Research Interests

Hydrodynamic Flipper Project

Student Research



In the Media


In the Media

Research films were on display at the American Museum of Natural History in an exhibit entitled, "Captured Motion: Skeletal Studies by S. Harmsted Chubb." (1985)

Research on jet-propelled frogfishes highlighted in the Tropical Fish Hobbyist. (1988)

Research on hydroplaning in ducklings highlighted in Discover Magazine. (1994)

Interviewed for radio broadcast by American Institute of Physics Science Report on Physics and Animals. (1995)

Research on energetics of formation swimming highlighted on the Canadian television show @Discovery.ca in the Weird and Wonderful Science segment. (1995)

Research on hydroplaning ducklings highlighted on the Canadian television show @Discovery.ca in the Weird and Wonderful Science segment. (1996)

Highlighted in article " Beastly Olympics" in August issue of Discover Magazine. (1996)

Interviewed by Outside magazine for the Wild File section. (1996)

Cover of Journal of Experimental Biology Volume 200(8). (1997)

Featured in article "Ducklings and Dolphins and Fish- oh My!" in West Chester University Magazine (Summer 1997).

Cover of West Chester University Magazine (Summer 1997).

Research highlighted in an article "Schnabeltiere als flotte Schwimmer" which was published in Natur and Wissenschaft section of the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. (March 11, 1998)

Featured in book, At the Water's Edge, by Carl Zimmer published by the Free Press. (1998)

Interviewed for article " Shedding light on dolphins" in American Scientist 87: 216-217. (1999)

Interviewed for  news article “Experts: Study fish to swim better” which appeared on the Associated Press Wire (April 2, 1999).

Interviewed for  news article “Go Fish! Studying the critters makes for speedier swimmers” which appeared on HealthScout (www.healthscout.com). (April 13, 1999)

Interviewed for news article “ Flipper’s Flippant Formula” which appeared in Newsday. (March 7, 2000)

Interviewed for news article “How whales, dolphins, seals dive so deep” which appeared in Science News 157(15): 230. (2000)

Interviewed for news article “In nature, animals that stop and start win the race” which appeared in Science 288: 83-85. (2000)

Interviewed for news article “Grebes propelled by fancy footwork” on Discovery.com News (October 5, 2000).

Radio interview by the Australian Broadcasting Company on ancient bacteria (October 18, 2000).

Interviewed for news article “WCU pair find oldest organism” which appeared in the Daily Local News (October 19, 2000).

Interviewed for Nature Science Update article “Stiff fish in a spin”. (2000)

Interviewed by Daily Local News for article “Science teachers ponder change in Pa. Treatment of evolution theory.” (2000)

Research highlighted in the article: Le Page, M. 2001. Speed bumps give humpbacks a surprise boost. New Scientist, 13 January, p. 22. (2001)

Research highlighted in advertisement by Peak Performance Technologies Inc. (2001)

Research on energetics of platypus knuckle-walking highlighted on the Canadian television show @Discovery.ca in the Weird and Wonderful Science segment. (2001)

Interviewed by Outside magazine for the Wild File section. (March, 2001)

2001- Research on humpback whales highlighted on the Animal Update segment of radio show Living on Earth. (March 9, 2001)

Interviewed by Muse magazine. (2001)

Interviewed for an article, "Children and courting pairs love return of firefly season" which appeared in the Daily Local News (July 2, 2001)

Interviewed for Science News article on buoyant balaenids. (2001)

Featured in PBS series Evolution: Great Transformations. (September 9, 2001)

Featured in the Daily Local News article “Fish Story”. (November 1, 2001)

Featured on the television show Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, which was produced by the BBC and aired on the Discovery Channel (December 9, 2001)

Highlighted in an article "A Whale of a Tale" in Machine Design for work on an animatronic Orca on exhibit in the Nagoya Port Public Aquarium in Japan. (December 13, 2001)

Cover design of Integrative and Comparative Biology Volume 42 Number 1, (February 2002)

Research on humpback whales highlighted in NatureAustralia 27(6): 22-23. (2002)

Appearance in commercial for APSCUF http://www.apscuf.com/video.cfm (2003)

Technical expert for Natural History New Zealand film "Spinner Dolphins."

Publication of the letter "Fish Knows" in the Annals of Improbable Research 9(6): 2. (2004)


Science: Flipper Flight, 304: 1106. (2004)

Scientific American: Bumpy Flying, August 2004: 18-20. (2004)

Natural History: As the Whale Turns, June 2004: 24-25. (2004)

Science Daily: Mimicking Humpback Whale Flipper May Improve Airplane Wing Design (2004), www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040512044455.htm

Vancouver Aquarium Aquanews: New Airplane Wing Mimics Humpback Whale Flippers (2004)

Netzeitung Wissenschaft: Fliegen wie ein Buckelwal schwimmt. (2004)

Herald Sun: Humpback whale flippers inspire engineers to improve airplane wings, May 25, 2004.

Science News: Marvels of Engineering, September 4, 2004: 154-156.

Journal of Experimental Biology: Outside JEB: Humpback's Bumpy Flippers, 207(21): iv, 2004.

Prism (American Society of Engineering Education) 14(4):13, December, 2004.

Highlighted in an article in the Educator Spotlight in the Chester County Neighbors section of the Philadelphia Inquirer , January 1, 2006.

Featured in an article “The Physics of Swimming: Faster Than They Should Be” in Discover magazine, February 2006: 22-23.

Fish’s Law on Paleos website:(http://www.palaeos.com/Vertebrates/Lists/Glossary/GlossaryFG.html)

ScienceNow Daily News- New twist on an old spin, 2/8/2006

Ocean Indigo (Italy)- Delfini, svelato il segreto delle piroette (indigo.splinder.com), 2/9/2006

KOMPAS Cyber Media (Indonesia)- Rahasia Tarian Lumba-lumba (2006)

New Scientist- Dolphin does the twist to hit the sir spinning, 2/14/2006

www.biomachinations.com- Aerial Spinner (2006)

News ITALIA PRESS- Perchè I delfini fanno le piroette? (2006)

Galileo: Giornale di scienza e problemi globali- Delfini, svelato il segreto delle piroette (2006)

LiveScience (2006) (http://livescience.com/animalworld/060327_mm_dolphin_spin.html)

Israel High-Tech & Investment Report, April 2006

Whale and Dolphin Magazine: Spin doctors, May/June 2006.

TEKNOLOJI (Turkey)- Yunuslar suda nasil ziplar? (2006)

Anders Fernsehen- Delfine beginnen ihre Pirouetten bereits unter Wasser, 6/2/06





Interviewed in an article “Flippered robot mimics sea creatures” in Discovery Channel News Feature (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/breif/20060515/turtlebot_tec.html). (2006)

Interviewed for article “Marine technology inspired by dolphins’ speed” for PHYORG.COM (http://www.physorg.com/news68812337.html) (2006)

Interviewed for Fox News on the U.S. Navy’s use of dolphins. (2007)

Highlighted in article “Biologist and Physicist Team Up to Study the Alligator’s 'Death Roll'; No Schooling Necessary” in the UnderwaterTimes.com. (2007)


“Biologist and Physicist Team Up to Study the Alligator’s 'Death Roll'" in ScienceDaily.com: (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326132754.htm)

Softpedia: http://news.softpedia.com/newsTag/behavior

Articles about WhalePower (2007): http://www.thestar.com/article/213475


“Professor Backs Navy Program” in The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 17, 2007.

Interview with Institute of Physics- 60 seconds with ….Authors Edition (2007) http://www.iop.org/EJ/journal/-page=featauth/-author=517/1748-3190/1

Featured in article "Studies on the Shapes and Motions of Marine Animals" in West Chester University Magazine (Summer 2007).

Cover photograph for Marine Mammal Science 23(3). (2007)

Featured in newscast by CBC on humpback whales and wind turbines. (2007)

Highlighted in article “Greatest Mysteries: Why Are There Transitional Animals?” on LiveScience (2007) http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/070814_gm_trans_forms.html

Research on death rolls in alligators highlighted in Inside JEB-Alligators go for a spin, Journal of Experimental Biology 210(16): iii. (2007)

Research on biomimetic application of humpback whale tubercle technology to wind turbine technology highlighted on Canadian Broadcasting Company telecast from Prince Edward Island. (2007)

North Cape. WEICan begins tests on WhalePower Corp's novel wind turbine blade, modeled on the fin of a humpback whale. (2007) (http://www.weican.ca/news/2007/070802-whalepower-tests.php)

Whale Energy. Science Update.(2007) http://www.scienceupdate.com/show.php?date=20071010

Science made cool “Rolls For Dinner”  (2007) (http://www.sciencemadecool.com/2007/10/with-all-the-at.html)

Technology Review published by MIT, “Whale-Inspired Windmills” (2007) http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/20379/?nlid=918

Science News: Gator Aids: Gators squish lungs around to dive and roll (2008) (http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20080315/fob5.asp)

Research highlighted in the April 2008 issue of National Geographic for his work on the application of the geometry of the humpback whale flipper for wind turbine design in the article "Biomimetics: design by nature". (2008)

Christian Science Monitor, “Whales inspire better blade designs” May 15, 2008.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio interview on “Quirks and Quarks” (2008) http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/03-04/jun12.html.

Philadelphia Inquirer (2008) http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/19967224.html

Bumpy Whale Fins Outperform Smooth Turbines (2008) - http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=005E4190-9DE4-32A2-015B43F0702189EA

Deutschlandradio Kultur, Deutschlandfunk: (2008) http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/forschak/813285/

MSNBC.com: Scientists tap motion in the ocean for energy (2008) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25709843/

The Flying Circus of Physics: Alligator death roll (2008) http://www.flyingcircusofphysics.com/News/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=37

Discover: Wind Turbine That Imitates Flippers Could Increase Efficiency(2008) http://discovermagazine.com/2008/sep/15-wind-turbine-that-imitates-flippers-could-increase-efficiency

EARTH (formerly GEOTIMES) magazine: "A whale of a wind turbine" (September 2008)

Science News: "Built for speed" (August 16, 2008).

“A Whale of a Turbine” in The Daily Planet Book of Cool Ideas: Global Warming and What People Are Doing About It, Jay Ingram, Penguin Canada.(2008)  

“Fabulous flippers: Dolphins have quite the kick” (2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081124/ap_on_sc/sci_dolphin_power;_ylt=AuONbouz_GdavuGQXNFawAus0NUE

'Gray's Paradox' solved: Researchers discover secret of speedy dolphins. EurkAlert (2008) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/rpi-ps112408.php)

Dolphins’ tails give them their kick. USA Today 11/25/08, p. 6D. (2008)

Dolphin Kick Three Times More Mighty Than Olympians. Discovery Channel. (2008) http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/11/24/dolphin-kick.html

Fabulous flippers: Dolphins have quite the kick. WTOP.com. (2008) http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=220&sid=1524867

Researchers Determine Force Of Dolphins’ Thrust. Red Orbit. (2008) http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1602525/researchers_determine_force_of_dolphins_thrust/index.html

Why Michael Phelps Will Never Swim Faster Than a Dolphin. Discover. (2008) http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/11/26/why-michael-phelps-will-never-swim-faster-than-a-dolphin/

Dolphin power is triple that of Olympic swimmer. News.scotsman.com.(2008) http://news.scotsman.com/scitech/Dolphin-power-is-triple-that.4726602.jp

US scientists calculate power of dolphins. International Herald Tribune. (2008) http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/11/24/america/NA-SCI-US-Dolphin-Power.php

Fabulous flippers: Dolphins have quite the kick. Yahoo News. (2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081124/ap_on_sc/sci_dolphin_power

'Gray's Paradox' solved: Researchers discover secret of speedy dolphins. E! Science News. (2008) http://esciencenews.com/articles/2008/11/24/grays.paradox.solved.researchers.discover.secret.speedy.dolphins

'Top secret' technology to help US swimmers trim times at Beijing Olympics. E! Science News. (2008) http://esciencenews.com/articles/2008/08/08/top.secret.technology.help.us.swimmers.trim.times.beijing.olympics

Across the ocean in a pedal-powered submarine. New Scientist 31 January 2009, Issue 2693: 36-38. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126936.900-across-the-ocean-in-a-pedalpowered-submarine.html

"Untamed and Uncut", which aired on Animal Planet on Sunday, February 15, 2009.

“Dolphin-inspired man-made fin works swimmingly” Scientific American, March 2, 2009. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=dolphin-inspired-man-made-fin

“Predator X”, which aired on the History Channel, March 29, 2009.

Hofmann, Kate. Nature did it first. "Ranger Rick." April, 2009.

Roach, J., “Flying Whale Fins” Conservation Magazine 10(1): 41 (2009).

Holtcamp, W., "Mimicking Mother Nature" National Wildlife, December/January 2010: 46-51.

Highlighted in advertisement for West Chester University, which was placed in The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 5, 2010, Vol. LVI, Number 21, p. A19.

Interviewed on the Naked Scientist Radio Show and Podcast, based at the University of Cambridge and broadcast on BBC radio (2/21/10).

Contributor to the television show Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds, which aired on March 16, 2010 on BBC1.

Whirl-y-bird vs. Whale-y-bird http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Aero_p015.shtml

Featured in BBC television production "Bang Goes the Theory", series 2, episode 4 (2010).

Featured in Biomimicry Stories for NOAA Auditorium Program, Monterey Bay Aquarium (2010).

Interviewed for article “Dunk the Giraffe” by Helen Fields in Science Vol. 328: 1617, 25 June 2010.

2010. Featured in a 15-minute live program, “Whales to windmills: Inventions inspired by the sea” that will run on a continuous basis at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

2010. Consultant for BBC production “Invisible Worlds: Speed Limits”

2010. Featured in “A Fish Story” in Entrepreneur magazine. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217520

2011. Featured by Smithsonian Science, “Narwhal flukes help compensate for drag caused by tusk”  http://smithsonianscience.org/2011/02/narwhal-flukes-help-compensate-for-drag-caused-by-tusk/

2011. Featured in West Chester University Magazine, “Mimicking Nature’s Designs”, Winter/Spring 2011, p. 15.

2011. Featured in Conservation, “Whale flippers jump the gap”, Spring 2011, p. 63.

2011. Featured in Mechanical Engineering, “from whales to fans”, May 2011, 133(5): 24-29.

2011. Featured in Science, “Manta Machines”, 27 May 2011, Vol. 332: 1028-1029.

2011. Highlighted in Reader’s Digest, “Back to Nature”, June/July 2011: 166-171.

2011. Quoted in “A Fish of an Idea” by Catherine Clabby in American Scientist, Septemeber-October 2011, Vol. 99: 382.

2011. Quoted in “How Sharks Go Fast” by Elizabeth Pennisi in Science Now: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/11/how-sharks-go-fast.html?ref=hp

2011. Quoted in “Baby Bumps Slow Dolphins Down” by Gisela Telis in Science Now:


2011. Project WhaleWatch (http://whalewatch.weebly.com/), Youth Design Team Digital Task Force Fall 2011 program at the Field Museum in Chicago. 

2012. Whale Bumps for Power. National Geographic Daily News. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/04/pictures/120419-biomimicry-for-energy/#/energy-technologies-biomimickry-nature-whale_50937_600x450.jpg

2012. Robotic manta ray. ABC News.http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/mechanical-manta-ray-bio-mimicry-engineers-copy-nature/story?id=17006976

2012. Interviewed for article Shake, Rover…Shake in the Philadelphia Inquirer, September 3, pages C1-C2.

2012. Highlighted in TEDx Talk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiRDQ4hr9i8) entitled “Does our future require us to go back to nature?” by Dr. Ashok Goel of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

2012. Interviewed in Discovery News article “Largest predator performs acrobatics to feed” http://news.discovery.com/animals/blue-whales-roll-121127.html

2012. Interviewed in Nature article “Blue whales pirouette for food” http://www.nature.com/news/blue-whales-pirouette-for-food-1.11892

2012. Featured in West Chester University Magazine, “Testing a robot ray”, Fall 2012, p. 6.

2013. Featured in the Brazilian blog Biodiversa, “Como se coloca uma baleia em um ventilador?” http://planetasustentavel.abril.com.br/blog/biodiversa/como-se-coloca-uma-baleia-em-um-ventilador/

2013. Bloomberg. 14 smart inventions inspired by nature: biomimicry, Fin to the wind. http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2013-08-18/14-smart-inventions-inspired-by-nature-biomimicry.html#slide10

2014. DailyMail. Now THAT’S doggy paddle! Canines perform complex swimming moves similar to how they run on land. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2538681/Now-THATS-doggy-paddle-Canines-perform-complex-swimming-moves-similar-run-land.html

2014. Science News. Dog-paddle science debunks notion of underwater trot. February 8, p. 10. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/dog-paddle-science-debunks-notion-underwater-trot

2014. Science Daily. How Dogs Do the 'Dog Paddle': An Evolutionary Look at Swimming. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140105102502.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fplants_animals%2Fdogs+(ScienceDaily%3A+Plants+%26+Animals+News+--+Dogs)

2014. Discovery News. The Dog Paddle Is Just an Underwater Jog. http://news.discovery.com/animals/pets/dogs-run-underwater-140105.htm

2014. ohmidog! Reflections on the dog paddle. http://www.ohmidog.com/tag/frank-fish/

2014. newswise. How dogs do the ‘Dog Paddle: An evolutionary look at swimming. http://www.newswise.com/articles/how-dogs-do-the-dog-paddle-an-evolutionary-look-at-swimming

2014. Science Daily. Gray’s Paradox solved: Researchers discover secret of speedy dolphins. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124131334.htm

2014. International Science Times. Gray’s Paradox Solved: Dolphin Actually Have Super Strength; Don’t Need to Rely On Tricks Of Fluid Mechanics. http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6681/20140115/grays-paradox-solved-dolphin-super-strength-swimming-fluid-mechanics-speed.htm

2014. Science Codex. Dolphin-power sufficient for propulsion without tricks. http://www.sciencecodex.com/dolphinpower_sufficient_for_propulsion_without_tricks-126236

2014. National Geographic Daily News. Mystery solved: How do dolphins swim so fast? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140115-bottlenose-dolphins-swimming-paradox-ocean-animals-science/

2014. Zee News. Dolphins 10 times stronger than fittest human athletes. http://zeenews.india.com/news/eco-news/dolphins-10-times-stronger-than-fittest-human-athletes_904514.html

2014. Philly.com. West Chester University study examines evolution through doggie paddle patterns. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillypets/West-Chester-University-study-examines-evolution-through-doggie-paddle-patterns.html

2014. Los Angeles Times. The secret of dolphins’ speed is not skin-deep, study shows. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-dolphin-power-propulsion-bioinspired-speed-swimming-20140121,0,1423330.story

2014. Inside Science. Scientist dive into mystery of the dog paddle. http://www.insidescience.org/content/scientists-dive-mystery-dog-paddle/1538

2014. Student Science. Dissecting the dog paddle. https://student.societyforscience.org/article/dissecting-dog-paddle

2014. Science Frontiers. Increased efficiency from tubercles-shaped wind turbines. http://activities.tjhsst.edu/scifront/articles/whale.html

2014. redOrbit. Dolphins use super strength to propel themselves through water. http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113048429/dolphins-stronger-than-humans-propel-through-water-011614/

2014. Science on NBCNews.com. How dolphins outdo Olympic swimmers. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27889197/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/how-dolphins-outdo-olympic-swimmers/#.UwdfqnmkU8M

2014. PHYS ORG. Dolphin-power sufficient for propulsion without tricks. http://phys.org/news/2014-01-dolphin-power-sufficient-propulsion.html

2014. The Dog Journal. Biologist studies dog paddles. http://dogjournal.tumblr.com/post/74383779299/biologist-studies-dog-paddles-examining-dogs

2014. International Whale Protection Org. Mystery solved: How dolphins swim so fast? http://www.internationalwhaleprotection.org/forum/index.php?/topic/7186-mystery-solved-how-do-dolphins-swim-so-fast/

2014. Dogster. Study: The dog paddle is just underwater jogging. http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/dog-behavior-paddle-study-learn-to-swim-dogs-underwater-jogging

2014. Science Vol. 343: 235, 17 January. Interviewed for “Random Sample: The unlikely link between Feder and marsupials”

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