Biomechanics, Aerodynamics and Evolution: the adaptations of animals for aerodynamic and biomechanical performance provide a unique opportunity to analyse evolutionary processes because the optimal designs for particular aspects of performance can often be predicted a priori, and independently of the evolutionary history of the animals involved. I use aerodynamic theory to predict optimal morphologies for specific aspects of flight ecology (flight missions), and test the predictions with phylogenetically controlled comparative methods, with mechanical model organisms, and with free-flying or swimming animals in the laboratory, or in the field.
I am Director of Studies in Biological Sciences at Lady Margaret Hall. I run the animal flight research group in Zoology. I am chairman of the Flight section of the Bionis International Biomimetics Network. I am aerodynamics consultant with Airwave GMBH paraglider, hangglider and ultralight aircraft manufacturers.