Dr. Daniel Huber specializes in studying the biomechanics of feeding and locmotion in cartilaginous fishes (chondrichthyans: sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras) through analyses of material and structural properties of skeletal elements, digital imaging technologies (CT, MRI), theoretical modeling of musculoskeletal systems, finite element analysis, force transduction, and high-speed digital videography, He investigates the relationship between morphology, behavior, and ecology, and how these factors change over the ontogeny of individual species, as well as among species and over orders of magnitude of size. Dr. Huber and his colleagues are the first to have successfully measured voluntary bite force in free-swimming sharks, which provide a glimpse at the behavioral basis of evolutionary diversification in chondrichthyan feeding mechanisms.

In the News
Dr. Huber’s research on sharks has been featured in a wide variety of media outlets, ranging from prime-time television to children’s books. He has appeared in numerous shows on National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. His recent collaboration on the feeding biomechanics of the white shark with the Computational Biomechanics Research Group has received worldwide media coverage and was listed as one of Discover Magazine's Top Science Stories of 2008. More recently Dr. Huber has been working wih colleagues on the causes of spinal deformities in captive sand tiger sharks (pictured above; deformed sandtiger with spinal reconstruction showing fractured vertebrae, extensive curvature, and ineffective skeletal remodeling) in an effort to reduce the prevalence of this syndrome and decrease the need to catch wild animals for aquarium exhibits. Various aspects of this project have recently been published or are in press in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, International Journal of Comparative Psychology, and Journal of Experimental Biology.