PLENARY SPEAKERS

Biological and Bioinspired Magnetic Reception and Multimodal Sensing

Brian K. Taylor

Case Western Reserve University

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS) provide navigation information for applications that underpin society (e.g., international trade and travel, global security). However, satellite-based navigation technologies can become compromised or unavailable for a variety of natural and manmade reasons. These technologies are also expensive to deploy and maintain, and cannot be used in underwater applications. In contrast, a variety of animals migrate across long distances using only their natural born senses. In particular, different species of insect, fish, bird, turtle, and marine mammal use the earth’s magnetic field (i.e., magnetoreception) as an omnipresent sensory cue to aid in navigation and migration across continents and oceans. Despite decades of research, the sensory and processing mechanisms that underpin magnetoreception and its resulting navigation remain enigmatic. This talk will discuss the ongoing efforts of the Wisdom and Knowledge from Animal Navigation, Direction and Action (WAKANDA) Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University to probe animal and animal-inspired magnetoreception and multimodal sensing. To understand how animals sense and use the magnetic field to navigate, and to identify principles that can aid in developing the next generation of engineered navigation systems, WAKANDA uses an interdisciplinary approach that includes robotics, engineering, computational neuroscience, neuroethology, and modeling and simulation. Current laboratory activities include 1) analyzing hypothesized magnetoreception navigation strategies, 2) using computational neuroscience to understand sensory processing and integration, and 3) exploring a range of potential manmade applications for animal magnetoreception and multimodal sensing.

briantaylor

Dr. Brian K. Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to this, he was an Assistant Professor of Biology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he directed the Quantitative Biology and Engineering Sciences (QBES) Laboratory (now WAKANDA). Prior to his academic appointments, Dr. Taylor was a Civil Service Research Mechanical Engineer with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory. His research uses engineering tools and approaches to better understand biological systems while simultaneously using an understanding of biology to develop the next generation of robust engineered autonomous systems. Dr. Taylor is a triple-alumnus of Case Western Reserve University, holding a BSE (Aerospace Engineering), and a MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Taylor is also a musician (trumpeter, arranger, and composer), and released an album titled “Spirito Sereno” in 2016.

TBD

Mitra Hartmann

Northwestern University

TBD

C. J. Heckman

Northwestern University

TBD

John Rogers

Northwestern University

TBD

Ritu Raman

Massachusetts Institute of Technology