2378 SPIETH HALL
(951) 827-3652 (Voice)
I aim to understand how animals function mechanically and physiologically in their environment. Specifically, I integrate biomechanics, muscle physiology and functional morphology to elucidate the mechanisms underlying locomotion and feeding in vertebrates. Given that the physiological mechanisms underlying locomotion and feeding have been modified over major evolutionary transitions in vertebrate ecology, I study various aspects of evolutionary adaptation by coupling my mechanical approaches with evolutionary and ecological perspectives.
Past and current research initiatives include: 1) The biomechanics and evolution of gecko locomotion, 2) Muscle dynamics and biomechanics of vertebrate locomotion, 3) Effects of exercise-induced fatigue on skeletal muscle mechanics and activation patterns, 4) The neurobiology and biomechanics of tail autotomy in lizards, 5) Physiology, biomechanics and evolution of predator-prey interactions in vertebrates, and 6) Hydrodynamics and biomechanics of suction feeding in fishes. Several of my research interests apply to biomedical physiology.
Higham, T.E., P.G. Korchari, and L.D. McBrayer. 2011. How muscles define maximum locomotor performance in lizards: An analysis using swing and stance phase muscles. Journal of Experimental Biology 214, 1685-1691.