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.
Christian Brown, Ph.D. Student. Locomotion and ecology in salamanders, currently examining jumping and directed aerial descent in flightless animals.
Pablo Garcia, Ph.D. Student. My research focuses on the cranial biomechanics of lizards, including biting and skull kinesis. I have studied the effects of bite out-lever and gape angle on bite-force performance in the brown anole and plan to expand my studies to include lizards with more pronounced cranial kinesis and complex jaw mechanics.
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.
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.