SICB Division of Vertebrate Morphology (DVM)

DVM Researchers Database Entry

Tim Higham

Vertebrate locomotion and prey capture
Animals move and capture prey in extremely complex and three-dimensional environments. To be effective, the cohesive function of several complex systems is fundamental. Movement of skeletal elements emerges from the integration of physiology and morphology, and the physiological mechanisms underlying movement involve a complex feedback system that relies on the interaction between the animal and its environment. My research integrates functional morphology, biomechanics, and muscle physiology to elucidate the mechanisms underlying locomotion and feeding in vertebrates. Given that the physiological mechanisms underlying locomotion and feeding have been modified over major evolutionary transitions in vertebrate ecology, I study various aspects of evolutionary adaptation by coupling my mechanical approaches with evolutionary and ecological perspectives. Some current projects include the biomechanics and functional morphology of gecko locomotion, the neural control and biomechanics of tail autotomy in lizards, the functional integration between and within muscles during locomotion, and the integration of locomotion and prey capture in fishes. Research techniques include sonomicrometry, electromyography, digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV), high-speed video, force plates, and histochemistry. Please see my website for more information about the Higham Lab.