I am broadly interested in the relationship between skeletal function and form throughout evolution, and the extent to which form can be used to predict function in extinct animals with methods like Finite Element Analysis (FEA). I am currently working as a BBSRC-funded postdoctoral researcher on the morpho-functional evolution of bird beaks and skulls, along with Emily Rayfield (University of Bristol), Sam Cobb (Hull York Medical School) and Jesús Marugán-Lobón (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). This aims to address the extent to which morphological convergence and functional convergence in birds overlaps, and whether skull form is dictated more strongly by phylogeny or ecology. This will be done by using a combination of FEA and Geometric Morphometrics.
I completed my undergraduate degree in Geological Sciences at the University of Leeds, with an additional year at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I did my PhD at Bristol with Dr Emily Rayfield, performing a validation study on Finite Element models of the domestic pig cranium, and recieved the 2011/12 Science Faculty Research Prize for my thesis. I am now a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Earth Sciences, using Finite Element Analysis and Geometric Morphometrics to investigate the links between function and form in the skulls of extant birds.
In addition to my research responsibilities, I also act as spokesperson for and personal assistant to Prof. Leonard P. Annectens
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Dr Bright currently teaches 3 courses:
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