Biology Student Thesis Presentations 4/26 at 4:00

Biology Professor Pat Wadsworth and her Bioimaging students will discuss their students' thesis projects from 4:00-5:30 on April 26. The presentation is in the Bernie Dallas Room (in Goodell). Reception to follow. Click here for details.

Irschick and Colleagues Create a New Adhesive Inspired By Gecko Feet

Biology professor Duncan J. Irschick and his colleagues Al Crosby and Michael Bartlett from the Polymer Sciences Department have just published a paper in the journal Advanced Materials which shows how mimicking the anatomy of gecko feet creates a new dry adhesive ("Geckskin™") with unparalleled adhesion. A 4 x 4 inch pad of Geckskin™ can fasten about 700 lbs. to a smooth surface, such as glass, yet can be peeled off easily with one's fingers and reattached with no loss of adhesive ability. The material's design involved the creation of fake "tendon" and "skin" which are integrated with a pad that adheres to a surface using van der Waals forces, just like a gecko's foot does. This work is the first clear demonstration of the "up-scaling" gecko-style adhesion, and presents many exciting possibilities for human applications, ranging from construction to medicine.

The paper can be accessed here.

Some media coverage:

From Channel 40

From the Daily Mail

From Wired Magazine

Patek Stars in "National Geographic Wild" TV Show

See video

Biology professor Sheila Patek is featured throughout an episode of "National Geographic Wild" that examines the behavior and biomechanics of mantis shrimp. (Click the video icon to see the entire show). The show highlights field and laboratory research by Prof. Patek and by undergraduate and graduate students in her lab.

New Field Course: Amazon Aquatic Ecology

The Biology Department is pleased to announce Biology 596Z, Amazon Aquatic Ecology. This is a field course in the Brazilian Amazon, taught by Cristina Cox-Fernandes (cristina@bio.umass.edu). The Brazil trip will be in mid May, and the course will meet a few times prior to that for preparatory lectures. See below for a more complete description of the course.

Information Session for this trip: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., 319 Morrill, Science III

For some photos, see this slide.

Tropical Field Biology Spring 2014 Applications Now Available

Accepting Applications for Tropical Field Biology (Bio 487H)

We are looking for a few good men and women to join us in the latest version of Tropical Field Biology. This 4 credit course meets twice a week during the spring semester and features a field trip to Belize over spring break. You will learn from 6 excellent instructors who have extensive field experience in the tropics, which means that this is among the highest teacher-to-student ratio courses that you are ever likely to find. The course provides a safe experience that will introduce you to one of the most diverse and beautiful places on the Earth, while giving you an introduction to the realities of field research. We had a fantastic time last year and this year promises to be even better. Enrollment is limited to 24 students so apply now!