Welcome to the Anderson Lab

About the lab: We are a team of evolutionary biomechanists and paleontologists exploring the evolution of functional systems at multiple scales. Our research utilizes a range of experimental, theoretical and analytical methods from biology, paleontology and engineering to address a variety of questions. At the core of our work is the idea that the fundamental laws of physics have influenced evolutionary processes over the last billion years and we can learn a great deal about modern biodiversity by exploring the relationship between physics and biology. We are located on the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois.

Current Research in the Anderson Lab includes:

      1. Analyzing the biomechanics of puncture in a variety of organisms including vertebrates, invertebrates and plants.
      2. Analyzing the evolution of biological puncture systems including parasitoid wasps and stingray spines
      3. Exploring mechanical sensitivity in multi-part biomechanical systems at both the mechanism and evolutionary scales.
      4. Comparing strike kinematics and mechanisms across insects.
      5. Examining the evolution of avian egg materials and structures.
      6. Exploring scale shape in fishes.


      Interested in joining the lab?

      Graduate students: I am actively seeking graduate students for Fall 2025. I currently advise students through the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior. The department website has details for applying to graduate school. Application deadlines are in December.

      Undergraduate students: Students interested in potential research experience should contact me to set-up a time to chat about possibilities. I advise undergraduate research for credit through two courses IB390 and IB490.