A blog for the Evolutionary Morphology and Biomechanics group at the University of Liverpool. Part of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease.
Dr Karl Bates
What’s your role in EMB?
I’ve been a lecturer in EMB since 2013. Previously I worked here as a post-doctoral researcher.
What are you currently working on?
My PhD students and I work on a wide variety of areas, although most relate directly to limb anatomy and locomotion. Current projects include research into human knees and feet, living and extinct archosaurs (birds, crocodilians and dinosaurs), and a range of other living animals including dogs and horses.
How and why did you get into your current research?
My Masters and PhD research looked at body shape, limb anatomy and locomotion in predatory dinosaurs. These animals are unique in many details of their morphology and also in terms of body size; animals like T. rex were an order of magnitude larger than any animal alive today that walks on two legs. The engineering challenges that predatory dinosaurs of this size faced to locomote safely and efficiently sparked my interest in functional anatomy and biomechanics. Since my PhD this interest has motivated me to broaden my work to examine links between anatomy and locomotion in a wide variety of animals, including birds, humans and other mammals. In my research I try to use as many techniques and approaches as possible to best answer questions about anatomy and biomechanics, including experimental techniques (e.g. motion capture, pressure platforms), medical imaging (e.g. CT, MRI) and computer simulation methods typically employed in engineering such as finite element analysis.