Tufts University  |  School of Arts and Sciences  |  School of Engineering  |  Find People  | 


Michael Fath

I completed my B.S. and M.S. in biology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. At St. Joe's I studied an extinct group of 320-million-ear-old shark-like fish called petalodonts. I even got to name and describe one - Obruchevodus griffithi – for the Russian biologist and paleontologist Dmitry Obruchev, and for the Griffith family of Lewistown, MT, who hosted us during our fieldwork. After graduating I taught at an integrated art and science after-school program in Philly and worked in Tonia Hsieh's lab at Temple University exploring how terrestrial animals move. As I studied how land animals move I was always thinking back to Obruchevodus and wondering how he might have used his body and fins to swim through the Mississippian seas. Since fossils are permanently stuck in rock, I came to Tufts to work with Eric Tytell and study how living fish use their bodies to move.

IGERT Research
In the fall of 2016, I worked with Eric Tytell and Rob Shepard (Cornell) to build a soft fish robot and get it moving. For that robot, we used pneumatic actuators to make it move and to moderate the stiffness of the robot body. This past spring (2017) I have been working in Barry Trimmer’s lab to help build a soft-limbed robot that moves via motor-tendon-driven actuators. I expect to be back in Eric’s lab next year as I enter my second year as an IGERT Fellow.

< back to IGERT Fellows page