Dr Sutherland is studying the evolution of silk in insects and other invertebrates.
Dr Tara Sutherland: researching advanced biomimetic materials
Dr Tara Sutherland is developing new biomimetic materials by researching naturally occurring structural proteins from insects and other invertebrates.
30 July 2009 | Updated 25 September 2012
Dr Sutherland is Leader for the Biomimetic Materials team at CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences. Her current activities involve researching new biomimetic materials in insects, including:
the evolution of silks in insects
The aim of this research is to discover versatile protein materials from invertebrates, with desirable qualities such as, extreme strength, elasticity and durability.
Dr Sutherland completed her Doctorate while working for CSIRO Entomology, before taking a Postdoctoral Research Associate position at the Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, United States of America (USA) from 1994-97.
At the end of 1997, Dr Sutherland returned to CSIRO as a Postdoctoral Fellow working for the Division of Wildlife and Ecology (now Division of Ecosystems Sciences) on the genetic engineering of Myxoma virus.
In 1998, she returned to the Division of Entomology to work on the bioremediation of pesticides, particularly:
Her research involved the discovery and improvement of enzymes capable of degrading these pesticides.
After completing her Master of Science, Dr Sutherland received her Doctorate in Insect Molecular Genetics and Physiology from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia in 1994.
Her doctoral thesis was titled Regulation of juvenile hormone synthesis in Lucilia cuprina.
Learn more about our research with Bioindustries in CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences.