13-15 Sep 2023 Paris (France)

International Symposium on Palaeo-bioinspiration (PALBINS)


The French Natural History Museum (MNHN) was delighted to host the first International Symposium on Palaeo-bioinspiration (PALBINS), 13th-15th September in Paris, France.


Bioinspiration is an approach to innovation that converts ideas and principles found in nature into novel products, processes and systems, ideally contributing to sustainable development. Given that current species represent only 0.1% of all life that has ever existed on earth, a bioinspired approach based on the observation of paleobiological systems increases the potential of bioinspiration considerably. The fossil record offers not only a great diversity of biological models, but also provides context for understanding form-function relationships, and the origins of key traits observed in living systems.

The 2023 International symposium on Palaeo-bioinspiration, coordinated by Bioinspire-Museum, will be the first dedicated to this subject. The symposium aims to create connections between palaeontologists, designers, engineers and industry representatives to foster bioinspiration initiatives focused on the fossil record.


PALBINS: Final agenda (pdf available)


13th September:

Location: Auditorium of the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, 36 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire

  • 13:00 – Welcome and registration
  • 13:30 – MNHN Introduction
  • 13:50 – Michelle Price (Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities, Brussels): CETAF and Palaeo-bioinspiration
  • 14:10 – Guillaume Lecointre (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris): Story-tellings

 Principles of Palaeo-bioinspiration

  • 14:35 – Michael Habib (University of California, Los Angeles): Palaeo-bioinspiration: Drawing on the fossil record to advance innovation
  • 15:00 – Tea/Coffee
  • 15:30 – Thomas Speck (University of Freiburg): Fossil plants as inspiration for biomimetic materials systems in technology and architecture
  • 15:55 – Eberhard Frey (State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe): Biomimesis, Bionics, technical biology and Paleontology: revisiting the neglected function of comparison
  • 16:20 – Discussion: Principles of Palaeo-bioinspiration (moderated by Eberhard Frey)
  • 16:50 - Sylvain Charbonnier and Stéphanie Targui (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris): "Mondes disparus»: Introduction to the MNHN's forthcoming exhibition
  • 17:30 - Close


14th September:

Location: Auditorium of the Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, 1 rue René Panhard

  •  9:00 – Welcome and Coffee

Palaeo-bioinspiration applications 1: Construction and protection

  • 9:30 - Chris Broeckhoven (European Space Agency): Learning from the past, looking to the future: glyptodonts as bioinspiration for meteoroid shielding
  • 9:55 - Alexandra Houssaye (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris): Bone structure-function relationships for palaeo-bioinspiration
  • 10:20 – Ardian Jusufi (Swiss Federal Labs for Materials Science and Technology/University of Zurich): PaleoRobotic reconstruction of a mammalian knight: When evolution leads to armor and tail weaponry
  • 10:45 - Tea/Coffee
  • 11:15 - Gilles Cuny (Université Claude Bernard-Lyon I): Fish enameloid: a model for multi-function material?
  • 11:40 - Natasha Heil (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette): Back to the future architecture: a new shell structure design inspired by glyptodont body armour
  • 12:05 - Nathan Pili (University of Manchester): When is a bone not a bone?
  • 12:30 – Lunch

 Palaeo-bioinspiration applications 2: Hydrodynamics and Aeromechanics

  • 14:00 - Héctor Botella Sevilla (University of Valencia): Palaeozoic armoured jawless fishes as inspiration in the design of biomimetic Micro-Underwater Vehicles
  • 14:25 - Marc Desmulliez (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh): Measurement of drag coefficients of 3D printed inflated ammonite shells
  • 14:50 - Michael Habib (University of California, Los Angeles): Winged Wonders: Pterosaur anatomy yields unique insights for mechanical design
  • 15:15 – Romain Garrouste (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris): Can the dragonflies of the past, including the giants of the Palaeozoic, inspire us? Lessons in extant biophysics applied to insect fossils
  • 15:40 - Coffee/tea

 Palaeo-bioinspiration applications 3: Sensing and thermo-dynamics

  • 16:10 - Tom Challands (University of Edinburgh): Palaeobioinspiration from fossil fish sensory systems
  • 16:35 - François Clarac (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris): The crocodilian bone ornamentation: a heat transfer device
  • 17:00 - Discussion: Palaeo-bioinspiration applications (moderated by Thomas Speck/Alexandra Houssaye)
  • 17:30 – Close
  • 19:00 – Cocktail (Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, 1 rue René Panhard)


15th September:

Location: Auditorium of the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, 36 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire

  • 9:00 – Welcome and Coffee
  • 9:30 - Palaeo-bioinspiration: Challenges and future directions (moderated by Chris Broeckhoven and Mike Habib)
  • 11:30 – Discussion/next steps for PALBINS community
  • 12:00 – Closing ceremony
  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Tour of the MNHN (Meeting point: outside the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, 36 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire)


We are happy to announce that CETAF (Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities) and the CNRS GDR Biomim (Biomimicry and Bioinspiration Research Network) will be supporting PALBINS this year.


Registration fees

PhD Students: 30 euros

Professors/Researchers: 75 euros

Industry representatives:  100 euros

Please note that regardless of your selection to give a talk or present a poster, you will have to register separately if you wish to participate in the symposium.





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