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fluid locomotion laboratory

the Flammang Lab at NJIT

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PI: Brooke Flammang, PhD

Assistant Professor



Postdoctoral Researchers      


Graduate Students      

Callie Crawford

I am studying the biomechanics of terrestrial walking in balitorid loaches (hillstream loaches) in a phylogenomic context. These fishes have pelvic morphology which converges on some tetrapodal features allowing for tetrapod-like walking. Using muscular and skeletal morphology, biomechanics (EMG, Kinematics, and force transmission), and biorobotics, this research will inform our understanding of mechanisms underlying the convergent evolution of morphological innovation. My work is part of the NSF funded Rules of Life initiative, Phylogenomically-Based Bioinspired Robotic Model Approach to Address the Evolution of Terrestrial Locomotion. 


Haley Amplo




Frogfishes can walk

Jet propulse and swim using

Tetrapod-like fins


Functional morphology 

Multiple techniques

Fluid dynamics

Using PIV in flumes

Fins, jets, vortices


Nothing quite compares

To convergently evolved

Elbows and shoulders

Micro-CT scans

Bone, muscle morphology

3D dissections

Walking on their fins

EMGs and videos

To study their gait


Audrey Biondi

I study the unique functional morphology in marine organisms to inspire novel technologies for human application. I am doing this by studying the highly derived skeletal anatomy and complex muscle morphology of the Molidae family of fishes throughout ontogeny. By using three-dimensional imaging techniques, such as microCT scanning and particle image velocimetry, I can visualize and analyze the interaction between these fishes and their environment. Utilizing the data acquired from these techniques, I will build bio-inspired robotics.  


Justin Bernstein (Research Rotation)

My research focuses on quantifying and qualifying Earth's biodiversity, focusing on lizards and snakes. I aim to describe Earth's extant lineages, identify their evolutionary relationships, and explain how events in Earth's geologic history have shaped those relationships. I primarily use molecular systematics and phylogenetics to study these relationships, but at times supplement this research with morphological and ecological data. In addition to these systematic studies, I also use biomechanic (particle image velocimetry) and imaging techniques to study functional morphology and it can play a role in organismal adaptation to their surrounding environments. Ultimately, I use a combination of molecular and morphological research to understand how organisms have evolved in the past into the diverse array of species today.


Tim Gassler



Carmel Rafalowsky

Undergraduate Students      

Amani Webber-Schultz


Cristian Cerrato-Morales


Jackson Wirght


Salam Harb



Research Associates





Leann Winn, MS

Kaelyn Gamel, MS

Oona Lockyer




Lab Alumni:    


Stephanie Crofts, PhD





Graduate (MS):

Kaelyn Gamel

Zak Robben


Audrey Biondi

Tim Gassler





Julie Markiewicz

Rola Shehata


Tim Gronet

David Singer




High School:

Acacia Tam

Rebeca Zapiach