The AIRE-LifeSciences Master is glad to announce its April Masterclass with Pauline Provini, team leader at CRI Paris in the Birdsong group. Dr Provini is a researcher in Evolutionary Biology, interested in Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Modelling. She studies the links between body structure and function in Vertebrates and the role of these interactions for Evolution. She want to understand why an organism has a given shape and how the shaping of an animal is driven by its motions and the environment it is moving in.
Her Masterclass will take place on zoom (Registration free but mandatory to obtain the link, please write to chiara.fracassi[at]cri-paris.org) this Friday, April 23rd, at 11h.
Title: From Palaeontology to Bioinspiration, through Bird Functional Morphology
Abstract: Understanding the evolution of animals is a fascinating goal. In that sense, the field of palaeontology plays a fundamental role to reconstruct the paleo-biodiversity and the evolution of animal forms on Earth. However, because palaeontology mostly focuses on classifying fossil organisms and studying their interactions with each other and with their environments, it is difficult to reconstruct the lifestyle of extinct animals only from fossil remains. One way to address this problem is to use the huge amount of data that the study of living animals has to offer. Indeed, studying the actual motions of a living animal, its behaviour, and the detailed structure of its musculoskeletal system, is a powerful way to infer what behaviour and motions an extinct animal could have been able to perform with a similar structure. Here, I am going to present my path in academia and how my passion for fossils and dinosaurs brought me to investigate the functional morphology of living dinosaurs—aka birds— and eventually led me to use birds as a model for bioinspiration.