Video: March 16 Evenings at Whitney – From Fast to Ultra-Fast: The Biological World of Extreme Movement
Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2017
The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series hosted by the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory returned on March 16, 2017, at 7 p.m. with the program titled “From Fast to Ultra-Fast: The Biological World of Extreme Movement.” Duke University Associate Professor of Biology Sheila Patek talked about the fastest movements found in organisms, including that of the mantis shrimp, a marine predator that has the fastest feeding strike measured of any animal. This free lecture was presented at Lohman Auditorium located at 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., on the Whitney Laboratory campus.
In regard to the extreme movement observed in organisms, Patek talked about the changes that have occurred through evolution as well as the compromises that are associated with such extreme movement. This was shown through examples with the mantis shrimp. There are two types of mantis shrimp, those that spear and those that smash with its front appendages. Both use a spring-like strike when going after prey. The speed of this strike accelerates like a bullet and has been measured through high-tech cameras as fast as 45 miles per hour in the water. The purpose of exploring these movements, which are considered remarkable biological feats, is to provide insights into biological and physical principles. It also provides inspiration for creating human-designed devices.
Patek received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University in 1994 and then went on to receive her doctorate in biology from Duke University in 2001. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at the University of California Berkeley from 2001-2004. Patek has been a speaker on TED Talk, where she shared her research of the mantis shrimp. The honors she has received include a fellowship of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation from 2015-2016, National Science Foundation CAREER Award from 2012-2017, and fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University from 2008-2009, among many others. To learn more about Patek’s work and lab, visit www.pateklab.biology.duke.edu.