About us

We are an internationally-leading biomechanics research team specialising in the dynamics, guidance, and control of flight. Based in the Department of Zoology, our work combines fundamental research on animal flight with a strong and growing emphasis on applications to bio-inspired engineering. We seek to understand the mechanisms underpinning the biological systems that we study with the same depth and rigour as an engineer developing a technical system. More ambitiously, we aim to use this insight to uncover the functional “design” principles that emerge evolutionarily through the interaction of natural selection and physical constraint.

Our applied goal is to identify new sensing algorithms, new control architectures, and new hardware solutions to guide the design of new technologies. More fundamentally we aim to understand – and ultimately predict – how these same organizational principles and algorithms emerge from the interaction of physics and physiology that characterizes all life. We achieve this by combining state-of-the-art experimental facilities, ground-breaking imaging techniques, and technically challenging fieldwork with advanced mathematical theory in a diverse, inter-disciplinary research programme.

The Oxford Flight Group is led by Professor Graham Taylor. Our first spinout company, Animal Dynamics, is led by Professor Adrian Thomas.