Arthropod acoustic communication is a primary focus at the Patek Lab. Here you can find our acoustically oriented research projects along with sounds and video of spiny lobsters (Palinuridae) and mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda).
How Organisms Move (Bio 597OM)
While watching a heron fly, a worm burrow or even a tree bend in a strong wind, many questions arise about the materials and mechanisms of organismal movement. Understanding how organisms are built and how they move is important not only to studies of basic biology and evolution, but also to the design of biologically-inspired products. In this wide-ranging course, we will examine the fundamentals of movement and materials from single-celled wigglers to multi-legged runners and place them in the context of both evolutionary history and engineering design. The goal of the course is to open new windows into understanding our moving and flexing biological world and to show the fundamental links between organismal biology, physics, evolution and engineering.
Quantitative Systems Biology (Bio197H: BIOTAP students only)
This course applies the theme of modeling to core concepts in evolution, physiology and functional morphology, and ecology. Cutting-edge research in each of these fields relies heavily on mathematical modeling to understand how organisms function, interact with their environments, and change over evolutionary time. Students will learn how scientists use mathematical models for thinking abstractly about biological concepts. This course uses a combination of lectures that integrate applied math and the study of organism-level systems and labs in which students use in silico, in vitro and in vivo models to investigate those systems in detail. The course will be organized into three modules that flow naturally from one to the next: evolution (the genotype), comparative physiology and functional morphology (the phenotype), and ecology (organismal and environmental interactions).
Previous courses (at UC Berkeley) included Invertebrate Zoology, graduate seminars in "Comparative Analyses of Biomechanics, Behavior and Morphology" and "Evolutionary Origins of Communication".
Graduate discussion groups have included Biomechanics, Animal Behaivor and, currently at UMass, "BAM" (Biomechanics and Behavior).