Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Discovery Lecture Series

Friday, December 1, 2023
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

How does basic biology inform new bio-inspired products: from manta rays to armadillos and beyond
by Dr. Misty Paig-Tran, California State University, Fullerton
Dr. Paig-Tran will discuss how her research on animal performance translates into bio-inspired designs such as non-clogging, high efficiency filters based on manta ray and baleen whale filters and nearly impenetrable armor inspired by tiny fishes in the Amazon that can withstand piranha bites.

Misty Paig-Tran runs the Functional Anatomy, Biomechanics, and Bioinspiration laboratory at CSUF. She is a Southern California native who has a passion for marine critters. Her research interests skew toward animal performance and ecological morphology, particularly functional morphology and comparative biomechanics. She has studied a broad range of organisms from sharks to whales, oarfish, piranhas, and even armadillos. As a marine biologist and comparative biomechanist, her research uses a blend of anatomy and engineering techniques to answer biological questions about performance in marine animals. Much of this research stems from observing animals in their natural habitat and then testing the performance in the laboratory using modeling techniques. Sometimes these findings lead to new, bio-inspired applications.


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