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  1. Fudge, D., Hillis, S., Levy, N., and Gosline, J. 2010. Hagfish slime threads as a biomimetic model for high performance protein fibres. Biomimetics & Bioinspiration published online 20/08/2010; 5 -
  2. Lillie, M.A., Shadwick, R.E. & Gosline, J.M 2010. Mechanical anisotropy of inflated elastic tissue from pig aortas. Journal of Biomechanics 43: 2070–2078
  3. Lv, S., Dudek, Daniel M, Cao, Yi, Balamurali, M. M., Gosline, J. M. & Li, Hongbin 2010. Designed biomaterials to mimic the mechanical properties of muscles. Nature, London 465: 69 – 73
  4. Ortlepp, C. & Gosline, J.M 2008. The scaling of safety factor in spider draglines. J. Exp. Biol. 211: 2832-2840
  5. Savage, K. N. & Gosline, J.M 2008. The effect of proline on the network structure of major ampullate silks as inferred from their mechanical and optical properties. J. Exp. Biol. 211: 1937-1947


John Gosline

Emeritus Professor

Office phone: 604-822-6745
Research area: Comparative Physiology
Lab Members: M. Lillie, K. Savage
History: Postdoctoral Fellow, Cambridge Univ. (1970-73); Assistant Professor, U.B.C. (1973-80); Associate Professor, U.B.C. (1980-86); Professor, U.B.C. (1986 - 2008)

My research field is comparative biomechanics, concentrating on the design of structural materials in animal skeletons and on the mechanics of locomotion in soft-bodied animals.

Our work in biomaterials falls in two areas: (1) the characterization of rubber-like proteins, and (2) the mechanical and molecular design of high performance protein polymers. Our research on protein rubbers deals with the physical chemistry and dynamic mechanical properties of these proteins and with the mechanical design of the arterial elastic tissues in which these rubber-like proteins are found. This includes studies on the elastic mechanism of elastin, on the process of vibration-induced fatigue in mammalian arteries, the characterization of elastic proteins and elastic arteries in cephalopod molluscs and marine mammals. Our research with high-performance protein polymers centres on mechanical and molecular design of spider silks, byssal fibres, hagfish slime fibres and horse hoof keratin.

Invertebrate Locomotion
Much of our work on locomotion deals with the role of elastic energy storage in the mechanics of jet-propelled swimming in squid and jellyfish. This includes an investigation into the structure and mechanical properties of a collagen fibre-lattice in squid mantle and an analysis of the contribution of stored elastic energy to the animal's propulsive mechanism. We recently completed a study on the swimming mechanics of hydrozoan jellyfish in which we demonstrated that the mesogleal bell is an elastic structure that resonates at a frequency that is essentially identical to the jet frequency.



Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Service

For Service


UBC Killam Research Prize

For Research


Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

For Research


Fellow A.A.A.S.

For Research

Last updated 2 July 2009