In the Fluid Locomotion Laboratory, we take a multidisciplinary approach, integrating comparative anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, fluid dynamics, and biologically-inspired robotic devices to investigate the ways in which organisms interact with their environment and drive the evolutionary selection of morphology and function. By combining these different areas, we are able to approach broad-impact ecological and evolutionary questions from an experimental perspective and directly test the effective relationship between an organism and its environment. We use both live animal and robotic models to investigate several ongoing research projects in our lab. One major initiative focuses on the functional morphology of the remora’s adhesive apparatus with applications in defense, healthcare, and technologies and devices requiring long-term reversible attachment in wet conditions. Other projects include studying the swimming behaviors of sharks, reptiles, and robotic models to interpret the functional morphology of extinct ichthyosaurs, modeling the passive high-throughput flow dynamics of chondrichthyan egg cases, and investigating the adaptive morphology and comparative biomechanics of fishes that can walk on land.
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