Welcome to the Lab! We test ideas about the Performance, Energetics and Dynamics of Animal Locomotion. We study the Poly- or many- footed animals you see hanging on the walls. We have found that Diversity Enables Discovery. We have discovered remarkably general principles and spectacular specializations. We generate and test hypotheses by using computer workstations to model whole animals, their legs and even their muscles. We conduct direct experiments by using a fancy 3D scale called a force platform set in a track way to measure the force produced by an animal during running. The two platforms set-up here in the main lab are so sensitive that you can measure fluctuations due to air currents. We use a photoelastic technique to measure the ground forces generated by a single leg. The animals run on Jello set between two polarizing filters with a light shining up though it. As a leg pushes, light comes through as you see in the photo on the wall.
(Click on the right and left sides of the picture to scan the lab.)