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Nicolai Konow

IMAGE OF Nicolai Konow
Nicolai Konow, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, UMOVE Co-Director

Expertise

Biomechanics, muscle physiology, ecomorphology

Research Interests

Form-function-mechanics relationships. Integration and coordination of movements. Muscle contraction and tendon action. Ecological diversification. Evolutionary transitions. Feeding.

Education

Postdocs: Harvard University, Brown University, Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D., James Cook University
BSc., MSc., U. Copenhagen

Biosketch

In my lab, we pursue an understanding of how biological movements, as seen during feeding and locomotion arise from mechanical interactions between contracting muscles, springy tendons and jointed skeletons. We combine tools from biomechanics, muscle physiology, and functional morphology into a research program that is relevant to students interested in organismal biology, ecology and evolution, and biomedical or health-care careers. Some of our current projects seek to determine how changes in chewing movement patterns impact ecological transitions like terrestrialization. Other ongoing projects have direct implications for questions in human health, including how contractile-elastic mechanics differ between muscles and is affected by stretch injury, and how muscle-tendon function changes within an organism from cradle to grave.

For news about our research, please follow our group on Twitter @KonowLab.

Selected Publications

Schwarz D, Konow N, Heiss E. (2020). Ontogenetic plasticity in cranial morphology is associated with a change in food processing behavior in Alpine newts. Frontiers in Zoology. doi.org/10.1186/s12983-020-00373-x
Schwarz D, Gorb S, Kovalev A, Konow N, Heiss E. (2020). Flexibility of intraoral food processing in salamandrid newts: Effects of environment and prey type. Journal of Experimental Biology. doi.org/10.1242/jeb.232868

Taylor-Burt K, Konow N, Biewener AA (2020) Post-activation muscle potentiation and its relevance to cyclic movement. Biology Letters. doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0255

Taylor-Burt K, Konow N, Biewener AA (2020) Post-activation muscle potentiation and its relevance to cyclic movement. Biology Letters. doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0255

Rull M, Solomon J, Konow N (2020) Elastic recoil drives jaw closure in an aquatic-feeding salamander. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.0428

Konow N, Collias A, Biewener AA. (2020) In vivo dynamic shape-changes in the medial gastrocnemius during rat locomotion are force dependent. Frontiers in Physiology. 11:143. doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00143

Jayshini NM, Kessler S, Rainbow MJ D’Andera SE, Konow N, Kelley L, Lichtwark GA. (2020) reliability of exploring intrinsic motion of the foot with biplanar videoradiography. Front. Bioeng. Biotech.8:106 doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00106

Schwarz D, Konow N, Heiss E (2020) A salamander that chews with complex, three-dimensional mandible movements. J. Exp. Biol. doi.org/10.1242/jeb.220749

Ravi S, Noda R, Gagliardi S, Kolomenskiy D, Combes S, Liu H, Biewener AA, Konow N. (2020) Modulation of flight muscle recruitment and wing rotation enables hummingbirds to mitigate aerial roll perturbations. Current Biology doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.025

Eng C, Tijs C, Konow N, Holt N, De Boef M, Biewener AA (2019) Mechanical performance of two rat hind limb muscles with respect to gait and slope. J. Exp. Biol. doi.org/10.1242/jeb.205559.

Karakostis FA, Wallace I, Konow N, Havarti K. (2019) Experimental evidence that physical activity affects the multivariate associations among muscle attachments (entheses). J. Exp. Biol. 222 (23) doi.org/10.1242/jeb.213058.

Lin Y, Konow N, Dumont E (2019) How moles walk; it’s all thumbs. Biology Letters 15 (10) 20190503. Doi.org/ 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0503.

Putra C, Rimkus B, Shehaj A, Gage M, Konow N, Mangano K. (2019) Impact of dietary protein source on muscle performance: An in-vivo behavioral assay. Curr. Devt. Nutr. 3 (suppl. 1), nzz033. doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzz033.OR26-05-19

Kessler SE, Rainbow ME, Lichtwark GA, Cresswell AG, D’Andrea SE, Konow N, Kelly LA (2019) A Direct Comparison of Biplanar Videoradiography and Optical Motion Capture for Foot and Ankle Kinematics. Front. Bioeng. Biotech. 7, 199. doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2019.00199.

Witzmann F, Brainerd EL, Konow N (2019) Eye movements in frogs and salamanders: testing the palatal buccal pump hypothesis. Int. Org. Biol. IOB2019008. doi.org/10.1093/iob/obz011

Arellano C, Konow N, Gidmark N, Roberts TJ (2019) Tunable tendons: Elastic energy storage in aponeuroses varies with transverse strain in vivoProc. R. Soc. B. 20182764. doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.2764.

Heiss E, Schwarz D, Konow N (2019) Chewing or not? Intraoral food processing in a salamandrid newt. J. Exp. Biol. doi.org/10.1242/jeb.189886.

Lin Y, Konow N, Dumont E (2019) How moles destroy your lawn: the forelimb kinematics of Eastern moles in loose and compact substrates. J. Exp. Biol. doi.org/10.1242/jeb.182436

Ahn A, Konow N, Tijs C, Biewener AA (2018) Segments within vertebrate muscle can operate on different regions of the force-length relationship. Integr. Comp. Biol. 58(2) 219-231

Konow N, Price S, Aabom R, Bellwood DR, Wainwright PC (2017) Contrasting rates of eco-morphological diversification in coral reef butterfly and bannerfishes. Proc. R. Soc. B. 20170906

Frédérich B, Santini F, Konow N, Lecchini, Alfaro ME (2017) Convergent miniaturization in marine angelfishes. Biol. Lett. 20170154

Konow N, Cheney J, Roberts TJ, Iriarte-Diaz J, Breuer K, Waldman R, Swartz SM (2017) Speed-dependent modulation of wing muscle recruitment intensity and kinematics in two bat species. J. Exp. Biol. doi.org/10.1242/jeb.144550

Wallace I, Winchester J, Su A, Boyer DM, Konow N (2017) Physical activity alters limb bone structure but not entheseal morphology. J. Hum. Evol. doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.00.502

Arellano CJ, Gidmark NJ, Konow N, Azizi E, Roberts TJ (2016) Determinants underlying aponeurosis shape change during muscle contraction. J. Biomech. 49:1812-7 doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.04.022