SICB Division of Vertebrate Morphology (DVM)

DVM Researchers Database Entry

Richard Blob

Evolutionary Morphology & Biomechanics
My lab studies the diversity and evolution of animal function. My students and I are interested in questions about:

- How animals (and their parts) work
- How the ways that animals work affect their ability to survive
- How animal function varies to meet the demands of different environments
- How animal function has diversified and changed through evolution

To answer these questions, most of our research examines vertebrate skeleton and muscle function during locomotion and feeding, with a major focus on reptiles (especially turtles and alligators), amphibians, and fishes. Some current projects include studies of the evolution of limb bone loading during locomotion and bone mechanical properties (using limb bones and antler); studies of the hydrodynamics and motor control of swimming turtles; and studies of locomotor and feeding function in waterfall-climbing gobiid fishes of tropical island streams, geared toward understanding that factors leading to population and species divergence in these remarkable fishes.

Pictures: Nanue Stream, Big Island, Hawai'i (field site for climbing goby work);
Painted turtle (focus of hydrodynamic studies)