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Broadly, I am interested in understanding 1) the interaction between paleobiology and robot design, 2)evaluating dynamic behaviors in extinct taxa with robot models, and 3)the relationship between changes in underlying anatomical systems and whole organism performance. I employ an integrative approach that includes bio-inspired robotics, morphometrics, and macroevolutionary statistical techniques to investigate vertebral morphology changes in dynamic joint behavior, the effect of spine design in robots, and changes to the robot design in response to biological extinction events.


Paleobiology and Bio-inspired Robotics

Living systems across the planet provide a source of inspiration for Bio-inspired roboticists this source is constrained to strategies that have only survived the most recent extinction. By applying a paleobiological framework (paleo), bio-inspired roboticists can access biological design trends, and novel design insights are only available when considering extinct taxa.

The deep time perspective: How insights from millennia of evolving and extinct animals can inform robot design decision-making

A Task-to-Intelligence Mapping: When is embodied intelligence worth designing?


Spine dynamics in extinct taxa and robots

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. I am interested in applying these data to spine design in legged robots.

Early amphibians evolved distinct vertebrae for habitat invasions

Twisting spine or rigid torso: Exploring quadrupedal morphology via trajectory optimization


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.

Updating studies of past life and ancient ecologies using defossilized organismal proxies

Defossilization: A Review of 3D Printing in Experimental Paleontology

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