The stomatopod (Mantis Shrimp) raptorial appendage creates an ultra-fast strike (~30 m/s) driven by a power-amplification system in the exoskeleton. One portion of this appendage, the merus, is comprised of multiple regions that perform different tasks during striking: some act as a spring, storing energy that is released during the strike while others act as support structures. These two roles potentially require very different structural and material properties (stiffness, toughness, etc.). To test this, we will perform a series of materials tests on different regions of the merus, some of which act as a spring mechanism while others are for general support. Our initial challenge is to find a protocol and method for testing these materials in an Instron testing machine. This is not a trivial task as the exoskeleton must remain wet during testing and gripping the pieces is a challenge.
This research apprenticeship position would require 1-2 hours/week. It is an unpaid position and there is potential for the student to enroll for research credit in subsequent semesters. We are looking for a student to help develop the experimental methods and run initial tests on the materials. The student would work directly with Dr. Phil Anderson, a postdoctoral fellow, and Mike Rosario, a graduate student, both in the Patek Lab. To apply for the position, send a statement to Dr. Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) explaining your interest in the position and how it relates to your career/educational goals. Include your resume as well as the names and contact information of three references (professional or educational, not personal).