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Bradford J. Gemmell

Bradford J. Gemmell

Bradford J. Gemmell
Assistant Professor


Office: SCA 317
Phone: 813/974-1228
Lab: SCA 305, SCA 308
Fax: 974-3263


Personal Bio



Ph.D., Marine Science, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 2011.

B.S., Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, 2006.

Professional Experience



My research is highly interdisciplinary and lies at the intersection of biology and physics. Specifically, I am interested in the role of animal-fluid interactions in the marine environment and how these govern important biological factors such as predator-prey interactions as well as large-scale ecosystem processes and evolutionary relationships. My work includes a mechanistic approach to investigate how organisms function in fluid environments and extends to sublethal effects of environmental pollutants (e.g. oil spills). I specialize in the use of high speed imaging techniques such as particle image velocimetry (2D) and holographic cinematography (3D) to answer ecologically relevant questions regarding animal interactions with: fluid, predators, feeding, mating, migration, swimming and turbulence. Closely aligned with my study of animal-fluid interactions is a general interest in the evolutionary arms race between predators and prey, convergent evolution in propulsive mechanisms and understanding biological propulsion for use in bio-inspired design.

Specialty Area


Marine ecology, fluid dynamics and animal behavior.

Recent Journal Articles


Bradford Gemmell (ResearchGate)

Honors and Award






Recent Publications


Gemmell, B. J., Costello, J. H., Colin, Dabiri, J. O. 2015. Suction-based propulsion as a basis for efficient animal swimming. Nature Communications. 6 (8790). doi:10.1038/ncomms9790.

Adhikari, D., Gemmell, B. J., Hallberg, M. P., Longmire, E. K., Buskey, E. J. 2015. Measuring 3D Organism Trajectory and Surrounding Fluid Velocity Field Simultaneously in Complex Flows. J. Exp. Biol. doi: 10.1242/jeb.121707.

Kim, S., Hasanyan, J., Gemmell, B. J., Lee, S., Jung, S. 2015. Dynamic criteria of plankton jumping out of water. J. R. Soc. Interface. 12 (111), 20150582.

Lucas, K., Thornycroft, P., Gemmell, B., Colin, S., Costello, J., Lauder, G. 2015. Effects of non-uniform stiffness on the swimming performance of a passively-flexing, fish-like foil model. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. In press.

Costello, J., Colin, S., Gemmell, B. , Dabiri, J., Sutherland, K., 2015. Multi-jet propulsion organized by clonal development in a colonial siphonophore. Nature Comm. 6:8158. doi:10.1038/ncomms9158.

Gemmell, B., Jiang, H., Strickler. J. and Buskey E. 2015. A tail of the ciliate tail: investigation into this subcellular structure. Proc. R. Soc. B. 282 (1812). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0770.

Gemmell, B., Troolin, D., Costello, J., Colin, S., Satterlie, R. 2015. Control of Vortex Rings for Maneuverability. J. R. Soc. Interface. 12 (108). doi: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0389.

Colin, S., MacPherson, R., Gemmell, B., Costello, J., Sutherland, K., Jaspers, C. 2014. Elevating the impact: Sensory-scanning foraging strategy by the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Limnol. Oceanogr. 60 (1): 100–109. doi:10.1002/lno.10007.

Gemmell, B., Jiang, H., Buskey, E. 2014. A new approach to micro-scale particle image velocimetry (µPIV) for quantifying flows around free-swimming zooplankton. J. Plankton Res. 36 (5). doi:10.1093/plankt/fbu067.

Gemmell, B., Costello, J., Colin, S. 2014. Vortex enhancement mechanisms that contribute to energetically efficient propulsion. Communicative & Integrative Biology. 7 (1). e29014 doi:10.4161/cib.29014.

Lucas, K., Johnson, N., Beaulieu, W., Cathcart, E., Tirrell, G., Colin, S., Gemmell, B., J. Dabiri, Costello, J. 2014. Bending rules for animal propulsion. Nature Comm. 5 (3293). doi:10.1038/ncomms4293.

Gemmell, B., Adhikari, D., Longmire, K. 2014. Volumetric quantification of flow reveals fish’s use of hydrodynamic stealth to capture evasive prey. J. R. Soc. Interface. 11 (90). doi: 10.1098/rsif.2013.0880.

Gemmell, B., Sheng, J., Buskey, J. 2013. Morphology of seahorse head hydrodynamically aids in capture of evasive prey. Nature Comm. 4 (2840). doi: 10.1038/ncomms3840.

Dabiri, J., Bose S., Gemmell, B., Colin, S., Costello, H. 2013. An algorithm to estimate unsteady and quasi-steady pressure fields from velocity field measurements. J. Exp. Biol. 217. doi: 10.1242/jeb.092767.

Gemmell, B., Costello, J., Colin, S., Stewart, C., Dabiri, J., Tafti, D., Priya, S. 2013. Passive energy recapture in jellyfish contributes to propulsive advantage over other metazoans. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. doi:10.1073/pnas.1306983110.

Gemmell, B., Sheng, J. and Buskey, E. 2013. A compensatory escape mechanism at low Reynolds number. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 110 (10): 4661-4666. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212148110.

Colin, S., Costello, J., Dabiri, J., Villanueva, A., Blottman, J., Gemmell, B., Priya, S. 2012. Biomimetic and live medusae reveal the mechanistic advantages of a flexible bell margin. PLoS ONE. 7 (11): e48909. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048909.

Gemmell, B., Jiang, H., Strickler, J., Buskey, E. 2012. Plankton reach new heights in effort to avoid predators. Proc. R. Soc. B. 279 (1739): 2786-2792. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.0163

Gemmell, B. and Buskey E. 2011. The transition from nauplius to copepodite: susceptibility of developing copepods to fish predators. J. Plankton Res. 33 (11): 1773-1777. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbr066

Munguia, P., Ojanguren, A., Evans, A., Gemmell, B., Ryckman, L., Cook, C., Hensgen, G. 2009. Is facilitation a true species interaction? The Open Ecology Journal. 2, 83-85. doi: 10.2174/1874213000902010083

Conference proceedings

Adhikari, D., Longmire, E. and Gemmell, B.. 2012. Infrared tomographic PIV measurement of aquatic predator-prey interaction. 16th Int. Symp. on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics.