Deb Bidwell

Deborah Bidwell

Senior Instructor


Certified Biomimicry Professional (BPro) - Biomimicry 3.8
M.S. - Biomimicry, Arizona State University
M.S. - Zoology, University of New Hampshire

Research Interests

My background is in marine finfish aquaculture (cod and flounder) and fisheries science.

My expertise is in Biomimicry, an interdisciplinary, emerging approach to sustainability that links biology, engineering, business, and design. Its goal is to transition humans from an industrial to an ecological age, taking a functional approach to problem solving by looking to nature for inspiration at the form, process, and systems level.  How might humans (re)learn to fit in here on earth and create conditions conducive to life?

Though I prefer to bring my students to nature through hands-on, experiential, natural history field courses, I also excel at bringing nature to my students in the classroom.  A sustainability ethos weaves through all of my teaching.  I utilize a modern interdisciplinary, interactive, research-backed, student-centered, liberal arts and sciences teaching pedagogy.  Specializing in the First Year Experience allows me to facilitate students in their transition from high school to college academics, at the onset of their professional lives.

Courses Taught

FYSE 108:   Biomimicry:  Nature as mentor
FYET 130:   Natural History of the Galápagos Islands
BIOL 101:   Concepts and Applications in Biology I.
BIOL 102:   Concepts and Applications in Biology II.
BIOL 111:   Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
BIOL 112:   Evolution, Form and Function of Organisms (traditional/online)
BIOL 204:   Humans and the Environment
BIOL 211:   Biodiversity, Ecology & Conservation Biology
BIOL 211D: Biodiversity, Ecology & Conservation Biology Discussion
BIOL 250:   Natural History of Spain
BIOL 250L:  Natural History of Spain Field Laboratory
BIOL 399:    Biology Independent Tutorial
BIOL 406:    Conservation Biology
BIOL 450:    Problems in Biology
BIOL 499:    Bachelors Essay
BIOL 453:    Special Topics:  Biomimicry Thinking
ENTR 360:   Special Topics:  Biomimicry Thinking
ENVT 352:   Special Topics:  Biomimicry Thinking
HONS 151:  Honors Biology I
HONS 152:  Honors Biology II
HONS 499:  Honors Bachelors Essay
HONS 399:  Honors Immersion
SPAN 315:   Spanish Special Assignment Abroad
URST 399:  Special Topics: Biomimicry Thinking

Honors & Awards

College of Charleston Distinguished Teaching Award 2019

Selected Publications

Singhal A, Bidwell D, Altherr A, Langford M. 2023. Biomimicry on The Ray: A Research Study of Biomimetic Pursuits. The Ray | Let’s Drive the Future. 

Stevens L, Bidwell D, Fehler M, and Singhal A. 2022. The Art and Science of Biomimicry—Abstracting Design Principles from Nature. In: Rezaei, N. (eds) Transdisciplinarity. Integrated Science, vol 5. Springer, Cham.

Rimington J, Cea JL, Herzlich T, Bidwell D, and Langford M. 2022. Seven Practices and Life’s Principles. In Beloved Economies (pp. 343–356). Page Two.

Bidwell D and Smirnoff D. 2022. Nature as mentor: catalyzing first year liberal arts and sciences undergraduate transition through a biomimicry first year seminar. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 34(1): 124-143.

Stevens L, Fehler M, Bidwell D, Singhal A, Baumeister D. 2022 Building from the Bottom Up: A Closer Look into the Teaching and Learning of Life’s Principles in Biomimicry Design Thinking Courses. Biomimetics 7, 25.

Singhal A, Bidwell D, Miller J, and Fuchs J. 2020. Urban resilience, inspired by nature. Shashwat- Let Nature Be. ISSN - 2581-9291

Sancho G and Bidwell D. 2014. Natural history of Spain: teaching students about nature and culture in a foreign country. Journal of Natural History Education and Experience 8: 1-8.

Bidwell D and Howell WH. 2001. The effect of temperature on first feeding, growth, and survival of larval witch flounder Glyptocephalus cynoglossus. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 32(4): 373-384.

Rabe JH, Brown JA, Bidwell D and Howell WH. 1998. Preliminary observations on the larviculture of witch flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus). Bulletin of the Aquaculture Association of Canada 98(2): 19-20.