Evolutionary Morphology and Biomechanics Laboratory
Our lab studies the diversity and evolution of animal function. We are interested in questions about:
• How animals (and their parts) work
• How the ways that animals work affect their ability to survive
• How animal function varies to meet the demands of different environments
• How animal function has diversified and changed through evolution
To answer these questions, most of our research examines vertebrate muscle and bone function during locomotion, with a major focus on reptiles (especially turtles and alligators), amphibians, and fishes. Other work includes studies of fish feeding, vertebrate paleontology, and the mechanics and evolution of deer antler.
We use a wide range of techniques in these studies, drawing on experimental biomechanics (high-speed video, strain, EMG, force platforms, mechanical property testing), morphometrics (allometry, mechanical models of recent and fossil specimens), phylogenetic comparative methods, and field sampling.
Current Lab News
• Chase Kinsey joined the lab as a Phd student!
• Christopher Mayerl successfully defended his dissertation and is starting a postdoc at NEOMED!
• Amanda Palecek-McClung joined the lab as a masters in route student and David Munteanu joined the lab as a masters student!
• Vanessa Young successfully defended her dissertation and started as an assistant professor at St. Mary's College!
• Collaborative biorobotic study of locomotor tail use by models for early vertebrate invaders of land published in Science:
McInroe, B., H. C. Astley, C. Gong, S. M. Kawano, P. E. Schiebel, J. M. Rieser, H. Choset, R. W. Blob, D. I. Goldman. 2016. Tail use improves performance on soft substrates in models of early land locomotors. Science 353:154-158. Available HERE
(Perspectives commentary available HERE)
(Clemson video release available HERE)
• Undergraduate Jenna Pruette wins Creative Inquiry presentation award and will move to graduate studies at Auburn University - congratulations Jenna!
• XROMM study of turtle locomotion by PhD student Christopher Mayerl with collaborator Beth Brainerd (Brown University) highlighted in NSF feature on biomechanics research click here for link