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I am interested in locomotor biomechanics, both from the basic science standpoint and also applied research into lameness and other locomotor deficits.
My background is in anatomy and biomechanics. My undergraduate degree (Guelph, Canada) was in Human Kinetics, with a focus on anatomy, biomechanics and exercise physiology. I went on from there to do a Masters in biomechanics (Windsor, Canada) and then a PhD in anatomy (Queen's University, Kingston, Canada) with my research focused in rehabilitation of gait in stroke patients. Following a post-doc in Toronto, 5 years in Saskatoon teaching anatomy to medical students, and 16 years in Bristol, England teaching veterinary anatomy, I've moved to New Zealand where I continue my research in animal locomotion and biomechanics.
My research is focused on mechanics of gait and locomotion in horses and dogs, but I also have done some recent work with chickens and humans. I'm interested in gait as an outcome measure; for instance, whether surgical correction of an orthopaedic condition yields a measurable improvement in the animal's locomotion pattern. I'm also interested in the basic energetics of locomotion and in descriptive kinematics of the musculoskeletal system, like identifying axes of rotation of joints for applications like transarticular external skeletal fixation. Most recently, wth Master's and PhD students, we have developed musculoskeletal models of the equine forelimb and German Shepherd lumbosacral spine using a modelling package (AnyBody) to use in motion studies. In the case of the equine limb, we are modelling responses to perturbed gait, where the horse travels across an unexpectedly softer or harder sutrface for a stride. We are assessing whether the horse can adapt its limb stiffness in that stride, or in the subsequent stride, by which point the surface will have changed back. The Germasn Shepherd spine model is going to be used to test the local stress effects of implants to stabilise intervertebral joints in the case of dogs with spinal joint pathology.
My work involves using a 3D camera system for tracking limb segments in 3D space during gait. The positional information from the 3D camera system is put together with force information collected from a force platform embedded in the lab runway. Superimposing the force vector on the limb segments, and crossing joints, allows calculation of joint moments and powers in 3D.
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Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000):
Biomechanical Engineering (090302):
Biomedical Engineering (090300): Engineering (090000):
Human Movement and Sports Science (110600): Medical And Health Sciences (110000):
Rehabilitation Engineering (090305):
Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (070702): Veterinary Sciences (070700)
I teach veterinary anatomy to first and second-year Veterinary Science students, and also to Veterinary Nurses and Technicians.