Flight is well described in birds, specifically in the muscles that produce the up- and down-stroke during wing flapping. However, relatively little is known about dynamic wing morphing and the muscles that produce it during flight. Wing morphing is defined as shape changes in the wing, such as folding during the upstroke and extension during the down-stroke. Flexing the biceps muscles bends the elbow and folds the wing, while the two triceps muscles are used to extend the elbow, and as a result, the wing. I am interested in determining how pigeons use their triceps muscles to alter their wing shape during flight. Another focus will be on the elasticity of the tendons associated with these muscles. Gaining insight into how the muscles and tendons produce and control wing morphing would provide a higher understanding of flight. Applying this knowledge to biological modelling could revolutionise the future of aircraft design.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I chose to study at UBC for a number of reasons; first and foremost was that I found several potential supervisors whose research interests aligned well with my own. The people with whom I communicated, both current and past UBC faculty and students, struck me as very friendly, helpful and caring. This added to my desire to join the UBC research community. Additionally, the school is highly ranked and came strongly recommended: it has many interesting areas of study within my field of interest, and a beautiful campus, among other things.