Ocean Innovation: Biomimetics Beneath the Waves, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ocean Innovation

Biomimetics Beneath the Waves, 1st Edition

By Iain A. Anderson, Julian Vincent, John Montgomery

CRC Press

188 pages

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Hardback: 9781439837627
pub: 2016-06-01
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pub: 2016-03-30
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Biomimetics is the idea of creating new technologies abstracted from what we find in biology. Ocean Innovation: Biomimetics Beneath the Waves seeks that technological inspiration from the rich biodiversity of marine organisms.

Bringing both a biological and engineering perspective to the biomimetic potential of oceanic organisms, this richly illustrated book investigates questions such as:

  • How can we mimic the sensory systems of sea creatures like sharks, sea turtles, and lobsters to improve our ability to navigate underwater?
  • What can we do to afford humans the opportunity to go unnoticed by marine life?
  • How can we diffuse oxygen from water to enable deep diving without the risk of decompression sickness?

Each chapter explores an area where we, as divers and technologists, can benefit from understanding how animals survive in the sea, presenting case studies that demonstrate how natural solutions can be applied to mankind’s engineering challenges.

Table of Contents

Homo aquaticus


Swimming through syrup


The hydrostat


Jet propulsion for soft bodies

Squid jet propulsion

Jellyfish jet propulsion





Friction and form drag

Wave drag


Fins and brains


Listening to the silent world


Underwater sensing for navigation and survival



Electrical and magnetic fields


Stealth and show: A mind game


About the Authors

Iain A. Anderson is an associate professor with the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He is also a cofounder of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), where he is a principle investigator. He leads the ABI Biomimetics Laboratory that is exploring the use of dielectric elastomer electroactive polymers for stretchable electronics, wearable sensors, soft robots, and energy harvesters. Anderson is a keen advocate for fin propulsion. Together with his lab, he has developed and raced a fin-driven human-propelled racing submarine. In 2012, with two of his former students, he launched StretchSense Ltd. He is a director and chief scientist for this Biomimetics Lab spin-off company that produces soft and wearable sensors. As an avid underwater photographer, Anderson has written and illustrated a number of articles about life in the sea for magazines including Dive New Zealand and New Zealand Geographic. He has also written and illustrated several books about sea life.

John C. Montgomery is a professor. He holds a personal chair in Biological Science at the University of Auckland. Until recently, he was the director of Auckland University’s Leigh Marine Laboratory and the university’s newly established Institute for Marine Science. His scientific work sits at the interface of marine science and neuroscience, and he has published extensively on sensory behavior and the physiology of fish, including hearing, hydrodynamic senses, and the quite extraordinary electrosensory system of sharks and rays. The neuroscience context of his work includes the consideration of central mechanisms to distinguish signal and noise in sensory input, and the evolution of the cerebellum. Montgomery’s work has been recognized by his election to the Royal Society of New Zealand, an International Brain Research Organization Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and most recently a James Cook Fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand. He also plays an active role in promoting marine science and communicating science to the public.

Julian Vincent is a zoologist. He earned his first degree at Cambridge University and second and third degrees at Sheffield University. He started his career at the University of Reading as a zoologist and ended it at the University of Bath (both in the United Kingdom) as a professor of Mechanical Engineering. He was a part-time lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London until 2010. He has worked in many interdisciplinary contexts, such as mechanical engineering, materials science, architecture, design, creativity, biology, materials, food physics, and food texture. He is, and has been, a member of numerous scientific and advisory boards. He cofounded the Centres of Biomimetics in Reading and Bath, and is president of the International Society for Bionic Engineering. Vincent is a senior research associate in zoology at Oxford University, honorary professor at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal (Germany), and adjunct professor in engineering and materials at Clemson University (USA).

About the Series

Biomimetics Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biotechnology