Avian Wing Morphing

People: Jorn Cheney, Jialei Song, Jim Usherwood, Richard Bomphrey

We are measuring dynamic morphing in bird wings using modern computer vision approaches to develop dynamic three-dimensional surfaces. Using these models, we are exploring kinematic patterns of force generation, identifying mechanisms of gust rejection and recovery, and performing computational fluid dynamics to understand how forces are produced and distributed. These results will shed new insight into the interplay between passive/active wing morphing and aerodynamic force generation and may lead to a new generation of aircraft.

DAWNDINOS: ‘Testing the locomotor superiority hypothesis for early dinosaurs’

People: John Hutchinson, Andrew Cuff, Krijn Michel, Peter Bishop, Louise Kermode

“DAWNDINOS” is a five year research project studying the dawn of the age of the dinosaurs, funded by the European Research Council via an Advanced Investigator Grant to Professor Hutchinson. It focusses on form and function and combines evolutionary and biomechanical research that tests how the anatomy of extinct dinosaurs and their relatives (archosaurs; “ruling reptiles”) was related to their movement and behaviour. 

Research Aircraft

People: Alan Wilson, Steve Amos, John Lowe, Anna Wilson

The RVC Structure and Motion Lab aircraft has been funded through research grants to enable us to undertake research into animal locomotion that would not otherwise be possible, by going up into the air. As well as helping us to understand more about behaviour and locomotion, this aerial data acquisition platform will reveal new insights into how animals interact with the natural environment, which will aid conservation and land management.

Don't break a leg!

People: Monica Daley

Researchers discover the control priorities of birds negotiating single-step obstacles and how the priorities of body stability, energy saving and leg safety vary with different body sizes and terrain

Running Jumping Flying

People: Alan Wilson

The Science of Animal Locomotion: how do animals run, jump and fly? Discover the science behind the movement and learn about the innovations that help us study them in the laboratory and in the wild. 

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