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 Taryn Mead

Taryn Mead

Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher


+44 (0) 1392 725967

Building:One, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4ST, UK

Taryn Mead is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in the Business School under the new EU/ABIS consortium grant supporting ‘Innovation for Sustainability’ (I4S) 2013-2016. Taryn is a biologist, sustainability strategist and Certified Biomimicry Professional who has consulted with over 30 corporate, municipal and non-profit clients using biomimicry as a tool for innovation and sustainability. As a pioneering practitioner of biomimicry, she has worked on domestic and international projects ranging from new product design to industrial ecosystems to new cities for 2 million inhabitants. She has also served as the lead facilitator for numerous biomimicry workshops with corporate clients and lectured for large audiences.  

She graduated from Western State Colorado University with degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies, giving her a perspective on both the physical and socio-economic aspects of sustainability. During her early career, she worked at the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Polytech as a regenerative landscape designer.  After several years as a field biologist, Taryn joined Biomimicry 3.8 (formerly the Biomimicry Guild), where she spent 5 years working with Janine Benyus as a consultant, educator and lecturer.

Research clusters

Research interests

  • Biomimicry and Biologically Inspired Innovation at multiple levels of organizational design and innovation including Cradle-to-Cradle Design, Industrial Ecology and Circular Economy. 
  • Sustainability-Oriented Innovation, particularly in the context of multinational corporations.  Previous research on the innovation-decision process and innovation adoption.
  • Science-based targets for corporate sustainability, specifically Planetary Boundaries and the integration of earth systems governance in to corporate agendas.
  • Epistemological and ontological perspectives that enable the implementation of the regenerative and sustainable approaches to human development.
  • Metaphorical applications of biological theory to various socio-political contexts and how these concepts co-evolve through time.
  • Enabling women entrepreneurs in STEM disciplines, particularly in the context of emerging economies.

Following her years of the implementation of biomimicry in the private sector, Taryn’s PhD research investigates a deepened understanding of biomimicry in business model innovation and its potential for systemic changes in the economy. She is interested in the long-term benefits and challenges associated with biomimetic thinking in the innovation process.  Her broader research framework investigates the larger cultural shift of society from industrial, linear thinking to nature-based, systems-focused paradigm.

Current research activity

Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in partnership with the EU and Academy for Business in Society. Research topic is Biomimicry for Business Management Innovation.