02-12-13 Come talk bats with me at the NSF booth at AAAS in Boston (Feb. 14-18).

12-12-12 My chapter in The Biology of Butterflyfishes with Lara Ferry is nearing publication

03-14-12 Videos from my work are now on my YouTube channel.

09-28-11 Our paper on muscle-tendon function in deceleration is out. Check it out under publications

08-29-11 If you missed me on Nat Geo you can watch the show here,

08-10-11 Fieldwork with makeup on: Our Nat Geo documentary on fast oceanic fish feeding airs in the UK on Aug 21st and in the US on Aug 26th.

07-21-11 My paper on evolution of chewing generates interest. Find it in publications (dedicated to W. Skiles).

06-25-10 Recording high-speed video of fast oceanic fish feeding, with a National Geographic camera crew.

About Nicolai [cv]

Konow with batwing

I take experimental and modeling approaches to understand the role of form-function-mechanics relationships in the evolution of animal jaw and limb systems.

My early work explored feeding mechanical and ecological consequences of the evolution of an extra lower jaw joint in biting coral reef fishes, and the evolution of entirely new tongue bite systems in bony fishes.

At present, I measure limb muscle mechanics movements of bird landings and bat flight to probe questions about the functional implications of having muscle contractions controlling bone movements via compliant tendons. Results show how tendon action can alter the timing of energy delivery to power movement as a muscle shortens to act as a motor, and how tendon action can attenuate the power of impact as a muscle undergoes active lengthening to act as a brake. Going forward, I plan to leverage these and other lessons from my muscle-tendon mechanics studies in order to gain a better understanding of food processing mechanics and physiology in vertebrates, including humans.

Academic background

BSc and MSc in zoological morphology from The University of Copenhagen, DK.

Doctoral Fellow, the Danish Research Agency (at The Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Biodiversity James Cook University); Ph. D. in ecomorphology in the Bellwood lab, James Cook University, Australia.

NSF funded postdoc in functional morphology and biomechanics in the Sanford lab, Hofstra University, NY, USA.

Postdoc in integrative physiology in the German lab, Johns Hopkins Medical University, MD, USA.

NIH and AFOSR funded postdoc in movement mechanics in the Roberts and Swartz labs, Brown University, RI, USA.

NIH funded postdoc in the Biewener lab, Concord Field Station, Harvard University, MA, USA