Jake is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and biology from Duke University in 1994 and a Ph.D. in biology (with a focus on biomechanics) from the University of Chicago in 2002. After graduate school, he was the Ugo Fano Postdoctoral Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory, studying insect flow systems using synchrotron x-ray imaging at the Advanced Photon Source. His research program at Virginia Tech combines both interests, investigating the biomechanics and functional morphology of flows in and around organisms. Specific research topics include the behavior, biomechanics, and aerodynamics of gliding flight in flying snakes, and the biomechanics and physiology of internal convective flows involved in breathing, feeding, and circulation in insects. Prior to entering science in graduate school, he was a member of the Teach for America national teacher corps, teaching science in a public high school in Cajun Louisiana.
Mechanics of movement and internal flows