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Lab members

Currently working in the lab. Click here for previous members.

Dr. Jake Socha
Principal Investigator

I am the Samuel Herrick Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech.  I am also a member of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, an affiliate of VT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Biological Sciences, a member of VT’s Integrative Organismal Biology group, and the co-director of Virginia Tech’s BIOTRANS program. 

Download CV (pdf)


Sara Wilmsen

Postdoctoral researcher

Sara is a postdoc working on insects in the lab. She's a part of two NSF projects, one working on feeding in mosquitoes, and the other looking at the effects of morphology on respiratory flow patterns in insect tracheal systems. She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of North Texas, working on insect physiology with Ed Dzialowski. 

Graduate students

Josh Pulliam

Ph.D. student

Josh is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, whose research focuses on how animals climb i arboreal environments. Josh earned dual degrees in applied physics from Morehouse College and mechanical engineering from Auburn University. 

Jeff Anderson

Ph.D. student

Jeff is a PhD student in Biological Sciences. His research explores the challenges and tradeoffs that limbless reptiles experience when feeding in an arboreal environment. Jeff earned his BS in biology from University of Maryland Eastern Shore and his masters from Emporia State University studying the influence of temperature on the constriction performance of corn snakes

Jonathan Zelaya

Ph.D. student

Jonathan is a PhD student in the engineering mechanics program of the BEAM department. He is also a member of the Biological Transport (BIOTRANS) program, an interdisciplinary graduate program that integrates engineering and biology. He is co-advised within the lab, and his primary advisor is Dr. Mark Stremler. Jonathan earned his BS in physics from Whitworth University


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