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The focus of our research group is to investigate changes in the fluid dynamic environment of organisms as they grow or shrink in size over evolutionary or developmental time. In particular, we are interested in the efficiency of various mechanisms of fluid transport and locomotion. Our approach to these problems is to use kinematic and morphometric data to design physical models and numerical simulations. These models and simulations are then used to better understand the fluid dynamic forces experienced by organisms. Our work focuses on a few of model systems: 1) flight adaptations in the smallest flying insects, such as thrips and parasitoid wasps, 2) the mechanisms of blood pumping during development in the embryonic heart and over evolutionary time in chordate hearts, and 3) feeding currents generated by the upside down jellyfish.
All students and researchers who are interested in using an interdisciplinary approach to study problems in comparative biomechanics and physiology are encouraged to join the group! Prospective graduate students can find more information here. Our lab includes mathematicians who have not formally studied biology since high school and biologists who have not formally studied math since calculus I. We've also had chemists, physicists, engineers, and artists work both in the lab and with us as collaborators.