The Lab


Andrew Clark

Principal Investigator

I am interested in how animals function mechanically in their environments.  My fascination with animal form and function is the product of my obsession for animals, my zookeeping experiences, and my training as a comparative physiologist.  My general research interests include the comparative biomechanics of prey capture and feeding behaviors, musculoskeletal systems, and biological materials.  I am broadly interested in how these research topics relate to animal ecology and evolution.

Summary of my adventures in research:

The Blinks Fellowship Program at Friday Harbor Labs introduced me to the joys of research.  My first research experience was an investigation of prey selectivity in pile perch with my undergraduate advisor, Dr. Jeff Jensen.  I began studying the biomechanics of hagfish feeding when I was a graduate student in Dr. Adam Summers’ laboratory at the University of California, Irvine (Adam is now associate director of Friday Harbor Labs).  After graduating from UC Irvine, I spent one year as a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Timothy Higham’s laboratory at Clemson University (Tim is presently at UC Riverside).  During this period, I studied fall avoidance strategies in guinea fowl moving on slippery ground at variable speeds.  I am presently exercising my passion for research and teaching as an assistant professor at the College of Charleston.


My laboratory at the College of Charleston is approximately 37 square meters and set up for housing marine animals, performing anatomical dissections, materials testing, high-speed video, electromyography, and force measurement.  Undergraduate students who do research in my laboratory usually take part in larger projects but are nevertheless welcome to independently develop their own research projects.  Graduate students in the GPMB program may also do research in my lab.

One of the best things about research is collaborating with people who share my passion for comparative zoology and biomechanics!  If you are interested in participating in the laboratory or have any questions, please contact me.

Brooke King

Undergraduate research


Material properties and morphology of the skin in newly metamorphosed lamprey Petromyzon marinus

Andrew Demas

Undergraduate research

SURF 2011

Material properties of the skin in the Pacific hagfish Eptatretus stoutii


The people