Hermon Slade Foundation Grant

Sean Blamires and Aditya Rawal have received a Hermon Slade Foundation grant to do further research into spider silk genetics, artificial spinning and NMR analyses.



Sub-lethal insecticide doses affect spider silk properties

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…


“16 Legs” documentary at International Congress of Speleology

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…


Biomimetics research re-examined

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…


Tasmania trip

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.

Hickmania troglodytes on cover of Journal of Zoology


No automatic alt text available.

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.

see: http://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/issue/10.1111/jzo.2018.304.issue-2/