Kelsey Lucas

Assistant Professor

Department of Biological Sciences

PhD - Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Harvard University, 2019

MA - Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Harvard University, 2017

BSc - Biology

Roger Williams University, 2012

Contact information

Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Ecological biomechanics of aquatic animals

Research Interests

I am fascinated by how the amazing behaviors aquatic animals do arise from the inner workings of their bodies and the physical laws that govern them. My research program seeks to extend our understanding of fish ecology by integrating swimming biomechanics with the context in which these biomechanics evolved, and my students and I explore the following themes: (1) how body shape and swimming movements together dictate the swimming forces a fish can produce, (2) how inter- and intraspecific variation in swimming mechanics influences behavior and energetics, (3) how swimming specializations affect potential habitat occupancy, and hence (4) how swimming ability, relative to other factors, influences fish habitat selection. Our understanding of how aquatic species interact with their habitats enables us to provide potential biomimetic solutions for unmanned underwater vehicle design challenges, as well as understanding what impacts change in freshwater systems have on the fishes found there.