Members of the Division of Comparative Biomechanics (DCB) are interested in the physical principles that govern how organisms function and, in turn, how their functional systems have been, and are, evolving. This inherently multidisciplinary field integrates ideas and techniques from engineering, physiology, animal behavior, neurobiology, computational science, robotics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Our methods are just as varied: we work in the lab and the field to engage with organisms in experiments and through observations; we design and build new types of instruments to measure motions, movements, and forces across scales of size and levels of structural hierarchy; and we create mathematical, computational, and robotic models to test and formalize our understanding of how organisms function and evolve.
What makes this exciting multidisciplinary research in Comparative Biomechanics work is the collaboration of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests. Supporting collaboration — no matter who you are or where you are in your career — is the primary function of DCB.
You can start or enhance your collaborations by becoming a member of DCB and joining us for regional and annual meetings. If you are already a member, then join us in supporting members through the transitions of their own career arcs by serving DCB directly as a member of one of our committees or standing for an elected position. At meetings, help us foster collaboration by giving a talk or poster, attending talks and posters, and meeting new colleagues at social events. A great way to build supportive collaboration is to create your own team to propose a symposium, work which involves selecting speakers, writing a brief proposal, conducting the symposium, and then helping get your speakers published through a peer-review process at our journal made for symposiums, Integrative and Comparative Biology. While DCB promotes work on organisms of all phylogenetic affiliations, a strong intersection of DCB and DVM members has led to a vigorous collaboration between these divisions and their members. We encourage collaborations and affiliations with any and all divisions within SICB.
The origin story for Comparative Biomechanics at SICB begins in 1984, when the first Biomechanics session was held. The session featured many of the field’s founders and their students and colleagues: McNeil Alexander, John Currey, Tom Daniel, Mark Denny, Charlie Ellingtson, Mike LaBarbera, Mimi Koehl, Peter Jumars, Tatsuo Motokawa, Steve Vogel, Steve Wainwright, and Paul Webb. As biomechanics sessions became a regular part of the annual meeting ecosystem, a new division was created in 2007, with Bob Full taking the helm as the Division’s first chair. DCB has grown to be a vigorous part of the SICB ecosystem, with nearly 1000 members, students, postdoctoral researchers, senior researchers, and faculty members from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Matthew J McHenry
View DCB bylaws here
News & Announcements
Congratulations to Brooke Flammang on winning the 2019 Bioinspiration & Biomimetics Steven Vogel Young Investigator Award! More details here.
Congratulations to Alyssa Stark on winning the 2019 Carl Gans Award! More details are provided in the Fall 2019 DCB newsletter.
The next National Biomechanics Day is scheduled for April 8, 2020. Register your lab and participate in a worldwide outreach initiative here.
Regional Meeting Announcements
The Southeast regional DCB/DVM meeting was hosted by Miriam Ashley-Ross at Wake Forest University on October 26, 2019.
The Northeast regional SICB meeting was hosted by Chris Kenaley and Sara McMenamin at Boston College on November 2, 2019, and featured Eric Tytell from Tufts University as the plenary speaker. Additional information can be here.
The 9th World Congress of Biomechanics will be held in Taipei, Taiwan, in July 2022. More information can be found here.
The Adaptive Motion in Animals and Machines meeting was held 19 – 23 August 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. More information can be found here.
Other Professional Development Resources
The next NextProf Science Workshop will be hosted at the University of Michigan from May 4 – 7, 2020, where participants will learn skills to support a career in academia. The deadline to apply is January 19, 2020. More information here.
Friday Harbor Laboratories is hosting a Biomimetics: Principles of Nature-Inspired Engineering during the Summer 2020 session. Applications are due March 1, 2020. For information can be found here.
Useful resources on funding opportunities for students and postdocs, and advice on applying for postdoctoral positions (Members Only) can be found here.
Many postdoc and faculty positions are being advertised on the Eco Evo Job Wiki (2019 – 2020 spreadsheet here:). Although the focus is on ecology and evolution, there are often other topics that are also relevant to biomechanists, such as anatomy and physiology.
Are you preparing to apply to a grant or fellowship but looking for examples? Check out Open Grants.
The Carl Gans Award
The Carl Gans Award is named in recognition of Carl Gans’ scientific career and editorial contributions to animal morphology, biomechanics, and functional biology.
For complete details and nominations please see the instructions linked here.
The Steven Vogel Award for the Best Student Poster in Biomechanics
The Mimi A. R. Koehl and Stephen A. Wainwright Award for the Best Student Talk in Biomechanics
Students interested in being considered for these awards should refer to the SICB BSP application guidelines page linked here.
Career and Resources
SICB’s job board can be found here.