SICB Annual Meeting 2019
January 3-7, 2019
Tampa, FL

January 7 - Symposium S12: The path less traveled: Reciprocal illumination of gecko adhesion by unifying material science, biomechanics, ecology, and evolution

Gecko research over the past two decades has been as diverse as the group itself, including ecological, evolutionary, morphological, biomechanical, and material science foci. The remarkable gecko adhesive system has become a model for evolutionary innovation and synthetic design. Indeed, interest in gecko-inspired adhesives has exploded since 2002, but progress is now slowing because dialogue and collaboration between materials scientists and engineers on one hand, and biologists on the other, is less intense than it should be. As a result, the former lack the knowledge of the “real world” in which these lizards employ their adhesive mechanism, and the latter have only just begun to recognize that the findings of biomimeticists and engineers can inspire new avenues for their own investigations. Our symposium will explore the ways in which fundamental and applied approaches can reciprocally illuminate answers to challenging questions in gecko biology and gecko-inspired design of synthetic adhesives.

Sponsors: DCB, DEE, DVM


  • Timothy Higham (UC Riverside)
  • Alyssa Stark (Villanova University)
  • Anthony Russell (University of Calgary)


S12-1 Monday, Jan. 7, 07:45 RUSSELL, Anthony P.*; STARK, Alyssa; HIGHAM, Timothy; RUSSELL, Anthony: Understanding gecko adhesion: toward an integration of evolutionary, ecological biomechanical and biomimetic approaches.

S12-2 Monday, Jan. 7, 08:00 STARK, Alyssa Y.: Stick or Slip: Adhesive Performance of Geckos and Gecko-inspired Synthetics in Wet Environments

S12-3 Monday, Jan. 7, 08:30 GAMBLE, t: Genome evolution and the origins of gecko adhesion

S12-4 Monday, Jan. 7, 09:00 DROTLEF, DM; DAYAN, CB; SITTI, M*: Gecko-inspired composite microfibers for reversible adhesion on smooth and rough surfaces

S12-5 Monday, Jan. 7, 09:30 HIGHAM, Timothy E.*; RUSSELL, Anthony P.; NIEWIAROWSKI, Peter N.; WRIGHT, Amber N.; SPECK, Thomas: Adhering to nature: the importance of incorporating ecologically relevant information in the study of gecko adhesion

S12-6 Monday, Jan. 7, 10:30 BAUER, AM: Gecko Adhesion in Space and Time: A Phylogenetic Perspective on the Scansorial Success Story

S12-7 Monday, Jan. 7, 11:00 HEEPE, Lars*; GORB, Stanislav/N.: Gecko adhesion or “gecko effect” adhesion? A case for comparative studies among lizards, spiders, and insects

S12-8 Monday, Jan. 7, 11:30 NAYLOR, ER*; HIGHAM, TE: Attachment Beyond the Adhesive System: Assessing the Contribution of Claws in Gecko Clinging and Locomotion

S12-9 Monday, Jan. 7, 13:30 CROSBY, AJ*; IRSCHICK, DJ: Adhesion Across Size Scales

S12-12 Monday, Jan. 7, 14:00 RUSSELL, A.P.*; GAMBLE, T.; RUSSELL, Tony: Dissecting the evolution of the gekkotan adhesive system: one or more origins?

S12-11 Monday, Jan. 7, 14:30 DHINOJWALA, A; NIEWIAROWSKI, PH*: Developing prototypes for testing gecko adhesion on rough surfaces