Simons Foundation

Bioinspired Ocean Exploration

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium/2-GDFA (160 5th Avenue)

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium/2-GDFA

160 5th Avenue


Bioinspired Ocean Exploration


Registration link:

The ocean remains largely impenetrable to human observation, especially in comparison to our ability to peer into deep space or the inner workings of cells. Efforts toward high-resolution ocean measurement have primarily focused on interrogating the ocean with increasing numbers of surface and submarine vehicles. The extent to which this approach can scale is fundamentally limited by the energetic requirements of propulsion — a challenge that was solved millions of years ago by swimming zooplankton. But how do they do it?

In this Presidential Lecture, John Dabiri will describe lab and field experiments focused on understanding the fluid dynamics of efficient locomotion by jellyfish, the most energy-efficient swimming animals. His group is leveraging this knowledge to develop bio-inspired robotic systems with the potential to explore the entire ocean. Such data can help solve longstanding questions regarding the ocean's past, present and future.

About the Speaker:

Dabiri is the Centennial Chair Professor at Caltech, with appointments in the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT) and Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on unsteady fluid mechanics and flow physics, with particular emphasis on topics relevant to biology, energy and the environment. Current interests include biological fluid dynamics in the ocean, next-generation wind energy and the development of new experimental methods. Dabiri is a MacArthur Fellow and a fellow of the American Physical Society as well as the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Doors open: 5:30 p.m. (No entrance before 5:30 p.m.)
Lecture: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Admittance closes at 6:20 p.m.)