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Photo of a rainbow behind pelicans on rocks

The Biomechanics Laboratory of Mark W. Denny

Our Mission

At the heart of all of our studies are the interactions between individual organisms and between organisms and their physical environment. These are the concerns of an emerging field know as ecological mechanics. By exploring the mechanical and physiological design of nearshore organisms, we hope to reveal how they evolved to thrive and compete amidst the severe stresses of the wave-swept shore. The principles that have guided evolution and ecology in this exceptionally harsh environment can provide valuable insight into the design of all plants and animals, and will help us to understand how organisms will cope with our changing climate.

Our location, at Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, makes it easy for us to conduct experiments and test ideas just a stone's throw from the lab.

Read more about our mission

photo of a dynamometer on a rock


Instruments, techniques, and useful tips for doing research on wave-washed shores.
Portrait of Diana LaScala-Gruenewald

Meet our Team

Learn more about the lab's inhabitants.
photo of a shell on rocks

Research Areas

A wide variety of research projects are underway.