Seminar Event Detail

Applied Interdisciplinary Mathematics (AIM)

Date:  Friday, November 12, 2021
Location:  ZOOM East Hall (3:00 PM to 4:00 PM)

Title:  Phases,geometry, and scales: bridging micro to macro in animal locomotion

Abstract:   Animals move through the terrestrial world in a variety of ways – burrowing, crawling, running, jumping, climbing, and building. Successful movements, often crucial for survival, depend sensitively on the details of how animals manipulate their surroundings. The proper coordination of body and limbs, as well as managing frictional interactions between body parts and substrates, are both essential components for successful movement. In the first part of this talk, I will present a geometric framework for movement, originally proposed by Wilczek and Shapere nearly 40 years ago, to describe self-deformation-driven movements through highly dissipative environments. Using granular resistive force theory to model environmental forces and principal components analysis to identify a low-dimensional space of animal postures and dynamics, I will show that our approach captures key features of how a variety of animals, from undulatory swimmers and slitherers to sidewinding rattlesnakes, coordinate body movements and leverage environmental interactions to generate locomotion. In the second part of this talk, I will discuss recent results highlighting how these modeling tools provide insights linking the evolution of snake scale microtextures to frictional interactions and behavioral adaptations that benefit locomotion.


Speaker:  Jennifer Rieser
Institution:  Emory University

Event Organizer:     


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