The Patek Lab is dedicated to biological discovery and multidisciplinary translation at the intersection of evolution and mechanics. We seek the unifying principles that guide, limit and promote the evolutionary diversity of biomechanical systems, with a broad goal of transforming the understanding and emulation of biological mechanisms. Currently, we focus on the extraordinary limits and principles of the fastest biological movements on the planet. We tackle this realm through interdisciplinary approaches, including materials testing, physiological studies, high speed imaging, mathematical and physical modeling, and evolutionary analyses. Our research has yielded discoveries of new biological phenomena, novel engineered systems and materials, original tests of macroevolutionary hypotheses, and new frameworks for understanding the mechanical foundations of biological diversity.
Front page images:
larval mantis shrimp (Jacob Harrison)
jumping gall midge larvae (Farley et al, 2019, JEB)
spearing mantis shrimp (Roy Caldwell)