Come and visit us in the Department of Bioengineering.
Welcome to the
Evolutionary Biomechanics Group!
How do climbing animals run with sticky feet? The short answer is: we don't really know... The slightly longer answer, hot off the press:
September 2019
Who sticks better?
Year 9 students tested the strength of commercial adhesives and compared them to insect pads.
As always, insects won.
August 2019
For winning the best poster prize for their 3rd year project on measuring bite forces in small insects!
Well done Team Grasshopper!
June 2019
Who just gave her final MEng presentation on viscosity measurements of insect adhesive secretions!
Congratulations Myrta!
June 2019
Have a look at our paper:
Our claws made the cover of the Journal of Experimental Biology!
June 2019
Turns out it's really just muscle...
Ever wondered what's inside an ant's head?
May 2019
Who won the prestigious
President's Scholarship,
and will be joining our group
for his PhD!
January 2019
Both started their PhD, and received a traditional German Schultüte to help with the excitement of the first day!
Welcome Andrea and Freddie!
October 2018
David talks about how body size plays a key role for the remarkable tricks insects have up their sleeves, in the two-part BBC series Size Matters, narrated by Hannah Fry!
Does size matter?
July 2018
Biologists are concerned with life, and engineers study technology.  Biomechanics is where both meet, as it is the study of the technology of living things. No living creature, no matter how complex, can escape the law of physics. In the Evolutionary Biomechanics Group, we exploit these universal constraints to study the evolution, ecology and behaviour of various organisms.
To this end, we employ a large spectrum of methodological approaches from engineering and physics, build our own experimental rigs to measure forces and deformations at small scales, conduct analytical and numerical modelling, and generally try to work in an integrative and comparative framework. Our multi-disciplinary research is often conducted in close collaboration with a number of laboratories and non-academic institutions, such as zoos, all over the world. Get in touch if you want to know more, or even do some work with us!

Our research
The biomechanics of insect herbivory

We study how mechanical constraints influence the performance and behaviour of the prime consumer of plant material throughout the neotropics – the leaf-cutter ants.

Click here to learn more.

The physics of attachment in climbing animals

We investigate the fundamental principles that allow arthropods and small vertebrates to run with sticky feet.

Click here to learn more.

The evolution of advanced biological materials

We are interested in the structure-function relationship of high-performance biological materials, for example the minerals of avian eggshell, or the keratin of the fingernails of primates.

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We are hiring! We have three PhD positions opening in the next two years. They will all focus on insect biomechanics. Get in touch if you want to know more!  We are also always excited to hear from curious prospective postdoctoral researchers and collaborators from all scientific disciplines. We have experience in obtaining funding from a variety of sources, so please get in touch if you like what we do, and/or have an idea that you think would fit within our research interests.
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