Koehl, M. A. R.

How do the morphologies of organisms affect their physical interactions with the environment and other organisms? My research in marine systems couples field studies of the physical habitats, life history strategies, and ecological interactions of organisms with laboratory analyses of their biomechanics. Here, I review how we pursued answers to three questions about marine organisms: (a) how benthic organisms withstand and utilize the water moving around them, (b) how the interaction between swimming and turbulent ambient water flow affects where small organisms go, and (c) how hairy appendages catch food and odors. I also discuss the importance of different types of mentors, the roadblocks for women in science when I started my career, the challenges and delights of interdisciplinary research, and my quest to understand how I see the world as a dyslexic.