Gecko Biomimicry Research Fellowship

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The fellowship below is one of multiple Biomimicry Fellowships available for a 2015 start (January and September). More Information Here

Biomimicry Research Fellowship, January 2015

We are seeking applicants for a 5-year Biomimicry Research Fellowship in the Integrated Bioscience PhD Program at the University of Akron. The successful applicant will work at the intersection of materials science and biology through collaborative research between the labs of Ali Dhinojwala (Polymer Science) and Peter H. Niewiarowski (Biology). Current research focuses on gecko adhesion at length scales ranging from nanometers to the whole animal. The fellowship is made possible by support from the University of Akron and a corporate sponsor (Lubrizol) interested in biomimetic applications of fundamental surface science research in geckos and other biological systems.

Recent publications from our collaboration include:

Hsu, P. Y., L. Ge, X. Li, A. Y. Stark, C. Wesdemiotis, P. H. Niewiarowski, and A. Dhinojwala. 2012. Direct evidence of phospholipids in gecko footprints and spatula–substrate contact interface detected using surface-sensitive spectroscopy. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 9:657-664.

Niewiarowski, P. H., A. Stark, B. McClung, B. Chambers, and T. Sullivan. 2012. Faster but not stickier: Invasive house geckos can out-sprint resident mournful geckos in Moorea, French Polynesia. Journal of Herpetology 46:194-197.

Stark, A., N. Wucinich, E. Paoloni, P. Niewiarowski, and A. Dhinojwala. 2014. Self-Drying: A Gecko’s Innate Ability to Remove Water from Wet Toe Pads. PLoS ONE 9:e101885.

Stark, A. Y., I. Badge, N. A. Wucinich, T. W. Sullivan, P. H. Niewiarowski, and A. Dhinojwala. 2013. Surface wettability plays a significant role in gecko adhesion underwater. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 110:6340-6345.

Stark, A. Y., T. W. Sullivan, and P. H. Niewiarowski. 2012. The effect of surface water and wetting on gecko adhesion. The Journal of experimental biology 215:3080-3086.

Stark, A. Y., B. McClung, P. H. Niewiarowski, and A. Dhinojwala. 2014. Reduction of Water Surface Tension Significantly Impacts Gecko Adhesion Underwater. Integrative and Comparative Biology. doi:10.1093/icb/icu066.

Information about the Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center can be found at:

Information about other Biomimicry Fellows can be found at:

Contact Peter H. Niewiarowski ( or Ali Dhinojwala ( today for more information

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