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Brooke Flammang-lockyer

Flammang, Brooke
Assistant Professor, biological sciences
428k CKB
  • Harvard University, PhD., 2010
  • California State University - Monterey Bay, M.S., 2005
  • Dorothy M. Skinner Award, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • Federated Department of Biological Sciences, NJIT/Rutgers-Newark
  • Associate of Ichthyology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
  • Graduate Faculty, University of Rhode Island
Courses Taught at NJIT

Biol 320 - Discovering Biological Research

Research Interests

Students in Dr. Flammang’s lab use a multidisciplinary approach integrating comparative anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, fluid dynamics, and biologically inspired robotic devices to investigate the ways in which organisms interact with their environment and drive the evolutionary selection of morphology and function. By combining these different specialties, we are able to approach broad impact ecological questions from an experimental perspective and directly test the effective relationship between an organism and its environment. Some of the questions we are focused on answering include:

1. How has the evolution of fin morphologies shaped the physiology and biomechanics of swimming fishes?

The wide diversity of fishes, many with specialized fin structures and habitat niches, offers a virtually unexplored laboratory for investigating what advantages different morphologies offer in terms of locomotor efficiency and maneuverability.

2. How do fish sense hydrodynamic loading and how do they use stiffness to counteract its effect?

Locomotion in the viscous fluid environment necessitates both a proprioceptive feedback system to determine how fins are bent by fluid forces and the ability to stiffen fins against fluid forces to prevent yielding. However, we know very little so far about how fish sense and control the fluid surrounding them.

3. How can bioinspired robotics be used to simplify complex morphologies and investigate the efficiencies of different fin types?

Bioinspired robotics offer a unique platform from which researchers may expand the experimental parameter space available when working with live animals by allowing for repeated testing of behaviors not often observed in nature. They also offer a means by which to study the individual components of very complex morphologies and kinematics.

Selected Publications

Please see: for a full list of Publications.

  1. **Beckert, M., Flammang, B.E., Nadler, J.H. (submitted) Theoretical and computational fluid dynamics of an attached remora (Echeneis naucrates).
  2. **Beckert, M., Flammang, B.E., Nadler J.H. (submitted) Remora adhesion is enhanced by spinule friction.
  3. *Youngerman, E., Flammang, B.E., Lauder, G.V. (2014) Locomotion of free-swimming ghost knifefish: Anal fin kinematics during four behaviors. Zoology 117(5):337-348.
  4. Flammang, B.E. and Lauder, G.V. (2013) Pectoral fins aid in navigation of a complex environment by bluegill sunfish under sensory deprivation conditions. The Journal of Experimental Biology 216(16): 3084-3089.
  5. Flammang, B.E., Alben, S., Madden, P.G.A., Lauder, G.V. (2013) Functional morphology of fin rays of teleost fishes. Journal of Morphology 274(9):1044-1059.
  6. **Kahn, Jr., J.C., Flammang, B.E., Tangorra, J.L. (2012) Hover kinematics and distributed pressure sensing for force control of biorobotic fins. Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS):1460-1466.
  7. Lauder, G.V., Flammang, B.E., Alben, S. (2012) Passive robotic models of propulsion by the bodies and caudal fins of fish. Integrative and Comparative Biology 52(5):576-587. Cover illustration.
  8. Flammang, B.E., Lauder, G.V., Troolin, D.R., and Strand, T.E. (2011) Volumetric imaging of shark tail hydrodynamics reveals a three-dimensional dual-ring vortex wake structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278(1725):3670-3678.
  9. Flammang, B.E. (2010) Functional morphology of the radialis muscle in shark tails. Journal of Morphology 271(3):340-352.

* undergraduate student authors
** graduate student authors