Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Research Centres: Structure & Motion Laboratory
I am exploring wing morphing in large birds under varying flight regimes. I am exploring the biology of avian wing morphing using computer vision measurements and analysing the morphs against aerodynamic expectations.
Ph.D. (2014) - Brown University (Providence, RI)
B.A. (2007) - Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR)
I am currently working with Richard Bomphrey and Jim Usherwood exploring wing morphing in large birds. My current study is in collaboration with Shane Windsor at University of Bristol. My previous research has explored passive and active mechanisms in bat wing morphing at Brown University.
Cheney JA, Konow N, Bearnot A, and Swartz SM (2015) A wrinkle in flight: the role of elastin fibres in the mechanical behaviour of bat wing membranes. Interface 12, 20141286 (DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1286)
Cheney JA, Konow N, Middleton KM, Breuer KS, Roberts TJ, Giblin EL, and Swartz SM (2014) Membrane muscle function in the compliant wings of bats. Bioinsp. Biomim. 9, 025007 (DOI: 10.1088/1748-3182/9/2/025007)
Scientists from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the University of Bristol have discovered how birds are able to fly in gusty conditions – findings that could inform the development of bio-inspired small-scale aircraft.
We thought there might be something birds can teach us about coping with turbulence, so we invited Lily the barn owl, Sasha the tawny eagle, Ellie the goshawk and some of their friends to fly through gusts we made in our laboratory.
Scientists from the RVC and the University of Bristol have discovered how birds are able to fly in gusty conditions – findings that could inform the development of bio-inspired small-scale aircraft.
Birds and planes must obey the very same laws of physics, and a wing is a pretty good way to create the aerodynamic force known as Lift which balances the Weight of the animal, or aeroplane, due to the relentless pull of gravity. However, there are several notable differences between the two fliers. Flapping is a way to reorient the wings and the aerodynamic force they produce to propel animals forwards in order to balance drag.
Nocturnal mosquitoes navigate in the dark without crashing into surfaces. When they land on humans or other animals to feed, they do it very gently in order to remain stealthy – being noticed could spell disaster. Since these nocturnal mosquitoes cannot see what they are doing with their eyes, they use a different sensory mode – mechanosensing.