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This paper proposes a cross-layer protocol for energy-aware routing in wireless sensor networks. The protocol combines the energy depreciation rate, node distance and neighbourhood information from physical layer together with TDMA schedules from the MAC layer and also network life requirements from the application layer, to effectively determine the most efficient routes to the base station. This cross layer efficiency measure is then used to form dynamic clusters that adapt to changing traffic and energy conditions so assisting to both control the transmission power and schedule the sleep-wake cycles of nodes for better energy utilisation. The proposed protocol is a recursive aggregation scheme that transforms a network-wide routing dissemination problem into a single-hop query protocol that aids nodes in making multi-hop routing decisions based solely upon the information provided by their single-hop neighbours. Results confirm that the proposed technique balances the load on forwarding nodes, adapts the MAC layer precisely to the routing layer and minimizes data delivery time for increased traffic and large scale networks.