For Immediate Release: August 18, 2015
A team of scientists, including a Providence College biology professor, will build upon past research to study how prey react to predators in the ocean, as well as research the dynamic role of body bending by swimming animals.
Providence, R.I. – Dr. John H. Costello, professor of biology at Providence College, is part of a team of scientists, including a former PC student, who have been awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation. The money will be used to reinforce and extend their research in biology-related topics.
The following projects total $351,612, which will support Dr. Costello’s research in:
What's their impact?: Quantification of medusan feeding mechanics as a tool for predicting medusan predation: $227,722. This study will build upon past research demonstrating the importance of fluid flows for entrainment and capture of prey by influential jellyfish predators. Here the team will combine sophisticated approaches to measuring fluid interactions with the details of prey responses to these fluid flows. The goal is to measure how prey react to their predators, in an effort to develop models of environmental impacts by jellyfish predators. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Sean P. Colin ’93, Roger Williams University. (This award figure is PC’s portion.)
Fluid mechanical basis of universal natural propulsor bending patterns: $123,890. This study will use animal models (jellyfish, lamprey, sea butterflies) to learn about the fluid dynamic role of body bending by swimming animals. Although few man-made structures intentionally bend as they move, virtually all animals have evolved to bend while swimming or flying. By using a variety of animals, the team plans to outline the common patterns that underlie animal bending patterns. Their goal is to answer the question: Why do animals bend even though human propulsive devices do not? The project is in collaboration with Dr. Brad J. Gemmell, University of South Florida; Dr. John O. Dabiri, Stanford University; and Dr. Sean P. Colin ’93, Roger Williams University. (This award figure is PC’s portion.)