Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: Structure & Motion Laboratory

Michelle is a BBSRC funded PhD student as part of the London Interdisciplinary Biosciences PhD Consortium. Her project is based at the Structure & Motion Laboratory and looks at how spiders adapt their gait to leg loss, and how this can be applied to legged robots.

Michelle completed her GSCEs and A-levels in her home county of Norfolk, before coming to the RVC and completing a degree in Bioveterinary Sciences. Now she's a PhD student, split between RVC and University College London.

During her degree, Michelle took two research projects with Dr. Andrew Spence in the Structure & Motion Lab and became really interested in how legged animals maintain stability over rough terrain. This remains her area of research, and the focus of her PhD project. She is supervised by Dr. Monica Daley (RVC) and Dr. Stephen Hailes (UCL). Her previous supervisor, Dr. Andrew Spence, is still involved with her PhD project.

Conference presentations:

Reeve, Michelle A.; Spence, Andrew J., Hailes, Stephen, Daley, Monica A. (Presented by MAR)"How do orb-weaver spiders adapt leg movement following autotomy?" Society of Experimental Biology Annual Conference 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.

Reeve, Michelle A.; Wilshin, Simon; Spence, Andrew J. (Presented by MAR) "Dog gait on rough terrain: When does static stability matter?" Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology 2014, Austin, TX, USA

Reeve, Michelle A.; Wilshin, Simon; Haynes, G. Clark; Revzen, Shai; Spence, Andrew J. (Presented by MAR)  "Dog gait on rough terrain confirms prediction of a stability inspired dynamical systems model of quadrupedal leg control." Society of Experimental Biology Annual Conference 2012, Salzburg, Austria.

Wilshin, Simon; Haynes, G. Clark; Reeve, Michelle A.; Revzen, Shai; Spence, Andrew J. (Presented by AJS) "How is dog gait affected by natural rough terrain?" Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology 2012, Charleston, SC, USA.

Michelle has taught on the CAL (Comparative Animal Locomotion) module for the BSc Bioveterinary Sciences final year, holding paper review sessions.

Michelle was a Student Ambassador during her undergraduate degree and still gives talks to prospective students at the BSc & RVC Open Days, and helps out at BSc Taster Days. More recently, as part of her PhD programme, she worked at the Royal Institution for a three month placement, helping to create the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, which are broadcast on television every Christmas and aim to bring science to a young audience. While she was there, she also helped out in the L'Orèal Young Scientist Centre, which runs workshops for school groups aged 7-18. Now, she is a keen science communicator, engaging with followers on Twitter, and on her blog, about her research, PhD life, and science in general.

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