NEW (04/10/2018): my Ph.D. work on how the pattern of crevices present on the skin of African bush elephants forms is now online! Check it out here!
My current research focuses mainly on the elasticity and mechanics of thin structures, with special emphasis on the applications of these topics to the problem of pattern formation in biological systems.
Concretely, I am interested in understanding:
- how mechanical instabilities (such as buckling, wrinkling, folding, creasing and cracking) develop in elastic bodies,
- how to relate the characteristics of the post-instability deformation with the physical properties of the system,
- how periodic, quasi-periodic and irregular patterns can be generated through mechanical instabilities, and
- how these instabilities are “recruited” by Nature to help in the morphogenesis of living organisms.
I strive to combine theory, simulations and experiments to attain these goals: during my Ph.D., I spent my time (1) filling sheets of sketch paper with formulas, (2) coding them into computer simulations, and (3) “playing” with clays, gels and paints to try to experimentally validate my theoretical and numerical results.
Additionally, I have worked on a number of other topics throughout the years, and I am still interested in those too.
The skin of African bush elephants
A detailed description of this project will be added soon.