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July 2014

Sir David Attenborough vists the Lab

Here with Alan Wilson to film for new TV series.

Sir David Attenborough and Prof Alan Wilson

June 2014

BBC Just So Stories

Four broadcasts for Radio 4's "Just So Science" series aired on consecutive afternoons at 13.45 on 24 to 27 June. Prof. John Hutchinson contributed to "Old Man Kangaroo" on Wednesday 25 and "The Elephant's Child" on Friday 27 June.

New paper published in Interface

See-saw rocking: an in vitro model for mechano-transduction research” by Richard Bomphrey presents a new model for understanding the basic science of how cells respond to mechanical forces.

Sir David Attenborough

John Hutchinson and Research Fellow, Ashley Heers met and chatted with famous TV nature documentary presenter Sir David Attenborough when they brought their fossil cast of the feathered dinosaur Microraptor for Sir David to film with for a special new 3D movie.

Sir David with John & Ashley

Photo by James Prosser

May 2014

Cane Toads don't need woolly jumpers

Steven Portugal has an article in Outside JEB about work undertaken by Rick Shine and his team
at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Toad in a jumper

The Naked ScientistFascinating Fossils

SML Lecturer Stephanie Pierce participated in this month’s live radio broadcast.

Spider Inspired Robot?

New Society of Biology blog by Michelle Reeve

Cartoon spider

Ask a grown-up

Steven Portugal responds in The Guardian to 6 year old's question about why birds fly in a V formation.



...News Archive

The Structure & Motion Laboratory is part of the Comparative Physiology and Medicine Research Programme at the Royal Veterinary College. The research team includes vets, biologists, palaeontologists, engineers and computer scientists, supported by technical and administrative staff. Our research base is a modern 46m x 17m laboratory at the College’s Hertfordshire campus housing state-of-the-art facilities for studying the biomechanics of locomotion; much experimental research is also undertaken in the field.

The head of the lab is Professor Alan Wilson.

Structure and Motion

Animals, including ourselves, need to move to feed, to avoid becoming food, to find a mate, to compete and to indulge in complex behaviours such as play. Our goal is to answer fundamental questions relating to how and why animals are structured and move as they do, how movement is controlled and the limits to performance. We work with a wide range of animals, from horses, dogs and humans to dinosaurs, elephants, cheetahs, insects, birds and squirrels...

A wide range of science and technology

Questions about animal movement can be addressed from many different perspectives using, for instance, high-speed cameras, ultrasound, force plates and computer models. Technical expertise, together with our extensive facilities, also enables us to develop new technology to measure and analyse movement in ways not previously possible.

Fast moving elephant

This range of approaches is complemented by an equally wide range of investigations, from looking at tiny muscle fibre bundle contractions to investigating group dynamics in herds of animals and even phylogenetic analyses of broad evolutionary lineages.

Communicating research

As part of our commitment to wide communication of our research, most members of the Structure & Motion Lab take part in engagement and outreach activities, ranging from blogs to presenting at school science events, contributing to public exhibitions as well as television and radio programmes. We have an ongoing programme of public engagement activities.

Children investigating bonesSchool students in lab
School students finding out about research

Designed and developed by the RVC Electronic Media Unit