Title: IB PhD Student
I studied entomology as an undergrad at UC Davis. Currently I focus on arthropod biomechanics and spider-web-prey interactions. My research in Dr. Todd Blackledge’s lab focuses mainly on how spider webs deal with energy. Our research on the triangle spider, Hyptiotes cavatus, led us to document the first example of external power amplification-a spider using stored elastic energy to shoot its web towards prey, like a catapult or slingshot. No other animal (except humans) does this-they all store elastic energy inside their bodies, not in external devices such as webs.
I first became aware of The University of Akron’s Integrated Bioscience program because of the Biomimicry Fellowship. Working for my sponsor, Goodyear, has allowed me to share how biomimicry can be a valuable tool for solving problems and optimizing existing solutions.
I am still searching for a way to tie my spider research to biomimicry.
I am interested in the intersection between artistic expression and science. Learning how to communicate research in different ways can help it reach a wider audience, and expand its significance beyond data and results.