SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Michael Beckert
TIME: Friday, April 24, 2015, 3:00 p.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 4211
TITLE: Remora Adhesion Mechanics
COMMITTEE: Dr. Naresh Thadhani, Chair (ME)
Dr. Jason Nadler (MSE)
Dr. David Hu (ME)
Dr. Alexander Alexeev (ME)
Dr. Brooke Flammang (BIO)


Remora fishes are capable of rapid, reversible, and robust attachment to a wide variety of marine hosts both natural and artificial with widely varying geometric and material properties. Despite its unique abilities, the mechanisms responsible for remora attachment have received little attention in scientific literature in comparison to the number of works commenting on it. The objective of this work is to identify and quantify the behavior and limitations of the critical mechanisms responsible for remora attachment. Traditional dissection techniques were combined with high-resolution three-dimensional scans to characterize and identify critical structural metrics pertaining to remora morphology. The structural metrics were incorporated into simulations to predict remora behavior during attachment. Finally, experimental methods were performed on artificial tissues to validate model predictions when necessary. The work is of value to both the engineering and biological communities through the creation of design tools, analyses, data sets, and simulations that provide both quantitative design data for bioinspired devices and/or methodologies, but also insight into the behavior of the remora itself.