29 January 2010

Party in Animal Flight Lab

Congratulations to Per Henningsson on his thesis defense on 29 January. With opponent Bret Tobalske we witnessed a very interesting discussion about bird flight, and swift flight in particular. Now we are looking forward to a great party tonight, and wish Dr Per a successful postdoc and career! The red-flanked blue tail Tarsiger cyanurus shown her to the right is Per's latest acquisition on his Swedish list. Congratulations also to that!

25 January 2010

New thesis: flight of swifts

On Friday 29th January 2010, Per Henningsson is defending his thesis on "fluid dynamics, flight performance and flight behavior of common swifts". The defense takes place in the Blue lecture hall at 10:00, with Prof. Bret Tobalske as faculty opponent. On the day before, you can enjoy an extra CAnMove mini-sympoium on the animal flight, starting at 14:00 in the seminar room "Tanken", in which Bret Tobalske will talk on his fascinating research on hummingbird flight. That the swift is a remarkable bird is perhaps not new to most of us, and Per is now getting some well deserved media attention for his spectacular PhD thesis. See e.g. http://www.gp.se/nyheter/sverige/1.296297-flygexpertens-hemlighet-avslojad ).

20 January 2010

Looking forward to a great week

As for our next lab meeting on Monday 25th January (2010) we will join forces with the Svensson lab. Time is our usual at 09:00, and location is also the usual (Argumentet). We will discuss some relevant insect flight papers that Sophia will distribute.

It should also be mentioned that Melissa Bowlin has accepted a faculty position at the University of Michigan Dearborn, and we wish her all the best of luck there. But before that Melissa will be with us until August to finish lots of interesting projects.

Next week is going to be eventful in other respects as well. On Thursday at 14:00 we will have a mini symposium on the aerodynamics of flight. Main speaker is Dr. Bret Tobalske (see image), University of Montana, who will talk on hummingbird flight, with a few other talks from AFL reps. Bret Tobalske is here also to act as faculty opponent on Per Henningsson's thesis defense, taking place on Friday 29 January at 10:00, Blue Lecture Hall.

08 January 2010

Animal flight lab in Seattle

Greetings from Seattle! The Space Needle and the mountains looked on as two members of the flight lab, Anders and Melissa, gave talks at this year's SICB meeting. Melissa (who is currently talking about herself in third person) introduced the Integrative Migration Biology symposium she had organized, and Anders spoke about mixing theory and wind tunnels to increase our understanding of animal migration.

The symposium went very well, down to a last-minute replacement talk by Ken Lohmann for Tom Kunz, who was ill and couldn't attend the conference. A Science reporter was at the event speaking to several of the speakers, and we were approached about potentially writing a book (something that, if it happens, won't be happening anytime soon!).

There were many interesting flight talks, but since many of them were at the same time as the migration session, I didn't get to see them. Hopefully Anders did and he can fill you all in on all of the exciting research going on in the US. I personally got to meet up with old lab-mates and friends, and generally enjoyed the area (including some wonderfully fresh seafood!).