SICB Annual Meeting 2014
January 3-7, 2014
Austin, TX

Symposium: Terrestrial Locomotion - Where Do We Stand, Where Are We Going?

This symposium will synthesize research on animal locomotion in terrestrial habitats, seeking new directions for work in this field. Locomotion is essential to the survival of many animals, and the environment where locomotion is performed is a major factor affecting how this behavior is executed. Long grounded in lab studies of a few model taxa traversing level ground, recent ecological and evolutionary studies have emphasized the need to examine a greater breadth of model taxa and conditions to understand how animals move through and interact with the environment. This outlook has been mirrored by elevated interest in biomimetics and the construction of freely moving robots that accommodate natural conditions.

Our goal is to highlight efforts to broaden the approaches and systems used to understand how terrestrial locomotion is executed and modulated, and to forecast the next steps in studies of this diverse behavior. Presentations will coordinate biomechanists, physiologists, neuroethologists, roboticists, and paleontologists. By bringing together diverse examinations of physiological systems, the demands of variable locomotor conditions, and new approaches to their study, this symposium aims to foster new insights into the relationship between locomotion and the environment at two levels: first, by expanding understanding of how land-based locomotion is executed under a range of conditions, and second, by providing a complementary perspective to recent symposia (at SICB and other venues) focusing on aerial and aquatic environments. By promoting such insights, we hope to improve the foundation for studies of locomotion to give insight into organismal adaptation to environmental change. We also hope to broaden the potential for biomimeticists to draw on more diverse systems for inspiration, with opportunities for reciprocal insights between roboticists and engineers, functional morphologists, and evolutionary biologists.


SICB Divisions: DVM, DCB, DNB; DAB


  • Richard Blob, Clemson University, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson, SC
  • Timothy Higham, University of California-Riverside, Department of Biology, Riverside, CA


S5.1-1 Sunday, Jan. 5, 08:00 BLOB, R.W.*; ESPINOZA, N.R.; BUTCHER, M.T.; LEE, A.H.; D\'AMICO, A.R.; BAIG, F.M.; SHEFFIELD, K.M.: Diversity of Limb Bone Safety Factors for Locomotion in Terrestrial Vertebrates: Evolution and Mixed Chains

S5.1-2 Sunday, Jan. 5, 08:30 BIEWENER, Andrew*; WAKELING, James; LEE, Sabrina; ARNOLD-RIFE, Allison; HOLT, Natalie: Validation of Hill-type muscle models in relation to neuromuscular recruitment and force-velocity properties: predicting muscle force patterns.

S5.1-3 Sunday, Jan. 5, 09:00 ARELLANO, C.J.*; KRAM, R: Partitioning the Metabolic Cost of Human Running: A Task-by-Task Approach

S5.2-1 Sunday, Jan. 5, 10:00 LEE, David V*; MCGOWAN, Craig P; ISAACS, Michael R: Is the spring in our step the spring in our leg?

S5.2-2 Sunday, Jan. 5, 10:30 QIAO, M; JINDRICH, D. L.*: Compensations During Unsteady Locomotion.

S5.2-3 Sunday, Jan. 5, 11:00 KIM, Sangbae: How to build robots from the lessons from animals: design challenges of the MIT Cheetah

S5.2-4 Sunday, Jan. 5, 11:30 TRIMMER, B.A.: Bone-free: Soft Mechanics for Adaptive Locomotion

S5.3-1 Sunday, Jan. 5, 13:30 RANKIN, J.W.*; PAXTON, H; HUTCHINSON, J.R.: Integrating experimental and computer simulation methods to reconstruct the evolution of avian bipedalism

S5.3-2 Sunday, Jan. 5, 14:00 GILLIS, GB*; EKSTROM, L; AZIZI, E: Using Anuran Landing as a Model for Studying Controlled Deceleration

S5.3-3 Sunday, Jan. 5, 14:30 WUNDERLICH, R.E.*; MILLER, C.E.; TONGEN, A.L.; SCHMITT, D.: Dynamics of locomotor transitions from arboreal to terrestrial substrates in Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi)

S5.3-4 Sunday, Jan. 5, 15:00 BIRN-JEFFERY, AV*; HIGHAM, TE: What goes up must come down: how sloped surfaces impact the mechanics of locomotion