Professor Taylor's research focuses on the dynamics and control of animal flight, but reflects a broader interest in the dynamics of biological systems in general. His research sits at the interface of biomechanics and neurophysiology, and also takes in engineering. He uses the tools of flight dynamics to analyse biological problems related to the stability and control of animal flight and is interested specifically in understanding how evolution co-tunes the physics and physiology of complex dynamical systems to achieve the extraordinary unsteady flight performance of birds and insects.
In his work he analyses both the vision-based control systems of insects flying tethered in a virtual reality flight simulator, and the role of morphing wing and tail surfaces on free-flying birds carrying wireless video cameras and inertial measurement units.
- Aerodynamics of animal flight
- Origin and evolution of birds
- Bird flight
- Insect flight, including hoverflies, locusts, bumblebees
- Biomimetics / biologically-inspired engineering
Professor Taylor has experience of working with the media, including both print and broadcast.