Overview of current research:
We are currently investigating the nature of the adhesive secretions of a variety of molluscs. These are gels: they consist of a dilute, tangled network of polymers. These adhesives are neither truly solid, like a cement, nor fluid, like the water under a sucker. For lack of a better term, they are often referred to as mucus. The structure of these gels varies widely, however, and the catch-all term "mucus" is probably inappropriate. The function of these gels varies widely as well. Some gels are outstanding lubricants. Some are excellent adhesives. Intriguingly, it appears that many molluscs can convert a slippery gel into a powerful adhesive. Thus, we are comparing the structure of different adhesive gels with the goal of determining the functional significance of structural features.
Newest Research Findings Hit the Media:
- On the Weather Channel! "Slugs and Surgery?"
- YNN News Channel: "Substance found in slugs could replace the use of stitches"
- ICView: "Genius and Species: IC biologists make big breakthroughs by studying small animals" (Andy Smith, Leann Kanda, and Jean Hardwick)
FUSE: "Studying.... Slugs?"
If you interested in conducting research in my lab, then please click here:
- Summer and Academic Year research
- If you need more information on the procedures to enroll for research credit then follow this link:
Information on the procedures to conduct research.
Also note: Model circulatory system