Natural History Collections as Inspiration for Technology

David W. Green, Jolanta A. Watson, Hansung Jung, Gregory S. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Living organisms are the ultimate survivalists, having evolved phenotypes with unprecedented adaptability, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and versatility compared to human technology. To harness these properties, functional descriptions and design principles from all sources of biodiversity information must be collated − including the hundreds of thousands of possible survival features manifest in natural history museum collections, which represent 12% of total global biodiversity. This requires a consortium of expert biologists from a range of disciplines to convert the observations, data, and hypotheses into the language of engineering. We hope to unite multidisciplinary biologists and natural history museum scientists to maximize the coverage of observations, descriptions, and hypotheses relating to adaptation and function across biodiversity, to make it technologically useful. This is to be achieved by developments in meta- taxonomic classification, phylogenetics, systematics, biological materials research, structure and morphological characterizations, and ecological data gathering from the collections − the aim being to identify and catalogue features essential for good biomimetic design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700238
JournalBioEssays
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1

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Biodiversity
Natural History
Museums
Technology
Biomimetics
Biological materials
Language
Phenotype
Survival
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Green, David W. ; Watson, Jolanta A. ; Jung, Hansung ; Watson, Gregory S. / Natural History Collections as Inspiration for Technology. In: BioEssays. 2019 ; Vol. 41, No. 2.
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Natural History Collections as Inspiration for Technology. / Green, David W.; Watson, Jolanta A.; Jung, Hansung; Watson, Gregory S.

In: BioEssays, Vol. 41, No. 2, 1700238, 01.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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