At the heart of the Patek Lab is the discovery of principles underlying ultrafast biological systems, achieving interdisciplinary translation, and establishing generalizable principles about the evolutionary biomechanics of organisms. As scientific explorers, educators, and agents for social change, we reach for new understanding of the life surrounding us, whether on land or in the ocean. We place this work into interdisciplinary frameworks as well as the broader evolutionary history that reaches back the hundreds of millions of years that our focal organisms have lived on the planet. Why does this matter? Knowledge of our biological world enhances the quality of our lives by bringing new ideas, understanding, and inspiration from the organisms around us. The essence of being human is to experience the pleasure of knowledge, new perspectives, surprises, and a deeper view into history and life. Thus, we strive to build bridges among disciplines to promote new discoveries and to explain our research in a way that informs interdisciplinary basic and applied research, and, of equal importance, the general public. At every juncture in research, teaching, and service, we work toward structural change to achieve equity, access, and transparency in academic research and education.