Sean J Blamires

PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR

My principal research interest is in the evolution of and mechanisms that induce plasticity in phenotypic and behavioural traits and animal structures.

I use spider orb-webs and silks as a model as they are extended phenotypes that are responsive to the environment at morphological, physiological and biochemical levels.

My aims are to identify the cues used by spiders to elicit variations in their silk and web properties. To achieve these I investigate the role of prey types, nutrients and climatic variables on the physiology, biochemistry and behavioural aspects of spider silk and web production.

I am also interested in understanding the factors that induce spider silk variability across environments because of its potential use in biomimetics.

I have ongoing collaborative research links with Tunghai University, Taiwan, the University of Akron, USA, the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Taiwan, and the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre at UNSW, among others (see collaborators).

My current work is funded by an ARC DECRA Fellowship and the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW.

UNSW RESEARCHERS
Mike Kasumovic

CO-INVESTIGATOR

Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, UNSW

Aditya Rawal, James Hook

COLLABORATOR

Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, UNSW

NMR analyses of silk

Penny Martens

COLLABORATOR

Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW

Mechanical properties of spider silks

STUDENTS
Hamish Craig

PHD

Spider silk genomics and proteomics

Matthew Hasemore

HONOURS (COMPLETED)

Metabolic and Nutritional mechanisms of spider web plasticity.

Georgia Cerhexe

HONOURS (COMPLETED)

Mechanisms and consequences of colour variation in spider silks.

TUNGHAI UNIVERSITY
I-Min Tso

COLLABORATOR

Spider silk and web plasticity projects

Chen-Pan Liao

Spider silk projects

Dakota Piorkowski

Spider silk projects

RESEARCH COLLABORATORS
Marie Herberstein

COLLABORATOR

Macquarie University Spider silk colouration analysis

Luiz Fernando Garcia

COLLABORATOR

Docente Grado 2, Sección Entomología, Centro Universitario de la Región Este-Universidad de la República, Treinta y Tres, Uruguay Web and silk property variations. Effect of pesticides on webs and silk.

Niall Doran

COLLABORATOR

Zoology, University of Tasmania. Studies of Hickmania troglodytes

Jonas Wolff

COLLABORATOR

Functional Morphology and Biomechanics Unit, University of Kiel. Pyriform silk properties

Mariángeles Lacava

Investigadora Grado2,  Laboratorio de Ecología del Comportamiento, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay

Carmen Viera

Jefa del Laboratorio de Ecología del Comportamiento, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable-Sección Entomología, Docente Grado 4 Facultad de Ciencias Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay

Marco Antonio Benamú

Docente Grado 3, Laboratorio de Ecotoxicología, Centro Universitario de Rivera-Universidad de la República, Rivera, Uruguay

FORMER COLLABORATORS
Todd Blackledge

COLLABORATOR

University of Akron, USA Spider silk mechanical properties

Ali Dhinojwala

COLLABORATOR

University of Akron, USASpider Spider gluey silk properties

Hwo-Shuenn Sheu

COLLABORATOR

National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Taiwan Synchrotron X-ray diffraction studies

Chung-Lin Wu

National Industrial Technology Research Centre, Taiwan Spider silk mechanical properties

Søren Toft

Aarhus University Denmark Nutritional implications of spider silk property variations

Vasav Sahni

3M Company, USA Spider gluey silk properties

ASSISTANTS
Madeleine Blamires

LABORATORY ASSISTANT

Register your interest in collaborating with the Spider Silk Research Group

For information regarding PhD supervision with UNSW Australia please refer to the following resources and write to the Spider Silk Research Group with expression of your interest, and a description of your background and area of research.

https://research.unsw.edu.au/how-apply-enrol-research-degree

Please refer to the following source for details on enrolling in Honours year at UNSW Australia: http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/research/honours

Expressions of collaboration are welcomed by the Spider Silk Research Group. Please write to the team and provide contact details for further communication.

Message the team

Name (required)

Email (required)

Message