Bioinspired Ocean Exploration

  • Speaker
  • John Dabiri, Ph.D.Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Date & Time

About Presidential Lectures

Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.
Video Thumbnail

By clicking to watch this video, you agree to our privacy policy.

The ocean remains largely impenetrable to human observation, especially in comparison to our ability to peer into deep space or the inner workings of cells. Efforts toward high-resolution ocean measurement have primarily focused on interrogating the ocean with increasing numbers of surface and submarine vehicles. The extent to which this approach can scale is fundamentally limited by the energetic requirements of propulsion — a challenge that was solved millions of years ago by swimming zooplankton. But how do they do it?

In this Presidential Lecture, John Dabiri will describe lab and field experiments focused on understanding the fluid dynamics of efficient locomotion by jellyfish, the most energy-efficient swimming animals. His group is leveraging this knowledge to develop bio-inspired robotic systems with the potential to explore the entire ocean. Such data can help solve longstanding questions regarding the ocean’s past, present and future.

About the Speaker

Dabiri is the Centennial Chair Professor at Caltech, with appointments in the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT) and Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on unsteady fluid mechanics and flow physics, with particular emphasis on topics relevant to biology, energy and the environment. Current interests include biological fluid dynamics in the ocean, next-generation wind energy and the development of new experimental methods. Dabiri is a MacArthur Fellow and a fellow of the American Physical Society as well as the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Advancing Research in Basic Science and MathematicsSubscribe to our newsletters to receive news & updates