My research in the Structure and Motion Laboratory at the RVC was part of a grant studying the evolution and development of sesamoid bones in vertebrates, led by Prof John Hutchinson. I studied the knee joint of ostriches in order to gain insight into how and why their knee sesamoids (i.e. patellae) develop. This project began with a detailed anatomical study of all muscles, bones, tissues, and ligaments surrounding the knee. I then used this information to build FEA models to see if growth algorithms could explain their unique morphology.

I presented two posters for this project, at SEB2014 and EB2015.

The first paper for this project was an anatomical study, published in PeerJ.

The second paper for this project was a finite element analysis modelling study, published in Royal Society Open Science.

To ready more about our journey with this research question, see John’s blog post Why do ostriches have two kneecaps in each knee?.

For more about all the sesamoid projects led by John Hutchinson, see John’s blog post I Never Met A Fella Who Didn’t Like a Good Patella.