Ryosuke Motani
Department of Geology University of California Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, California, 95616
United States 

Dr. Motani received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Tokyo, Japan in 1991, his M.S.(1994) and Ph.D.(1997) in Zoology from the University of Toronto, Canada.  His major research focus is on the use of physics-based functional morphology to probe physical constraints behind the evolution of animal shapes. Questions along this line include: what made tunas, lamnid sharks, cetaceans, and ichthyosaurs all look similar in silhouette; what constraints were behind the long necks of elasmosaurs (long-necked plesiosaurs)? Complementary research topics cover phylogenetics, systematics, and their integration with physical functional morphology. Taxonomic strength is in Mesozoic marine reptiles, especially ichthyosaurs (Ichthyopterygia), and field experiences mostly in Mesozoic marine deposits.