28 May 2010

California Dreamin'

Today the great news reached us that Marta (Wolf) has received a prestigious postdoc stipend from the Swedish Research Council. This is an outgoing postdoc for Marta to work in Robert Dudley's lab, University of California, Berkeley. There, she will study the evolution of flight in insects, and we now look forward to hear reports from her research and Californian experience.
Congratulations Marta!

18 May 2010

New paper on LEV

In a new paper by Tatjana Hubel and Ca Tropea published in J Exp Biol, the occurence of LEV in model wings is investigated. The wings are large, goose size, and the kinematics resemble that of a large bird as well. Still, these wings develop LEVs associated with a delayed stall. These results suggest that even relatively simple kinematics of forward flight in largish birds are potent in developing non-ignorable LEVs associated with unsteady aerodynamic effects. The authors also raise the question whether the quasi-steady approach to bird flight, as adopted in the most popular flight models, perhaps now should be reconsider. I anticipate we will need to discuss this in the near future.

04 May 2010

New Lab Publication

It was recently demonstrated that shorebirds (godwits) fly non-stop between Alaska and New Zealand on their autumn migration - a flight that takes more than a week! Do we need to revise our current flight models as a result of these observations? How did such long flights evolve? These, and other questions are discussed in an "unsolved mystery" piece in the May issue of PLoS Biology: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000362