Katharina Bunk Katharina Bunk

My name is Katharina Bunk, I am 26 years old and work as a PhD student in the ‘Plant Biomechanics Group’ in the beautiful city of Freiburg. I studied Biology at the University of Munich followed by the Master program ‘Bionik/ Biomimetics in Energy Systems’ in Villach/ Austria. I am especially interested in Botany and therefore chose Plant Biomechanics as my main field of research.

All articles by Katharina Bunk

 

When lightning strikes…

When I think about electricity and nature – lightnings are the first thing coming to my mind. Not only is the phenomenon of such a huge amount of electricity being released at once absolutely amazing. Also, the atmosphere and feeling, lightnings can create are very special. Some people are scared of them and hide under...
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Summer is over!

Dear followers! Welcome back – we hope you had a relaxing holiday and are now ready to start in the new school year, semester or get back to work!   We are starting again this week with new theme sessions and articles – our first one will be ELECTRICITY.   Are you interested in contributing...
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Summer is here…

… and BlogIONIK is on vacation. Thanks a lot to all of you for following us throughout another year. We hope we can still fascinate you with our articles and stories. What do you think about our new concept of topical collections?   To get in the summer mood, maybe it’s time to (re)read some...
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Part 3: Where to study Biomimetics in Europe?

Dear readers. Before we start our summer break, we’d like to write a short update on our successful article series ‘Where to study Biomimetics in Europe’. In case you have not yet read the first two parts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. We have the feeling, our series is a...
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How do plants filter salt? A visit to the mangroves

After learning how fish are dealing with high salt concentrations (and especially with changing salt concentrations), I would like to continue with a similar topic this week – but in the plant kingdom. How do plants filter salt out of the water? In particular, I will focus on mangroves – plants which are actually growing...
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Living among the algae – the better battery …?

The topic of energy storage is more up-to-date than ever. Electric mobility solutions are in need of high-capacity batteries to operate over large distances. The demand for renewable energy sources like wind or solar energy is growing – but those resources are not continuously available. Practical solutions to store energy, available during storms or sunshine...
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7 things you always wanted to know about: Trees

In a month about wood, there is certainly one topic which must not be neglected: trees. I would like to close our theme session with this article, which will hopefully answer your most frequently asked questions about trees.   What is a tree? Even though almost everyone knows what a tree looks like and probably...
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Exploring… WOOD. Our new theme session.

Today I have the honour to introduce our new theme session and write the editorial for the next four weeks, which are going to be all about: WOOD. I am very excited about this theme session. All our previous theme sessions (LIGHT, ICE, SURFACES) had a physical background. Even if not all of our articles...
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Biomimetics and Sustainability: the example of self-cleaning surfaces

Sustainability … …a catchy word these days! In times of population growth, climate change and environmental challenges, one should think and act in a sustainable way…right? This can mean reducing meat consumption, avoiding plastic bags or cycling instead of using the car: living a sustainable life can look differently on everyone. But still, one thing...
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Merry XMas from BlogIONIK

Dear followers,   Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017. We will take a holiday break of two weeks and be back with a new theme session in the second week of January ’17.   This was an exciting year for us. We celebrated our first year anniversary with a week full of videos,...
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ICE in the botanical world: Frost-resistant plants

The theme of ice gave me a hard time finding a topic to write about. Being the botanist in our group, of course I wanted to write about plants, which made me think about the challenges plants are facing with ice or snow. In areas of constant low temperature, vegetation is generally pretty scarce. Of...
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Moving towards the LIGHT. The secret of the sunflower

A few months ago I was sharing my car for a road trip. After some minutes of small talk with my fellow passenger it was unavoidable for me to admit that I was a botanist. I am always scared of that moment. It gives your counterpart the unique opportunity to ask this one question, he...
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The forest – ecosystem and/ or organism?

Is there a person who does not like forests? Someone who is not fascinated by the atmosphere, the smell, the sounds of a forest? Maybe some people are scared by forests. The darkness, the many places to hide and unknown sounds. But actually: that’s what makes the forest a mystical and tempting place to be,...
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Plans and Vision: Let the second year begin

Hello everyone and welcome to our last article of this anniversary week!   We would like to finish this week with an article about our plans and visions for next year. Where do we want to go with BlogIONIK? How are we planning to change our way of writing articles? What can we do differently...
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One year ago …. revival FAQ BlogIONIK

One year goes by fast! Hello, dear followers and welcome to our one year anniversary week of BlogIONIK! We are excited to celebrate the first birthday of BlogIONIK together with you throughout this week.   What is awating you? A resumee of our first year and plans for the next one, personal video introductions of...
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BlogIONIK is on holiday

Dear followers, we are on holiday!   With temperatures rising and outdoor activities calling we will take a few weeks off to be back with new articles and fresh ideas by the end of July. We are looking forward to soon be celebrating our one-year-blogging-anniversary with you!   Have a great time,   Anja, Kathi,...
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Part 2: Where to study Biomimetics in Europe?

In last week’s article we already presented you three possibilities to study Biomimetics in Europe. The Bachelor program ‘Bionik’ at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences in Bocholt, the Master program ‘Bionik/ Biomimetics in Energy System’ at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in Villach and the Bachelor/ Master program in ‘Biology’ at the University...
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Part 1:Where to study Biomimetics in Europe?

Did you know that you can study Biomimetics at several universities/ universities of applied sciences in Europe? Even though Biomimetics is a very young field of science, it is starting to get more and more into university education as a popular subject. A detailed list and a lot of links to institutions where you can...
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10 questions to … Prof. Thomas Speck!

Today we would like to introduce a new article format which will appear on our blog from time to time: ‚10 questions to …‘. We are interviewing people working in the field of Biomimetics and ask them questions concerning their work, interest and opinion on their subject. We will try to choose interviewees with different...
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Flectofin® – a hingless flapping mechanism

If there is one astonishing example for a biomimetic project following the ‘bottom up approach’, it is the example of the Bird-of-paradise flower Strelitzia reginae with its extraordinary hingeless flapping (opening) mechanism. This biological system has been successfully analyzed, its functional principle abstracted and implemented in a technical system as a cooperation between biologists, engineers...
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Baubotanik – a synergy of Botany and Architecture

We have written already quite a lot about the concept behind the subject Biomimetics: to analyse a biological system or structure, extract its functional principles, abstract and implement it in technology. Today I would like to introduce the topic Baubotanik which fits in this context, even though it is not actually a biomimetic process by...
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Give and take – the success of natural symbiosis

In my last article (Go with the flow) you could read about natural material flows and how nutrients and resources continuously cycle through ecosystems. Today I want to follow up on this and tackle another ecologically relevant topic: natural symbiosis. Why are symbiotic relationships so important? What is the success story of this type of...
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Merry Christmas from the BlogIONIK team …

Merry Christmas from the BlogIONIK team and a happy new year 2016!   We wish you a joyful time and lots of fun catching up on the latest BlogIONIK articles. We won’t publish throughout the holidays but invite you to share your thoughts and opinions.   BlogIONIK is online for approximately four months now. We are...
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“Go with the flow” – learning from natural material flows

When we think about Biomimetics, it is mostly a specific structure, system or working principle from nature, we are trying to learn from for technology. We observe an interesting plant shape, witness sophisticated movements of animals or explore complex chemical compositions. Today, I would like to suggest a different perspective to Biomimetics – taking a...
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Daily life Biomimetics

At this point, you have probably read some of our articles about Biomimetic research and products. We hope that we could give you an idea of the exciting world of Biomimetics and its potential which fascinates us so much! But I would like to pause for a moment here and tackle a reasonable question which...
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How to abstract a biological system to an easy experiment

Biology is quite a complex subject. Especially when you are trying to get deeper into a topic and understand how it is built up, functions and works, it can be very challenging and time-consuming to study a particular topic to its full extent. Still – behind every complex function there is a basic principle or...
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My personal experience with biomimetics (Kathi)… or: how I ended up here!

Working in the field of biology is exciting! It reveals new challenges everyday – there is a tremendous amount of things to study, research and analyse – in the world of a biologist, nothing should remain unknown. We want to understand everything that’s going on in our organic world.   But … what for?  ...
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FAQ ‘Blogionik’… or: introducing our blog!

The name of our blog combines two words: Blog & Bionik … and this is exactly what we are planning to do: to blog about Bionik! ‘Bionik’ itself is also a combination of two (german) words: Biologie & Technik – and what this actually means will also be discussed in this article. But before we...
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