This year, middle and high school students from across the U.S. took part in the first-ever Youth Design Challenge, learning how to use biomimicry to create solutions to climate change. From an oriental hornet-inspired method to increase the efficiency of solar panels, to a Saharan silver ant-inspired roof designed to stay cool in extreme heat, to a kelp and fish-inspired method of generating energy, and more, these students learned to apply lessons from nature to solve tough sustainability challenges.
Meet Alex Ralevski, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University who conducts translational research in plant biology and neuroscience. Her current work focuses on understanding fundamental biological mechanisms and their translation and practical application to animal and human biology. Alex is a contributing writer to AskNature.org, where she helps curate content on biological strategies and the ideas they’ve inspired. To learn more about Alex’s research, check out this video where she explains how plants that thrive in salty seawater can teach us how to design better ways of providing fresh drinking water in drought-prone areas.
In our latest installment of Meet a Biomimic, meet Dan Quinn, a researcher at the University of Virginia who is pioneering new ways of designing underwater and aerial robots by mimicking how fish and birds move. Read on to learn more about Dan’s research and check out this video to see his work in action.