Research

My research is focused on assessing the links between the form (morphology), function and pathogenesis of the terrestrial vertebrate musculoskeletal system during feeding and locomotion. Why does the vertebrate musculoskeletal system vary so widely– or in other words, what are the functional and developmental consequences of anatomical variation? Evolutionary history surely has played a huge role in shaping musculoskeletal form, but how do  musculoskeletal mechanics and scaling factors during ontogeny constrain and/or direct the morphology and the composition of musculoskeletal design? To what extent are musculoskeletal design and performance related to disease?

To address my research questions I use a repertoire of experimental methods, medical imaging techniques, 3D virtual reconstructions & animations, computer simulations and mathematical models.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Locomotor mechanics & Pathology

  • The interaction between foot form, substrate properties, habitat, size, locomotor mechanics and pathogeneses in large quadrupedal mammals and humans.
  • Fracture mechanics and trauma.
  • Dynamics of locomotion using finite element analysis and computer simulations.

Feeding mechanics & Pathology

  • Functional significance of morphological variation of the mammalian and primate feeding
  • Bone material properties.
  • The effect of dental development on chewing mechanics.
  • Oral and maxillofacial trauma and implant design.

TRANSFERABLE RESEARCH SKILLS

My laboratory skills include: analysis and collection of in-vivo experimental data using electromyography, strain gauges and bite force transduction; dissection techniques, PCSA analysis; estimation of bone material properties techniques using ultrasound velocity measurements; medical imaging techniques including micro Computer Tomography, Magnetic Resonance; 3D virtual reconstruction (Aviso/Mimics); Finite Element Analysis (Abaqus); 3D musculoskeletal dynamics (SIMM); 3D animation (Maya); data analyses (PYTHON); 3D kinematics (Qualisys/Vicon Nexus); 3D regional foot pressures; 3D high-speed fluoroscopy and motion capture (XROMM).