Deban Laboratory

Physiology and Biomechanics of Movement

Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida

In the Deban Lab we examine the biomechanical and physiological mechanisms of animal movement and aim to understand how these mechanisms change through evolution. Our research integrates behavioral, biomechanical, and physiological analyses to reveal proximate mechanisms of our study organisms as well as general design principles. We also take an evolutionary approach to gain insight into how present form and function came to be. The ultimate goal is to formulate broad principles about how complex systems evolve in the face of changing and conflicting functional demands. Read more about our research.

Deban Lab Members

Stephen M. Deban, Associate Professor. My broad interests are in the areas of vertebrate morphology and physiological function, particularly musculoskeletal systems. The current focus in my lab is the influence of environmental factors on the biomechanics and physiology of extreme behaviors. See my profiles on Google Scholar and ResearchGate.

Mary Kate O'Donnell, Ph.D. Candidate. Studying climbing performance across the salamander family Plethodontidae, the effect of biologically relevant surface variables on climbing kinematics and adhesion, and the mechanisms used by some salamanders to achieve their spectacular climbing performance.

Christian Brown, Ph.D. Student. Locomotion and ecology in salamanders, currently examining jumping and directed aerial descent in flightless animals.

Taylor Kelsay, M.S. Student. Locomotion in salamanders, currently examining the effects of temperature on swimming performance.

This could be you! If you are interesting in doing undergraduate or graduate research, find out more.

Deban Lab Alumni


Christopher Anderson

Segall Bloom

Maranda Holley

Nick Larghi

Jeffrey Olberding

Jason Richardson

William Ryerson

Paula Sandusky

Jeffrey Scales

Thomas Sheridan

Charlotte Stinson