Deban Laboratory

Physiology and Biomechanics of Movement

Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida

In the Deban Lab we examine the biomechanical and physiological mechanisms of animal movement and aim to understand how these mechanisms change through evolution. Our research integrates behavioral, biomechanical, and physiological analyses to reveal proximate mechanisms of our study organisms as well as general design principles. We also take an evolutionary approach to gain insight into how present form and function came to be. The ultimate goal is to formulate broad principles about how complex systems evolve in the face of changing and conflicting functional demands. Read more about our research.

Deban Lab Members

Stephen M. Deban, Professor. My broad interests are in the areas of vertebrate morphology and physiological function, particularly musculoskeletal systems. The current focus in my research is the influence of environmental factors on the biomechanics and physiology of extreme behaviors. See my profile on Google Scholar

Claire Crookston, Ph.D. Student. I have a passion for Plethodontid salamanders and I am interested in the biomechanics of feeding and how that relates to the morphology of the tongue apparatus. I am also intrigued by the varied developmental modes within this family of caudates. Outside of research, I enjoy craft beer, reading, and my cat Rigby.

Colin Goodman, Ph.D. Student. I am interested in intra- and interspecific variation in the morphological and physiological traits related to dispersal. Specifically, I am interested in how trade-offs can constrain or facilitate variation in such traits. During my master’s research, I studied how individual differences in dispersal-related traits can be spatially selected during range expansion.

Anthony Powell, Ph.D. Student. My research interests involve the physiology and morphology of muscles in vertebrate animals. My current work focuses on sustained force production in the jaw muscles of amphibians.

Yu Zeng, Postdoc. I am interested in the biomechanics and evolution of locomotor and feeding systems. My current research at the Deban Lab is centered around the remarkable musculoskeletal system responsible for  ballistic tongue projection in salamanders.

This could be you! If you are interesting in doing undergraduate or graduate research, find out more.

Deban Lab Alumni

Christopher Anderson, PhD

Christian Brown, PhD

Segall Bloom

Pablo Garcia

Maranda Holley

Taylor Kelsay

Nick Larghi

Mary Kate O'Donnell, PhD

Jeffrey Olberding, PhD

Jason Richardson, PhD

William Ryerson

Paula Sandusky

Jeffrey Scales, PhD

Thomas Sheridan

Charlotte Easterling, PhD