Blog of the Computational Biomechanics Research Group - Using Virtual Reconstruction and Computational Biomechanics to study form and function in biology:
Stephen Wroe (Director)
phone: 61 2 4969 3006 or 04323 49049
Pliosaur feeding behaviour
Colin McHenry (PhD)
PhD in cranial mechanics of the pliosaur Kronosaurus queenslandicus.
I’m a PhD student with the following research interests:
Biology of elasmobranchs including morphology, ecology, sensory biology, phylogenetics and conservation; vertebrate morphology and biomechanics. My PhD project examines the biomechanics of feeding mechanisms in sharks using finite element analysis.
Applications of Finite Element Analysis to facial surgery
Peter Aquilina FRACDS(OMS) Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
Using FEA to improve protocols for the placement of plates and screws in the treatmernt of fractures.
Felid cranial mechanics
I'm an MPhil student with a background in mechanical engineering. My project centres on comparisons of cranial mechanics in cats and a comparison of mechanical behaviour in placental and marsupial sabertooths (collaboration with Witmer Lab, Ohio State University).
Reconstruction thylacine feeding ecology
I am a PhD student using predictive traits relating to diet to determine whether these factors may have contributed to the extinction of one of Australia's most iconic species, the Tasmanian tiger. This will be achieved using a combination of new innovated techniques. Firstly, I will be analysing the isotope ratios in the Tasmanian tiger’s tissue, which reflect prey that has been assimilated. Using this method, I will be able to assess individual diet variation and long-term changes in the thylacine’s diet. I will also be using high-resolution 3D computer simulations to compare the biomechanic performance of the Tasmanian tiger during masculation with sympatric carnivorous marsupials. This guild of carnivores is of particular interest because it allows us to compare predators with different body sizes, skull shapes and distinct degrees of diet specialisation."
Palaeoneurological analysis of the human and Neandertal lineages using virtual methods
Hons student: My primary aim is to document the changes that occurred in brain morphology throughout the evolution of our genus, up to and including the emergence of our species. The nature in which these changes evolved (incrementally or as a “package”) will be analysed as well as their temporal relation with archaeological assemblages.
Terror bird feeding mechanics
Federico Degrange (PhD)
Biomechanics of terror bird (phorusrhacid) crania (Universidad de la Plata, Argentina)
Material properties of bone Naomi Tsafnat
I study the properties of bone and other porous materials using microCT and finite element modelling. My Ph.D. (UNSW) is in biomedical engineering in the field of bio-heat transfer and thermal modelling of liver cancer treatment using magnetic microspheres. At the CompBioMech lab I apply micromechanical finite element modelling to study the properties of bone. High resolution 3D scans, combined with mechanical testing, are used to create experimentally validated models of bone.