My research efforts over the years have been in the areas of physical anthropology, biomimetic structures, bone mechanics, orthopedic mechanics, spine mechanics, veterinary orthopedics and aircraft structural analysis.

I have focused recently on work with my physical anthropologist colleagues David Daegling at the University of Florida and Scott McGraw at the Ohio State University.  Our work has resulted in publications that have accomplished, for example, the following:

• determined that the shape of canines in Old World monkeys predispose them to resist a variety of loads that reflect their behavior,

• determined that a natural groove in Old World monkey canines is more pronounced in species that aggressively use their canines and postulated that this groove may serve to mitigate the deleterious effect of twisting on the canines in addition to other loads placed upon them,

• determined that the curvature on the posterior aspect of Old World monkey canines is “masculinized” in females who aggressively use their canines so as to mitigate the deleterious effect of curvature on canine stresses when loaded in vivo

• developed image-based, computational measures of resistance to bending and twisting provided by the mandible that incorporates bone density from radiographic images



biomimeticplateTHOROUGHBRED STRUCTURES:  At left, a younger me is holding an equine third metacarpus, a bone in the forearm of a horse, that contains a natural hole.  This natural hole, a nutrient foramen, looks like a small dot in the picture between my thumb and index finger.  The foramen represents what was in the adult horse a tunnel in the bone through which a blood vessel passed to supply the cells in the bone with nutrients.  Humans have a similar bone in the middle of each of our hands.  The plate in front was designed based on our discovery of compositional variations in the vicinity of this foramen.  Our plate is twice as strong as a conventionally designed plate of the same weight.  To put it another way, our plate is half the weight of a conventionally designed plate of the same strength.  This extreme weight savings was what interested our sponsor, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  This work was conducted with my collaborators, Nils Goetzen, Satchi Venkataraman, Stephanie Buskirk, Barbara Garita, Jinhua Huang, Olivier Fontanel and Rafi Haftka.  This work was featured on the Science Update radio program (audio, below near) of the National Association for the Advancement of Science and on a local television newscast (video, below far).




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