Effective locomotion is of fundamental importance to all animals and influences their morphology, physiology and behavioural ecology. My research focuses on understanding and identifying the constraints acting upon locomotor systems and the biomechanical, physiological, morphological and behavioural trade-offs that result. I primarily work on birds and bats, and, as well as their locomotion, I have a keen interest in the general evolution of these groups.
One of my overarching aims is to identify simple common rules that describe how and why animals move in the way they do over the broadest possible range of organisms. Often, however, the greatest insight into the constraints working upon, and the evolution of, a locomotor system, is gained by investigating unique organisms that break from the common trend or the types of movement that force the system to perform at its limits. Consequently, species that deviate from general trends and movements that push the locomotor system to its performance boundaries also intrigue me.