Meet the 2015 Biomimicry Fellows

This coming Fall will start a very exciting school year! Because we’re expecting the largest cohort of Biomimicry Fellows (7 new fellows) since Daphne, Emily, and I started the Biomimicry Fellowship Program in The University of Akron in 2012. Yes, you read that right! It’s already been three full years since I first came to North East Ohio and experienced my first white winter. It’s hard to believe how fast time has passed. It’s also a bit scary to admit that I’m a “senior” student in the PhD program now. I can almost still remember the excitement that I felt when I started this journey.

Speaking of excitement~ I asked the new fellows to send me some blurbs to describe their feelings about becoming a Biomimicry Fellow. Read along, to see who they are, and how they feel in their own words.

Stephen Howe (CA, USA) | Bendix

Stephen Howe

For me the process of selection felt a little drawn out. I got to the point where I had to just let go and not worry about it. My acceptance email came unexpectedly on a Friday at lunch. I quite literally jumped out of my seat and took a little while to regain my composure and explain what was happening to a bewildered friend sitting with me. I then took the rest of the day to find all of my friends call my family and tell everyone the good news. In short it was a good day.


Ariana Rupp (Portugal) | Nottingham Spirk

Ariana RuppI am still processing what it means to be a Biomimicry Fellow. The majority of my acquaintances find the word “Biomimicry” extraterrestrial. This makes me feel too out-of-the-box sometimes, especially when I try to explain the excitement I get from being granted such unique opportunity.

Now that we are about to explore a complex research area, it is true that my first reaction was apprehension, just like an awkward fledgling suddenly pushed out of the nest. However, not knowing which skies we will be discovering in the future definitely turns the flying test into an amusing experience.

Derek Miller (IA, USA) | MC2 STEM

Derek Miller

I was incredibly thrilled to know that I’m going to be taking part in this biomimicry fellowship! I’m excited to be a part of something that can combine all areas of discipline with the wisdom of nature, and turn it into something that promotes sustainability for our future. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with the teachers at MC2 High School on integrating this way of thinking into their curriculum, and look forward to collaborating with the students as they come up with their own innovative solutions.


 Banafsheh Khakipoor (Iran) | TBD

Banafsheh Khakipoor

I had been thinking about becoming a biomimicry fellow for the past two years, it was one of those super satisfaction moments, to know am going to be part of something that has a meaning for me!



Sarah Han (CA, USA) | Goodyear

Sarah Han

Hi, I’m Sarah Han, an entomologist from California ready to start a whole new adventure. I was thrilled to learn that I had been accepted into UA as a Biomimicry fellow since it was exactly the kind of program that I had been looking for but wasn’t sure existed. 

 I’m very grateful that I will have the unique experience that being in this program entails, and can’t wait to start learning new things, meeting people, and spreading the practice of biomimicry.


Rebecca Eagle-Malone (OH, USA) | Cleveland Metroparks Zoo


“After much anticipation, finding out that I was going to be a Biomimicry fellow was very exciting! I admit that I feel a bit nervous at this new adventure, but I always love to take a challenge! Working with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will fulfill a lifelong dream for me; I strongly believe in the mission of Cleveland Metroparks and look forward to continuing to be a part of that! “



Lamalani Siverts (CA, USA) | TBD

Lamalani SivertsI am thrilled to join the University of Akron as a Biomimicry Fellow.  The grad students and faculty generated more excitement with every interaction during the admissions process and I felt an overwhelming sense of joy when I read the admissions offer.  The Biomimicry team values were what I was seeking in a lab and I know that I will thrive with their support.  I felt comforted knowing that my future will be secure and that my career will help in making a more sustainable planet.  I’m very excited to utilize my diverse experience in biology, business, and education in a program that feels like the perfect fit for me.

Last but not least, an honorable mention (the +1, since you already read some of his blogposts here).
Started in Spring 2015, we have ……

Michael Wilson (TN, USA) | Lubrizol

Michael Wilson“I was thrilled the day when everything was settled, and I finally became a biomimicry fellow. It is something that I never would have expected when I began my undergraduate career, but I am very glad that my graduate school path has taken me here. The interdisciplinary aspect of the field leaves me very excited about the opportunity to see the world from different perspectives. I am optimistic that these perspectives will help guide my research into something that is worthwhile not only with respect to my own enjoyment, but worthwhile in helping to create a more sustainable future.”

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