Tamsin Woolley-Barker, PhD.

 

An evolutionary biologist, writer, sustainability expert, and passionate biomimic in the Biomimicry 3.8 Professional Program, Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker is a contracted Biologist at the Design Table for Biomimicry 3.8. She is working on a book about organizational transformation inspired by nature.

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Tamsin Woolley-Barker, PhD.
The Biomimicry Manual: How Does Nature Make Saltwater Drinkable?

The Biomimicry Manual: How Does Nature Make Saltwater Drinkable?

It's frightening to think, but one of every six people in the world today doesn't have enough safe water to drink. Within 30 years, thirst will spread to three-quarters of the world’s

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Dung Beetles Teach Us About the Circular Economy?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Dung Beetles Teach Us About the Circular Economy?

Dung beetles eat poo. It’s what they do, and they do it many different ways. Rollers tumble it home in little balls; they cradle their eggs in it or save it for a snack. Tunnelers bury it

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Paper Wasps Teach Us About 3D Printing?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Paper Wasps Teach Us About 3D Printing?

3D printing is the coolest thing since sliced bread, but what should we print with? This could go horribly wrong if we don't take the opportunity to stop and ask how the rest of nature would

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency?

It's a scientific fact that there's nothing cuter than a baby sloth in a bucket. But even if Facebook 'likes' turn out not to correlate with biological fitness, sloths are a runaway success by

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Aye-Aye Teach Us About Echolocation?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Aye-Aye Teach Us About Echolocation?

You know bats and dolphins 'echolocate' to find their prey, sending out blips of squeaky SONAR-like sound waves that bounce off fish or moths in the dark. And people do it, too, using expensive

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Octopus Teach Us About Touch Screens, Wallpaper, and Invisibility Cloaks?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Octopus Teach Us About Touch Screens, Wallpaper, and Invisibility Cloaks?

Cephalopods are the undisputed masters of camouflage. While their relatives, the clams, stayed brainless and safe on the seabeds-of-old, the ancient nautilus (think squid-in-a-shell) made a

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Leaf-Cutter Ants Teach Us About Farming?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Leaf-Cutter Ants Teach Us About Farming?

About twelve thousand years ago, humans hit on a bright idea. Why not grow food in our backyards instead of having to go look for it every time our tummies grumble? It was a masterful stroke of

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Platypus Teach Us About Collision-Avoidance?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Platypus Teach Us About Collision-Avoidance?

The platypus is a funny little mammal found in Eastern Australia and Tasmania. Aside from echidnas (the also-very-weird Australian spiny anteaters) they are the only living mammals that lay

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Crows Teach Us About The Sharing Economy?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Crows Teach Us About The Sharing Economy?

Mother Nature doesn’t give her information for free. Her minions cloud their enemies’ judgement with devilish deception, and make plain the truth for their friends. Birds flock and fish

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Water Fleas Teach Us About Innovation?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Water Fleas Teach Us About Innovation?

In business, innovation is non-negotiable. Stay fresh, rot, or go stale. That’s never been truer than today, with volatile prices, weather, regulations, supply chains, and public sentiment.

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Newly Discovered Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992

Newly Discovered Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992

This week, the biggest animal discovery of the 21st century was announced. Meet kabomani, the “little black tapir.” He’s a shy and elusive fellow, living below the radar in the grasslands

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can Parasites Teach us About Zombies?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can Parasites Teach us About Zombies?

Halloween is tomorrow, and this young girl's fancies are turning to, what else? Zombies! Yes, we all secretly worry about the coming zombie apocalypse, though not enough to assemble the

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can Vultures Teach Us About Sterilization and Specialization?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can Vultures Teach Us About Sterilization and Specialization?

Did you know a coven of vultures swirling overhead is called a 'kettle?' I love that. It makes me think of a fortune teller's black magic tea-leaves, steeping in her stove-top cauldron. And of

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The Biomimicry Manual: How Do Beavers Create Business Opportunity?

The Biomimicry Manual: How Do Beavers Create Business Opportunity?

I’m fascinated by creatures that create new ways of life for others. Ecologists talk about ‘keystone species,’ ones which support entire ecosystems, like the central stone in a renaissance

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Nutcracker Teach Us About Farming and Regeneration?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Nutcracker Teach Us About Farming and Regeneration?

This morning I awoke to a blanket of soft white icing on the mountains around my Montana cabin, sweetly pink in the first light of day. Winter has breathed its first chill sigh here, and the

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The Biomimicry Manual: How Does Mother Nature Clean House?

The Biomimicry Manual: How Does Mother Nature Clean House?

In my last column for The Biomimicry Manual, I mentioned the way the sea snake keeps herself clean of barnacles and algae by shedding her skin. Keeping surfaces clean is a huge challenge and a

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can We Learn About Resilience, Weight Loss, and Kidney Disease from the Grizzly Bear?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can We Learn About Resilience, Weight Loss, and Kidney Disease from the Grizzly Bear?

I'm off to the wilds of Montana this week, doing some in-person, up-close biomimicry research, and I've got my fingers crossed I'll see a grizzly bear. But you know, over there, not over here.

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sea Snake Teach Us About Viagra, Boat Hulls and Desalination?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sea Snake Teach Us About Viagra, Boat Hulls and Desalination?

Let's say you decided to live in the ocean. Can you imagine the challenges you would face? Lot's of land animals have done exactly that, though the transition from land to sea happens gradually

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Honeybee Teach Designers About Insulation, Elasticity and Flight?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Honeybee Teach Designers About Insulation, Elasticity and Flight?

What exactly is biomimicry? I think of it as a way of unlocking a whole world of super-powers for humanity. It is literally the next stage of human evolution. Leonardo DaVinci himself said,

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Frigate Bird Teach Us about Flight?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Frigate Bird Teach Us about Flight?

The frigate bird is a powerful and aggressive seabird, with a deserved reputation as the pirate of the high seas. One of world's fastest birds, he swoops and soars up to 100 miles an hour,

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sunfish Teach Us About Submarines?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sunfish Teach Us About Submarines?

With a comically tiny mouth and a blunt cauliflower tail, the ocean sunfish is little more than a swimming head. Which is, in fact, its name in German. Grotesquely oversized, these monsters

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Whale Teach Us About Fans and Filters?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Whale Teach Us About Fans and Filters?

Humpback whale image from Shutterstock Whales are some of the most extreme creatures on Earth. The 115 foot, 150 foot ton Blue Whale, for instance, is the largest animal that ever lived.

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting?

Image © Mark Roy One of Australia's more bizarre creatures is the thorny devil or dragon, also known as the moloch. The devil is named for the ancient god Moloch, a hideous demon smeared

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Bombardier Beetle Teach Us About Fuel Injection?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Bombardier Beetle Teach Us About Fuel Injection?

Charles Darwin was a man inordinately fond of beetles. He once caught a rare specimen in one hand, when another, even more remarkable, beetle showed up. He snatched that one up with his other

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Designers Learn from the Hagfish About Spandex?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Designers Learn from the Hagfish About Spandex?

The Hagfish is a jawless, spineless horror, scavenging the ocean floor. Unchanged for the past 300 million years, this living fossil wields a fiendishly effective defense. When attacked, it

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Tree Shrew Teach Us About Addiction?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Tree Shrew Teach Us About Addiction?

In our newest series, The Biomimicry Manual, we are thinking about design in a different way and asking ourselves "How would nature do it?". Nature's designs are tried and true, and there are a

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Crucifix Toad Teach Us About Adhesives?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Crucifix Toad Teach Us About Adhesives?

Image © paulhypnos This colorful toad may be as tiny as a quarter, but he has got some big tricks up his sleeve. The Crucifix Toad, also known as the Holy Cross Frog, (Notaden bennettii),

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Pompeii Worm Teach Us About Heat and Chemical Resistance?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Pompeii Worm Teach Us About Heat and Chemical Resistance?

'Biomimicry' is a way of designing that asks "How would nature do it?". Other creatures on Earth have spent millions of years perfecting their craft in ways that are inherently sustainable. The

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