Postgrad LIVE! Study Fairs

Birmingham | Edinburgh | Liverpool | Sheffield | Southampton | Bristol

University of East Anglia Featured PhD Programmes
University of Kent Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
University of St Andrews Featured PhD Programmes
Birkbeck, University of London Featured PhD Programmes

Flight mechanics of insects - understanding how insects control their wingbeat and sense aerodynamic forces through the subtle use of these muscles.


Project Description

Insects are the most agile and manoeuvrable of all flying animals. However, studying their flight presents a complex challenge. In the time that it takes a human to blink, a blowfly can beat its wings 50 times, powering and controlling each wingbeat using numerous tiny muscles - some as thin as a human hair. The aim of this project is to understand how insects control their wingbeat and sense aerodynamic forces through the subtle use of these muscles.

The PhD student will use a range of state-of-the-art imaging techniques, including macrography, multi-camera high-speed setups and CT scanning to record insects during flight. This will create an unprecedented view of the insect flight motor that will be important for understanding the evolution of flight and for the design of bio-inspired micro air vehicles that aim to replicate animal flight.

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2019:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference allowance
• Research Costs

Requirements:
At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.
EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency in order to receive full studentship

Not all projects advertised will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

View Website

References

Walker
Bomphrey, R. J., Nakata, T., Phillips, N. and Walker, S. M. Smart wing rotation
and trailing-edge vortices enable high frequency mosquito flight. Nature 544 92-
95. 2017
Mokso, R., Schwyn, D. A., Walker, S. M., Doube, M., Wicklein, M., Müller, T.,
Stampanoni, M., Taylor, G .K., & Krapp, H. G. Four-dimensional in vivo X-ray
microscopy with projection-guided gating. Sci. Rep. 2015
Walker, S. M., Schwyn, D. A., Mokso, R. Wicklein, M., Müller, T., Double, M.
Stampanoni, M., Krapp, H. G., and Taylor, G. K. In vivo time-resolved
microtomography reveals the mechanics of the blowfly flight motor. PLOS Biol.
12(3) 1-12. 2014
Walker, S. M., Thomas, A. L. R. and Taylor, G. K. Operation of the alula as an
indicator of gear change in hoverflies. J. R. Soc. Interface 9 1194-1207, 2012
Askew
McFarlane, L.A., Altringham, J.D. and Askew, G.N. Intra-specific variation in
wing morphology and its impact on takeoff performance in blue tits (Cyanistes
caeruleus) during escape flights J. Exp. Biol. 219 1369-1377, 2016
Askew, G.N. The elaborate plumage in peacocks is not such a drag. J. Exp.
Biol. 217, 3237-3241. 2014.
Holt, N.C., Roberts, T.J. and Askew, G.N. The energetic benefits of tendon
springs in running: is the reduction of muscle work important? J. Exp. Biol. 217,
4365-4371. 2014.
Holt, N.C. and Askew, G.N. The effects of asymmetric length trajectories on the
initial mechanical efficiency of mouse soleus muscles. J. Exp. Biol., 215, 324-
330. 2012

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully





FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2018
All rights reserved.