Sean J Blamires
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 Biotechnological and Biomolecular Science, Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, and Faculty of Art & Design, at UNSW, Tunghai University, Taiwan, RIKEN, Japan, and RWTH Aachen University, Gemany, among others (see collaborators).
I have received funding from the ARC the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW, and the Hermon Slade Foundation.