Senior Data Science Fellow, Executive Committee
The focus of Tom Daniel’s research is the application of physical principles towards understanding the design of biological systems. He is particularly interested in discovering basic principles that govern the movement and morphology of animals.
From physiological problems that revolve around understanding the energy requirements for motility, to morphological questions that ask how the mechanical properties of cells and tissues govern shape and shape change in animals, Daniel emphasizes combined experimental and theoretical approaches.
Daniel and his students study problems that range from the physics of animal swimming and flight to the mechanical properties of muscle. Research on swimming and flight combines high-speed cinephotography with analytic or computational fluid mechanics to understand the mechanisms, thrust and lift production for wings and fins.
Research on muscle mechanics draws on simple principles from materials science to describe the response of cells to time-varying loads and to examine how the architecture of muscle determines its mechanical properties.