Researchers currently active at the Concord Field Station
Andrew A. Biewener
Lyman Professor of Biology
Director, Concord Field Station
Editor, Journal of Experimental Biology
Chair, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Research interests: My work and that of members of my group involves research on a variety of projects concerned with the biomechanics, neuromuscular function, and control of animal movement to address the following questions:
- - What features of the musculoskeletal system reflect the demands for powered flight versus those for economical movement over ground?
- - How do animals maneuver in their environment and stabilize in response to perturbations?
- - How does size affect animal design and performance?
- - How can biological systems inform robotics design?
Our work examines how musculoskeletal design requirements vary across locomotor modes and conditions, as well as diverse species. Our goal is to understand general principles that govern the biomechanical and physiological design of vertebrate neuro-musculoskeletal systems. Limb and body dynamics of whole animal movement are analyzed in relation to the dynamics of neuromuscular, tendon and skeletal function. Click on our lab group to learn more about ongoing work in our lab!
Research interests: Our research focuses on the physical interaction between flying insects and their environment, and on how physiology, morphology and behavior contribute to the performance of ecologically relevant flight behaviors. We strive to link the worlds of lab-based insect flight biomechanics and field-based insect flight ecology to understand the physical foundation of diverse, natural flight behaviors. Projects in the lab explore topics such as phylogenetic patterns and mechanical consequences of wing flexibility, physical mechanisms of flight control via abdominal and leg movements, turbulence in natural environments and its effects on insect flight stability, and the role of flight performance in aerial predator-prey and competitive interactions.
Combes, SA, TL Daniel. (2005) Flexural stiffness in insect wings: Effects of wing venation and stiffness distribution on passive wing bending. American Entomologist, Spring 2005: 42-44. (pdf)
Combes, SA, TL Daniel. (2003) Flexural stiffness in insect wings. I. Scaling and the influence of wing venation. J. Exp. Biol. , 206(17): 2979-2987. (pdf)
Combes, SA, TL Daniel. (2003) Flexural stiffness in insect wings: II. Spatial distribution and dynamic wing bending. J. Exp. Biol., 206(17): 2989-2997. (pdf)
Daniel E. Lieberman
Department of Anthropology, Skeletal Biology Lab
Professor Lieberman is based at Harvard's main campus in Cambridge but has an active research program at the Concord Field Station.