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It’s a fluid situation: exploring novel strategies for feeding and locomotion in marine invertebrates

Brad Gemmell

University of South Florida, USA

Compared to terrestrial species, marine organisms are immersed in dense, viscous fluid medium. This has implications for many processes essential to life in the ocean such as feeding and locomotion. Many species of marine invertebrates are attractive targets for understanding how fluid can be manipulated to enhance both locomotion efficiency as well as feeding success. However, the ability to resolve and quantify fine-scale interactions of free-swimming organisms and the water that surrounds them, has only recently been achievable. In this seminar, I will explore some of the novel tools developed in my laboratory, and in collaboration with other scientists, that are used to elucidate the interactions of marine organisms and their surrounding fluid environment. I will then share some examples of novel mechanisms used by marine invertebrates to enhance the effectiveness of propulsion and also how fluid can be controlled to maximize predation success. I consider a wide range of spatial scales spanning both viscous and interial fluid regimes and illustrate how many of the results are challenging some central and long-standing tenets in the realms of aquatic organism ecology and biomechanics.







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Integrating Biomechanics, Energetics and Ecology in Locomotion

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