Skip to Content
Home / Events / Nature@Noon: Small is Beautiful– But Could It Be Useful?


Nature@Noon: Small is Beautiful– But Could It Be Useful?

A Zoom presentation by Dr. Michele Lanan

January 27, 2021, 12:00 PM–1:00 PM

Please register for this event here.


Visualization technologies are taking us ever deeper into the microscopic reaches of our world, allowing us to glimpse even its tiniest features in stunning detail.

Some of the most startling revelations have come from an unexpected source – the interior recesses of ants. These tiny insects have evolved a fantastic variety of functional gut structures including precision valves, chambers that expand like origami under pressure, and elegant micro-sculpting for filtering fluids and bio-film adhesion. Could these remarkably diverse forms provide us with inspiration for new materials, architectural designs, or miniature medical technologies?

Join social-insect researcher, Michele Lanan as she discusses her explorations of the inner workings of ants and suggests novel bio-applications for some of her discoveries.

Michele Lanan is the resident research scientist at the Museum of Natural History’s Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. Lanan completed her doctoral and postdoctoral work at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she studied the collective behavior, diet, and the evolution of gut morphology in ants.

Nature@Noon is a series of workshops that explores the collection of ASU’s new NatureMaker library and its potential to inspire sustainable innovation. NatureMaker is a collaboration between the Biomimicry Center and the ASU Library.