Broadly I am interested in understanding the changes in the tetrapod vertebral column and its effects on whole-body dynamic, locomotion, and the role of paleobiology in bio-inspired robotic systems. I employ an integrative approach that includes physical modeling, morphometrics, and macroevolutionary statistical techniques to investigate vertebral morphology changes in dynamic joint behavior. I am focused on the evolution of multipartite and complex vertebral forms and terrestrial locomotion changes through deep geologic time.
Vertebral Mechanics in Tetrapod Locomotion
Vertebral morphologies have varied drastically through deep time, and a considerable shape diversity persisted through the late Paleozoic. My previous work found that one group of early amphibians evolved and secondarily evolved forms to fit their new environment. My current work focuses on the mechanical response of these shape variations and the role such changes play in dynamic locomotion.
Seminar Talk Upcoming (SICB 2024):Local stiffness and damping values in 3D printed models of intervertebral cartilage to inform dynamic locomotion models in extinct taxa
Paleobiology and Bio-inspired Robotics
Living systems across the planet provide a source of inspiration for Bio-inspired roboticists. After hundreds of millions of years, biology has built solutions to innumerable problems. Using a paleobiological framework (paleo)bio-inspired roboticists can find an even greater depth of understanding in form-function-environment relationships.
Physical Modeling in Experimental Paleontology
Virtual modeling has added a wealth of information to paleontology. Using state of the art 3D printers and materials I build physical models to aid our virtual understanding of these ancient taxa. By combining ancient vertebral forms and modern 3D printing capabilities physically re-animate the motion of early tetrapods.