Spider major ampullate silk (MA) is natures’ toughest fibre. There is thus immense interest among scientists across different fields in the attainment of an understanding about why and how spiders produce such amazing fibres. Accordingly there are now many publications on MA silk genetic expression patterns, secondary and tertiary protein structures, silk fibre physical and…Details
Our paper “Ontogenetic shift towards stronger, tougher silk in a web building cave spider” has been published in the February 2018 issue of Journal of Zoology as the cover page article.
Sean, Dakota Piorkowski, Hamish Craig, Jian Fang, Xungai Wang, Niall Doran conducted field work in Tasmania between October 15-October 19, collecting Hickmania troglodytes spiders and glow worm silks.
Biomimetics (the transfer of functional principals from living systems into designs) is a rapidly growing field of research. Nevertheless, gauging how useful it has been as a tool for developing new products and technologies is difficult, as the field is currently ill defined and real, tangible outputs have so far been few. Moreover, it is…Details
On July 25 2017 the documentary movie “16 Legs” about Tasmania, Tasmanian caves, and cave spiders (Hickmania troglodytes) and glow worms featured at the International Congress of Speleology at Penrith Leagues Club, Penrith. The documentary features footage from a 2015 field expedition to Tasmania by Dakota Piorkowski and Hamish Craig to collect spiders and spider…Details
Fifty-five years on from Silent Spring the impacts on ecosystems and non-target beneficial organisms and human health from the widespread use of insecticides in agriculture is well documented. Insecticides directly reduce the populations of beneficial pollinating and pest killing invertebrates, such as bees and spiders, and indirectly affect soil and aquatic animal populations through runoff…Details