Comparative biomechanics is the study of how anatomy and physiology have evolved into the endless forms of living organisms we see around us. My past and current research investigates the evolution of flight – both in the sense of the origin of flapping flight in dinosaurs, and in the sense of the evolution of the immense diversity in flying shapes and styles we see in living species.

I am also interested in the evolution of movement-based behaviors which often requires bringing lab-based biomechanics techniques to study animals in natural settings. Many of these questions can be addressed just outside the door, so my students and I practice what I call backyard biomechanics.