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My interests lie in understanding the biomechanical and physiological mechanisms underlying animal movement. Specifically, I am interested in how muscle function is affected by ecological demand. I use comparative studies to understand the relationship between morphology, physiology, and ecology in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. I am currently investigating how muscle function and kinematics of the hindlimb and forelimb alter with changes in incline and perch diameter in anoles.
September 2011 - June 2016
University of Calfornia, Riverside
Field of study
- Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
A central question in biology is how animals successfully behave under complex natural conditions. Although changes in locomotor behaviour, motor control, and force production in relation to incline are commonly examined, a wide range of other factors, including a range of perch diameters, pervades arboreal habitats. Moving on different substrate d...
Interspecific variation in animal form, function and behaviour is often associated with habitat use, implying co-adaptation. Numerous studies of the 'ecomorphs' of Greater Antillean anoles support this generality, but no other lizard group has shown unambiguous, consistent relationships between limb length and habitat use. We tested for such relati...
The ability to modulate the function of muscle is integral to an animal's ability to function effectively in the face of widely disparate challenges. This modulation of function can manifest through short-term changes in neuromuscular control, but also through long-term changes in force profiles, fatigability, and architecture. However, the relativ...
All animal behavior involves movement, and most behavior involves locomotion, i.e., the act of self-propulsion. Arguably, “Locomotion, movement through the environment, is the behavior that most dictates the morphology and physiology of animals” (Dickinson et al. 2000). In other words, natural and sexual selection often act on locomotor performance...
Successful locomotion through complex, heterogeneous environments requires the muscles that power locomotion to function effectively under a wide variety of conditions. Although considerable data exist on how animals modulate both kinematics and motor pattern when confronted with orientation (i.e. incline) demands, little is known about the modulat...
The range of inclines and perch diameters in arboreal habitats poses a number of functional challenges for locomotion. To effectively overcome these challenges, arboreal lizards execute complex locomotor behaviors involving both the forelimbs and the hindlimbs. However, few studies have examined the role of forelimbs in lizard locomotion. To charac...
Aquatic flight is the primary locomotor mode for many animals, including penguins and other diving birds, turtles, and fishes, where labriform and rajiform swimming have been the focus of much interest. However, despite its interesting phylogenetic placement, little is known about the aquatic flight of the sister lineage to the elasmobranchs, the c...