David J Ellerby
My research focuses on the physiology and mechanics of animal locomotion. For many animals, effective and economical locomotion is essential for survival. Successfully capturing prey or avoiding predators may require rapid accelerations, high speeds, and maneuverability. The energetic costs of locomotion during more routine activities also form a significant part of daily energy expenditure. Measurements of locomotor performance and energetic cost can therefore provide insight into many aspects of animal physiology, behavior, and ecology such as predator-prey interactions, daily energy budgets, and migration. Current research in the lab is investigating the allocation of energy expenditure between skeletal muscles performing different tasks in swimming fish. We are also determining the functional consequences of habitat-specific morphological variation within fish populations.