self portrain

Andrew Smith

Professor, Biology
Phone: 607-274-3975
Office: 155 Center for Natural Sciences
Speciality: Animal Physiology, Biomechanics


  • AB Dartmouth College, Biology
  • PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Biology

Other Involvement:

Overview of current research:

We are currently investigating the nature of the adhesive secretions of a variety of molluscs.  These are gels:  they consist of a dilute, tangled network of polymers.  These adhesives are neither truly solid, like a cement, nor fluid, like the water under a sucker.  For lack of a better term, they are often referred to as mucus.  The structure of these gels varies widely, however, and the catch-all term "mucus" is probably inappropriate.  The function of these gels varies widely as well.  Some gels are outstanding lubricants.  Some are excellent adhesives.  Intriguingly, it appears that many molluscs can convert a slippery gel into a powerful adhesive.  Thus, we are comparing the structure of different adhesive gels with the goal of determining the functional significance of structural features.

My contribution to the development of a novel medical glue was highlighted this summer by articles in the Smithsonian Magazine, Science News, PBS and The Washington Post. (See articles below.)  Other involvement is included on my Research page.

slug and slime

Credit: Rebecca Falconer, Ithaca College

My lab is studying how slug glue achieves its strong sticking power and flexibility, insights that could be used to create better medical adhesives.

Most recently, Chris Gallego  and Becca  Falconer presented their work at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Orlando, Florida. April 2019..

  • There was an accompanying news release, "Slug glue reveals clues for making better medical adhesives".  Findings could lead to suture alternatives that are flexible and strong.

If you interested in conducting research in my lab, then please follow the link below:

Check out Department events/announcements.