the US that offer what Akron and its IB program do.
I’m generally interested in bioadhesives and the mechanics connected with them. Insects use bioadhesives in their egg cases, and spider use it in their silk to capture prey. I’d like to look at the way that the glue and the web strands interact with prey insects, perhaps seeing how different web structures and silk compositions affect different insects. It would also be fun to look at the glue that insects use to attach their eggs to substrates. The ways ticks catch onto their host animals, and how black flies hold on underwater in strong current are also interesting. I’d like to examine more arachnid and insect claws and see what makes them so efficient for catching onto different surfaces. Really I’m open to many things, but my chief goal is to examine systems that would being useful to human use.
2015: BS Entomology, UC Davis