Kier Lab

William McKee Kier

Mailing Address:

Department of Biology, CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280

Lab:
313 Wilson Hall
(919) 962-5017

Education

Duke University Marine Laboratory
Beaufort, NC
1976: Summer Terms

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY
1974–1978: B.A., Marine Science, 1978

Duke University
Durham, NC
1978–1983: Ph.D., Zoology, 1983

Professional Experience

Chair, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 2008-2013.

Leadership Fellow, Institute for the Arts and Humanities' Academic Leadership Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005-2006.

Associate Chair, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 2002–2008

Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1999–present

Professor (joint), Curriculum in Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1999–present

Visiting Researcher, Ine Marine Laboratory, Ine, Japan, 2001.

Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1991–1999.

Adjunct Associate Professor, Curriculum in Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1993–1999.

Visiting Researcher, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, 1998, 1999, 2000.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1985–1991.

Visiting Researcher, Stazione Zoologica, Naples, Italy, 1985.

Visiting Researcher, The Laboratory, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Plymouth, England, 1984, 1997, 1998.

Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, 1984–1985.

Postdoctoral Fellow, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Fellowships in Science, National Science Foundation, 1984–1985.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 1983–1984.

COCOS Foundation Trainee, Department of Zoology, Duke University, Durham, NC, 1979–1983.

Awards

Reinhard Rieger Award in Zoomorphology, (with Theodore A. Uyeno) 2015.

Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003–2008.

Edward Kidder Graham Award, Favorite Faculty, Senior Class of 2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, inducted 2000

Favorite Faculty Award, Superlative Contribution, Senior Class of 1997, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997.

The Professor of the Year Award, State of North Carolina, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education, 1995.

The Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1995.

Tanner Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993.

Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation, 1987–1993.

Best Student Paper Award, (Hon. Men.), American Society of Zoologists Annual Meeting, 1982.

Best Student Paper Award, American Malacological Union Meetings, 1980.

Colgate University War Memorial Scholarship, 1974–1978.

Research Interests

comparative biomechanics, in particular the functional morphology of musculoskeletal systems; muscle structure, function, development and evolution; invertebrate zoology, molluscs, in particular cephalopod biology

Professional Societies

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Malacological Society
  • American Microscopical Society
  • Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • Sigma Xi
  • Society for Experimental Biology
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology

Bibliography

McNair, C.G., Kier, W.M., LaCroix, P.D. and Linsley, R.M. (1981) The functional significance of aperture form in gastropods. Lethaia 14: 63-70.

Kier, W.M. (1982) The functional morphology of the musculature of squid (Loliginidae) arms and tentacles. Journal of Morphology 172: 179-192.

Linsley, R.M. and Kier, W.M. (1984) The Paragastropoda: A proposal for a new class of Paleozoic Mollusca. Malacologia 25: 241-254.

Kier, W.M. and Smith, K.K. (1985) Tongues, tentacles and trunks: The biomechanics of movement in muscular-hydrostats. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 83: 307-324.

Kier, W.M. (1985) The musculature of squid arms and tentacles: Ultrastructural evidence for functional differences. Journal of Morphology 185: 223-239.

Kier, W.M., Messenger, J.B. and Miyan, J.A. (1985) Mechanoreceptors in the fins of the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis. Journal of Experimental Biology 119: 369-373.

Kier, W.M. (1987) The functional morphology of the tentacle musculature of Nautilus pompilius. In Nautilus: Biology and Paleobiology of the Living Fossil, Saunders, W.B. and Landman, N.H. (Eds.). pp. 257-269. New York: Plenum.

Kier, W.M. (1988) The arrangement and function of molluscan muscle. In The Mollusca, Form and Function, Trueman, E.R. and Clarke, M.R. (Eds.), Wilbur, K.M. (Ed.-in-Chief). 11: 211-252. New York: Academic Press.

Smith, K.K. and Kier, W.M. (1989) Trunks, tongues, and tentacles: Moving with skeletons of muscle. American Scientist 77: 28-35.

Kier, W.M. (1989) The fin musculature of cuttlefish and squid (Mollusca, Cephalopoda): Morphology and mechanics. Journal of Zoology (London) 217: 23-38.

Kier, W.M., Smith, K.K., and Miyan, J.A. (1989) Electromyography of the fin musculature of the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis. Journal of Experimental Biology 143: 17-31.

Kier, W.M. and Smith, A.M. (1990) The morphology and mechanics of octopus suckers. Biological Bulletin 178: 126-136.

Westbrook, A.L., Haire, M.E., Kier, W.M., and Bollenbacher, W.E. (1991) Three-dimensional architecture of identified neurosecretory cells in an insect. Journal of Morphology 208: 161-174.

Kier, W.M. (1991) Squid cross-striated muscle: the evolution of a specialized muscle fiber type. Bulletin of Marine Science. 49: 389-403.

Kier, W.M. (1992) Hydrostatic skeletons and muscular hydrostats. In: Biomechanics (Structures and Systems): A Practical Approach. Biewener, A.A. (Ed.), IRL Press at Oxford University Press.

Kier, W.M. and Schachat, F.H. (1992) Biochemical comparison of fast- and slow-contracting squid muscle. Journal of Experimental Biology 168: 41-56.

Smith, A.M., Kier, W.M., Johnsen, S. (1993) The effect of depth on the attachment force of limpets. Biological Bulletin. 184: 338-341.

Johnsen, S. and Kier, W.M. (1993) Intramuscular crossed connective tissue fibres: skeletal support in the lateral fins of squid and cuttlefish. Journal of Zoology. 231: 311-338.

McCurley, R.S. and Kier, W.M. (1995) The functional morphology of starfish tube feet: the role of a crossed-fiber helical array in movement. Biological Bulletin. 188: 197-209.

Kier, W. M. (1996) Muscle development in squid: ultrastructural differentiation of a specialized muscle fiber type. Journal of Morphology. 229: 271-288.

Kier, W.M. and Van Leeuwen, J.L. (1997) A kinematic analysis of tentacle extension in the squid Loligo pealei. Journal of Experimental Biology. 200: 41-53.

Van Leeuwen, J.L. and Kier, W.M. (1997) Functional design of tentacles in squid: linking sarcomere ultrastructure to gross morphological dynamics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B 352: 551-571.

Thompson, J.T., Lowe, A.D. and Kier, W.M. (1998) The columellar muscle of prosobranch gastropods: morphological zonation and its functional implications. Invertebrate Biology. 117: 45-56.

Van Leeuwen, J.L. and Kier, W.M. (1998) Dynamics and scaling of the tentacles in squid. Biona Report 13: 9-10.

Johnsen, S. and Kier, W.M. (1998) Damage due to solar ultraviolet radiation in the brittlestar Ophioderma brevispinum (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the U.K. 78: 681-684.

Nishikawa, K., Smith, K.K. and Kier, W.M. (1999) Morphology and mechanics of tongue movement in the African pig-nosed frog Hemisus marmoratum: a muscular hydrostatic model. The Journal of Experimental Biology 202: 771-780.

Johnsen, S. and Kier, W.M. (1999). Shade-seeking behavior under polarized light by the brittlestar Ophioderma brevispinum. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 79: 761-763.

Van Leeuwen, J.L., de Groot, J.H., and Kier, W.M. (2000) Evolutionary mechanics of protrusible tentacles and tongues. Netherlands Journal of Zoology. 50: 113-139.

Thompson, J.T. and Kier, W.M. (2001) Ontogenetic changes in mantle kinematics during escape jet locomotion in the Oval Squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana Lesson, 1830. Biological Bulletin 201: 154-166.

Thompson, J.T. and Kier, W.M. (2001) Ontogenetic changes in fibrous connective tissue organization in the Oval Squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana Lesson, 1830. Biological Bulletin 201: 136-153.

Kier, W.M. and Curtin, N.A. (2002) Fast muscle in squid (Loligo pealei): contractile properties of a specialized muscle fibre type. Journal of Experimental Biology. 205: 1907-1916.

Thompson, J.T. and Kier, W.M. (2002) Ontogeny of squid mantle function: changes in the mechanics of escape jet locomotion in the Oval Squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana Lesson, 1830. Biological Bulletin. 203: 14-26.

Kier, W.M. and Smith, A.M. (2002) The structure and adhesive mechanism of octopus suckers. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 42: 1146-1153.

Taylor, J.R.A. and Kier, W.M. (2003) Switching skeletons: hydrostatic support in molting crabs. Science. 301: 209-210.

Kier, W.M. and Thompson, J.T. (2003) Muscle arrangement, function and specialization in recent coleoids. Berliner Paläobiologische Abhandlungen 03: 141-162.

Uyeno, T. A. and Kier, W. M. (2005) Functional morphology of the cephalopod buccal mass: a novel joint type. Journal of Morphology. 264: 211-222.

Walker, I.D., Dawson, D.M., Flash, T., Grasso, F.W., Hanlon, R.T., Hochner, B., Kier, W.M., Pagano, C.C., Rahn, C.D. and Zhang, Q.M. (2005) Continuum Robot Arms Inspired by Cephalopods. Proceedings of SPIE. 5804: 303-314.

Taylor, J.R.A. and Kier, W.M. (2006) A pneumo-hydrostatic skeleton in land crabs. Nature. 440: 1005.

Thompson, J.T. and Kier, W.M. (2006) Ontogeny of mantle musculature and implications for jet locomotion in oval squid Sepioteuthis lessoniana. Journal of Experimental Biology. 209: 433-443.

Uyeno, T.A. and Kier, W.M. (2007) Electromyography of the buccal musculature of octopus (Octopus bimaculoides): a test of the function of the muscle articulation in support and movement. Journal of Experimental Biology. 210: 118-128.

Kier, W.M. and Stella, M.P. (2007) The arrangement and function of octopus arm muscle and connective tissue. Journal of Morphology. 268: 831-843.

Taylor, J.R.A., Hebrank, J. and Kier, W.M. (2007) Mechanical properties of the rigid and hydrostatic skeletons of molting blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus Ratthbun. Journal of Experimental Biology. 210: 4272-4278.

Kier, W.M. and Schachat, F.H. (2008) Muscle specialization in the squid motor system.  Journal  of Experimental Biology. 211: 164-169.

Trivedi, D., Rahn, C.D., Kier, W.M. and Walker, I. D. (2008) Soft robotics: Biological inspiration, state of the art, and future research. Applied Bionics and Biomechanics. 5: 99-117.

Salisbury, S.M., Martin, G.C., Kier, W.M., and Schulz, J.R. (2010) Venom kinematics during prey capture in Conus: the biomechanics of a rapid injection system. Journal of Experimental Biology. 213: 673-682.

Uyeno, T.A. and Kier, W.M. (2010) Morphology of the muscle articulation joint between the hooks of a flatworm (Kalyptorhynchia, Cheliplana sp.) Biological Bulletin. 218: 169-180.

Shaffer, J.F. and Kier, W.M. (2012) Muscular tissues of the squid Doryteuthis pealeii express identical myosin heavy chain isoforms: an alternative mechanism for tuning contractile speed. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215: 239-246.

Kier, W.M. (2012) The diversity of hydrostatic skeletons.  Journal of Experimental Biology. 215: 1247-1257.

Kurth, J.A. and Kier, W.M. (2014) Scaling of the hydrostatic skeleton of the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris. Journal of Experimental Biology. 217: 1860-1867.

Thompson, J.T., Shelton, R.M. and Kier, W.M. (2014) The length-force behavior and operating length range of squid muscle vary as a function of position in the mantle wall. Journal of Experimental Biology. 217: 2181-2192.

Kurth, J.A., Thompson, J.T. and Kier, W.M. (2014) Connective tissue in squid mantle is arranged to accommodate strain gradients. Biological Bulletin. 227: 1-6.

Uyeno, T.A. and Kier, W.M. (2015) The structure and function of a muscle articulation-type jaw joint of a polychaete worm. Journal of Morphology. 276: 403-414.

Kurth, J.A., and Kier, W.M. (2015) Differences in scaling and morphology between lumbricid earthworm ecotypes. Journal of Experimental Biology. 218: 2970-2978.

Shaffer, J.F. and Kier, W.M. (2016) Tuning of shortening speed in coleoid cephalopod muscle:  no evidence for tissue-specific muscle myosin heavy chain isoforms. Invertebrate Biology. 135: 3-12

Kier, W.M. (2016) The musculature of coleoid cephalopod arms and tentacles. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 4.10. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2016.00010

Kurth, J.A. and Kier, W.M. (in prep) The implications of soil mechanical properties for burrowing.

Van Leeuwen, J.L. and Kier, W.M. (in prep) The implications of variation in excitation pattern for the fast tentacle strike in squid.

Publications by Students in Laboratory of W.M. Kier

Smith, A.M. (1991) Negative pressure generated by octopus suckers: a study of the tensile strength of water in nature. Journal of Experimental Biology 157: 257-271.

Smith, A.M. (1991) The role of suction the adhesion of limpets. Journal of Experimental Biology 161: 151-169.

Smith, A.M. (1992) Alternation between attachment mechanisms by limpets in the field. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 160: 205-220.

Johnsen, S. (1994) Extraocular sensitivity to polarized light in an echinoderm. Journal of Experimental Biology. 195: 281-291.

Johnsen, S. (1997) Identification and localization of the visual pigment in the starfish Asterias forbesi (Asteroidea) and the brittlestar Ophioderma brevispinum (Ophiuroidea). Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, 193: 97-105.

Thompson, J.T. and Voight, J.R. (2003) Erectile tissue in an invertebrate animal: the Octopus copulatory organ. Journal of Zoology. 261: 101-108.

Baines, A.T., McVey, M., Rybarczyk, B., Thompson, J.T., and Wilkins, H.R. (2004) The mystery of the toxic flea dip: an interactive approach to teaching aerobic cellular respiration. Cell Biology Education. 3: 62-68.

Uyeno, T.A. and Hsiao (2007) A novel device to monitor small changes in underwater distances.  Invertebrate Biology. 126: 279-286.

Marine Field Experience

2014 Cephalopod muscle electrophysiology and membrane channel research, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA. Collaborator:  William Gilly.

2010-2012 Squid mantle research, Darling Marine Center, University of Maine, Walpole, ME

2005 Transparent zooplankton research, R.V. PELICAN, Gulf of Mexico.

2001 Cephalopod muscle research, Ine Marine Laboratory, Ine, Japan.

1998, 1999, 2000 Cephalopod muscle research, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.

1996, 1997 Cephalopod muscle research, The Marine Biological Association of the U.K., Plymouth, England.

1987, 1994 Cephalopod muscle research: Marine Biomedical Institute, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.

1985 Cephalopod electrophysiology research: Stazione Zoologica, Naples, Italy.

1984-1985 Cephalopod muscle research: The Laboratory, The Marine Biological Association of the U.K., Plymouth, England

1983, 1984 Oceanic squid research: aboard R.V. COLUMBUS ISELINE, Sargasso Sea.

1981 Squid research: Aquatron Laboratory, Institute of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

1980 Squid research: Marine Biomedical Institute, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.

1972-1979 Echinoid research, research assistant for Dr. P.M. Kier: Smithsonian Institution Investigations of Marine Shallow-Water Ecosystems, Carrie-Bow Cay, Belize; St. Croix, U.S.V.I.; Florida Keys.

1979 Damselfish aggressive behavior, research assistant for Dr. P. Klopfer: Smithsonian Institution Laboratory, Carrie-Bow Cay, Belize.

1978 Gastropod aperture research: aboard M.S. LINDBLAD EXPLORER, Sea of Cortez, Baja; St. Croix, U.S.V.I.

1977 Gastropod aperture research: aboard M.S. LINDBLAD EXPLORER, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, Fiji.

Professional Service

Nomination Committee, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2015-2016.

Graduate Program Review Committee, Biology and Marine Biology Graduate Program, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, April 2015.

Associate Editor, Biological Bulletin, 2010-present

Senior Advisory Board, Journal of Morphology, 2008-present

Associate Editor, Journal of Morphology, 1997–2008

Advisory Council, Acta Zoologica, 2004 - present

Panelist, Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 2008 Forum, Interdisciplinary Research:  Expanding Research Impact and Opportunity.

International Advisory Board, CIMTEC 2008, Mining Smartness from Nature, From Bio-Inspired Materials to Bionic Systems

Panel Member, Certificate in Teaching College Biology Program, Department of Biology, Duke University, Spring 2004.

Member-at-Large, Executive Committee, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2002-2005

Co-Organizer (with R. T. Hanlon & F. Grasso) of meeting for United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency entitled “Cephalopod Arms, Tentacles and Senses as Inspiration for Novel Robotic Manipulators”, May 3–6, 2001, J. Erik Jonsson Woods Hole Center of the National Academy of Sciences, Woods Hole, MA.

Panel Member, National Science Foundation, Integrative Animal Biology Panel, 2000, 2001

Council Delegate, Section of Biological Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2/18/98–2/20/01.

Member-at-Large, Executive Committee, American Microscopical Society, 2000–2006

Speaker, “Undergraduate Teaching”, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors, Chapel Hill, NC, 11/11/95.

External Examiner, Ph.D. dissertation of J. A. Hoar, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada, 8/18/95.

Keynote Speaker, Excellence in Education Awards Banquet, Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce, Burlington, NC, 5/23/95.

Panelist, “Educating for Science: Meeting the Challenges”, Dedication of Leon Levine Science Research Center, Duke University, 12/10/94.

Participant, Career Exploration Program, Chapel Hill High School, 1994.

Participant, Career Shadowing Program, Stanford Middle School, 1994.

Mentor, North Carolina School of Science and Math Mentorship Program, 1989-1990, 1992-1993.

Advisory Panel, North Carolina Museum of Life and Science Exhibit, Life in a Physical World, 1991-1993.

American Malacological Union, Councillor-at-large, 1991-1994.

Panel Member, Sigma-Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research, 1987-1995.

Chairman, Best Student Paper Award Committee, American Malacological Union Meetings, 1990.

Referee, Best Student Paper Award Committee, Invertebrate Zoology Division, American Society of Zoologists Annual Meetings, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2000.

Member, Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Membership Committee, American Malacological Union, 1990-1994.

Lecturer/ Guest Faculty, Organization for Tropical Studies, Course 86-1, Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach, Monteverde, Costa Rica, C.A., January-February, 1986.

Reviewer:

  • Acta Zoologica
  • American Malacological Bulletin
  • Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
  • Biological Bulletin
  • Biological Cybernetics
  • Biological Journal of the Linnnean Society
  • Biology Letters
  • Biotechnic and Histochemistry
  • Biotechnology Advances
  • Bulletin of Marine Science
  • Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology
  • Computers in Biology and Medicine
  • Current Biology
  • Frontiers in Zoology
  • Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • Invertebrate Biology
  • Journal of Applied Physiology
  • Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Society
  • Journal of Experimental Biology
  • Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK
  • Journal of Molluscan Studies
  • Journal of Morphology
  • Journal of the Royal Society Interface
  • Journal of Theoretical Biology
  • Journal of Zoology
  • Lethaia
  • Malacologia
  • Marine Biology
  • Paleobiology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Society Letters
  • Science
  • Journal of the Royal Society Interface
  • Veliger
  • Vie et Milieu
  • Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
  • Zoology
  • Zoomorphology

Reviewer of proposals to:

  • Army Research Office
  • Israel Science Foundation
  • Jeffress Trust
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Undersea Research Center
  • North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Courses Currently Taught

  • Biology 451, Comparative Physiology, (Spring, yearly)
  • Biology 551, Comparative Biomechanics, (Fall, alternate years)
  • Biology 890, Teaching and Course Development, (Fall, on occasion)
  • Biology 858, Comparative Biomechanics Graduate Seminar (Fall, alternate years)
  • Biology 890, Philosophical and Practical Issues in Science (Fall, on
     occasion)

University Service

Department of Biology:

  • Director of Graduate Studies, EEOB, 2014.
  • EEOB Graduate Studies and Admissions Committee, 2013-present.
  • Chair's Advisory Committee, 2013-present.
  • Grade Appeal Committee, Chair, 2007.
  • Commencement Recognition Ceremony Committee, Chair, 2003-2006, member, 2007-2009.
  • Biology Lecturer Search Committee, Chair, 2007.
  • Teaching Awards Committee, 2003-2008.
  • Integrative Organismal Biology Search Committee, Chair, 2004–2005.
  • Associate Chair, Academic Affairs, 2002–2008.
  • Committee on Organismal Biology, Chair, 1998–2004.
  • Computer Committee, Chair, 1997–2002.
  • Liaison—Marine Sciences, 1986–1998; 2006-2008.
  • Chair’s Advisory and Planning Committee, 1992–2004.
  • Undergraduate Studies Committee, Chair, 1997–1998; member, 2002-2008.
  • Undergraduate Honors Program Committee, 1993–1996, Chair, 1995–1996.
  • Graduate Affairs Committee (recruitment, admissions, fellowships), 1989–1992.
  • Undergraduate Affairs Committee (curriculum, registration, advising), 1986–1997.
  • Seminar Program Committee, 1988–1992.
  • Microscopy Facility Committee, 1986–2002, Chair, 1991–2002.
  • Integrative Organismal Physiology Search Committee, 2002–2003.
  • Evolutionary Biology Search Committeee, 2000–2001
  • Animal Behavior and Ecology Search Committee, 1995–1996.
  • Integrative Organismal Biology Search Committee, Chair, 1994–1995.
  • Evolutionary Biology Search Committee, 1992–1993.
  • Ecology Search Committee, 1991–1992.
  • Invertebrate Biology Search Committee, 1989–1990.
  • Evolutionary Biology Search Committee, 1988–1989.
  • Plant Systematics Search Committee, 1986–1987.
  • Faculty Secretary, 1986–1987.

Search Committee, Director, North Carolina Botanical Garden, 2014-2015.

Academic Support Program for Student Athletes Advisory Committee, 2013-2016.

Search Committee, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UNC-CH, 2013.

Chair, Council of Chairs, UNC-CH, 2012-2013.

Dean's Advisory Committee, College of Arts and Sciences, UNC-CH, 2009-2013.

Department of Psychology External Review, Committee Member, 2010.

Search Committee, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, UNC-CH, 2008-2009.

Executive Committee, Curriculum in Applied Science and Engineering, 2008-2010.

Faculty Sponsor, UNC-CH Unite for Sight, 2004–2008.

Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship Selection Committee, 2004.

Teaching Assistant Advisory Task Force, 2002–2003.

Search Committee, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, 2001.

Search Committee, Assistant University Librarian for Collections and Resource Services, 2001.

Steering Committee, UNC-CH Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, 2000.

Advisory Committee for Prestigious Scholarships, 1998–2004.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Committee, 1999-2008; Chair, 2002–2003, 2004–2008.

Dean’s Faculty Consultative Committee, 1999–2002.

Administrative Board of the Graduate School, 1999–2002.

Search Committee, Full-time Advisor Initiative, General College and Arts and Sciences, 1999.

Administrative Board of the Library, Natural Sciences, 1998–2001.

Advisory Board, UNC-CH Study Abroad Program, 1997–2000.

Honors Program Faculty Advisory Board, 1996–1999.

Endowment Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences, 1996–1999.

University Committee on Teaching Awards, Chairman of Tanner Award Subcommittee, 1995–1996.

Scholarly Publications, Artistic Exhibitions, and Performances Committee, 1994–1997.

Advisory Committee of Applied Sciences Curriculum, 1992–1995.

Presentation for North Carolina Renaissance Program, UNC-CH, 5/9/96

Howard Hughes Program for Minority Advancement in the Biomolecular Sciences, Frontiers in Marine Biology Course Leader, 6/1991, 6/1992, 6/1993, 6/1994.

Faculty and Biology Department Representative, Carolina Contact: Carolina Fair Days Program, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993.

Faculty and Biology Department Representative, Carolina Close-up, 1998.

Faculty Council, Natural Sciences, Alternate, 1990–1991.

Guest faculty, Marine Carbonate Environments, MASC 223, C. Neumann, San Salvador, Bahamas, March, 1989.

Faculty Sponsor, UNC Outing Club, 1989–1993.

Grant Support

Structural and Functional Connectivity of Squid Chromatophores, National Science Foundation, Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, W. F. Gilly, Stanford University, P.I., Subcontract to UNC-Chapel Hill, 7/1/16-6/30/19, ($91,051 to UNC).

Non-Uniform Distribution of Muscle Fiber Strain in Squid Mantle Muscle:  Implications for Musculoskeletal System Structure, Function and Evolution, National Science Foundation, Physiological and Structural Systems Cluster, Division of Integrated Organismal Sysstems, J. Thompson, Franklin and Marshall University, Co-P.I., 3/1/10-8/31/14, ($272,000 to UNC).

Transparency: Ultrastructural and Biochemical Specialization in Muscular and Ocular Tissues, National Science Foundation, Integrative Animal Biology Program, S. Johnsen, Duke University, Co-P.I., 3/1/05-2/29/08, ($189,999 to UNC).

Soft Robotic Manipulators and Manipulation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, BAA Number BAA 01-42 (Addendum 11, Special Focus Area: Biodynotics), I. Walker, Clemson University, Co-P.I., W. M. Kier, UNC-CH, 9/1/03-8/17/06, $6,367,809. ($559,135 to UNC)

Cephalopod Perception and Behavior Analysis for Mobile Robotics and Adaptive Manipulation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, R. T. Hanlon, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole. Co P.I. W. M. Kier, UNC-CH, ($17,935 to UNC).

Manipulation and Contact Sensing via Trunks, Tentacles, and Whiskers. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Research Opportunities in Biology-Inspired Technologies. P.I.: I. D. Walker, Clemson University. Co-P.I.s: W.M. Kier, UNC-CH & C.D. Rahn, Clemson University, 6/1/99-5/31/03, $381,992 ($74,594 to UNC)

Muscle Mechanics in Squid: An Integrated Analysis of Muscle Fiber Specialization. National Science Foundation, Integrative Animal Biology Program, 3/1/98 – 2/28/02, $243,000.

The Mechanics of Fast-Contracting Squid Muscle, NATO International Scientific Exchange Programmes, Collaborative Research Grant, CRG 971179, 10/1/97-9/30/99, BF127,000.

The Mechanics of a Specialized Muscle Fiber Type in Squid, UNC-CH University Research Council, 12/01/96-11/30/98, $2,187.

Polarization Sensitivity in Ophiuroids: The Structure and Ecological Function of a Diffuse Photic System, with S. Johnsen, National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, IBN-9411834, 7/15/94-6/30/96, $8,246.

Muscle Development in Squid: An Integrative Analysis of Muscle Fiber Specialization, National Science Foundation, Functional and Physiological Ecology Program, IBN-9219495, 3/1/93-2/28/97, $298,000.

Development of Exercises for Biology 120, Comparative Physiology Laboratory, John T. Lupton Opportunities Fund, University of North Carolina, 12/11/92 – 6/30/93, $5,015.

Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation, DCB 8658069, 8/15/87-1/31/93, $125,000 base grant, $500,000 with matching funds.

The Effect On Limpet Attachment Forces of Increase in Ambient Pressure Due to Depth (With Andrew M. Smith), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Undersea Research Center, 91-OT-KIER, 2/1/1991-12/31/1991, $1,080, use of hyperbaric facility.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement, National Science Foundation, supplement to DCB-8658069, 3/15/88-1/31/89, $2,276 & 5/15/91 – 8/15/91, $3,000

Junior Faculty Development Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1/1/87-12/31/87, $3,000.

The Development of Striation Types in Cephalopod Muscle, The UNC Chapel Hill University Research Council, 1/1/86-8/1/87, $550.

The Neurophysiology of Cephalopod Musculature, American Philosophical Society, 9/1/84-9/1/85, $895.

The Functional Morphology of the Arms and Tentacles of the Cuttlefish, The Lerner-Gray Fund for Marine Research of the American Museum of Natural History, 9/1/84-9/1/85, $910.

The Functional Morphology of Cephalopod Arms and Tentacles, Sigma-Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research, 4/1/82-4/1/83, $250.

Meetings Attended, Presentations and Published Abstracts (selected recent only)

Netherlands Anatomical Society, January, 1999: “Evolutionary Mechanics of Muscular Systems.” (co-authored with J.L. van Leeuwen, J.H. de Groot, K.C. Nishikawa, & C.W. Spoor). Abstract: European Journal of Morphology. 37: 269.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, January 2000: “Mechanics of Fast-Contracting Squid Muscle: Mechanisms of Specialization.” (co-authored with N.A. Curtin). Abstract: American Zoologist 39: 117A.

Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, Exeter, UK, March 2000. “Fast squid muscle: an integrative analysis of fibre specialization.” (co-authored with N. A. Curtin). Abstract: Experimental Biology Online 5: 35.

Cephalopod Arms, Tentacles and Senses as Inspiration for Novel Robotic Manipulators, Sponsored by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, J. Erik Jonsson Woods Hole Center of the National Academy of Sciences, Woods Hole, MA, May 2001.
“Introduction to the Morphology and Biomechanics of Muscular-Hydrostats”
“Morphology and Mechanics of Cephalopod Arms and Tentacles”
(abstracts published in meeting program)

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, January 2002: “The Structure and Adhesive Mechanism of Octopus Suckers”. (co-authored with A.M. Smith) Invited talk to Biomechanics of Adhesion Symposium. Abstract: American Zoologist 41: 1492.

International Symposium on Coleoid Cephalopods Through Time, Berlin, Germany, September 2002: “The Evolution of Muscle Specialization in Recent Coleoids”. Keynote Lecture. Abstract: Berliner Paläobiologische Abhandlungen 01: 54-57.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, January 2003: “Hydrostatic Skeletons in the Crustacea”. (co-authored with J.R.A. Taylor, presenter). Abstract: Integrative and Comparative Biology 42: 1322.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, January 2003: “Peristaltic Locomotion in Holothuroids (Echinodermata)”. (co-authored with D.D. Spain, presenter). Abstract: Integrative and Comparative Biology 42: 1316.

TEDMED Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 12, 2003. Invited Presenter.

Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons 12th International Congress and Endo Expo, Las Vegas, NV, September 25, 2003: “Nature’s Flexible Manipulators: Learning from the Octopus and Squid”. Keynote Lecture. Abstract: 12th International Congress and Endo Expo: SLS Annual Meeting Syllabus, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 22-25, 2003. Miami, FL: Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons; 2003:33.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, January 2005: “The Morphology and Mechanics of Octopus Arms: Inspiration for Novel Robotics”. (co-authored with M.P. Stella, presenter). Abstract: Integrative and Comparative Biology 44: 645.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, January 2005: “Hydrostatic Support in a Land Crab”. (co-authored with J.A. Taylor, presenter). Abstract: Integrative and Comparative Biology 44: 651.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, January 2005: “The Function of Cephalopod Buccal Mass Musculature”. (co-authored with T.A. Uyeno, presenter). Abstract: Integrative and Comparative Biology 44: 757.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, January 2006. “Mechanical Properties of a Crab Skeleton Following Molting”. (co-authored with J.A. Taylor, presenter).  Abstract:  Integrative and Comparative Biology 45: 1082.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, January 2006. “The Muscle Articulation in Polychaetes and Cephalopods: Joints Made of Multifunction Muscle”.  (co-authored with T.A. Uyeno, presenter).  Abstract:  Integrative and Comparative Biology 45: 1088.

 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, January 2006. “Specialization for Fast Contraction in the Tentacle Muscle of the Cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis”.  (co-authored with M. P. Stella, presenter). Abstract:  Integrative and Comparative Biology 45: 1198.

5th World Congress of Biomechanics, Munich, Germany, August, 2006. Invited Presenter. Muscle Specialization in the Squid Motor System. Abstract:  Journal of Biomechanics 39: S353.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, January 2007. “The Structure of the Hooks of a Turbellarian Flatworm:  A Vermetically Sealed Muscle Articulation”.  (co-authored with T.A. Uyeno, presenter). Abstract:  Integrative and Comparative Biology 46: e145.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, January 2007. “Alternative Splicing of the Myosin Heavy Chain in Loligo: a Squid Pro Quo Protein Distribution”. (co-authored with F. H. Schachat). Abstract:  Integrative and Comparative Biology 46: e215.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, January 2007. “Interactions of ambient and feeding currents in the branchial crown of the “Christmas tree worm”, Spirobranchus giganteus. . (co-authored with L.D. Waldrop, presenter). Abstract:  Integrative and Comparative Biology 46: e262.

1st International Congress of Invertebrate Morphology, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2008.  "Invertebrate muscle specialization: morphological modulation in squid".

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, January 2009. “You can hide, but you can't run: trade-offs between muscle activation and transparency in glass catfish." (co-authored with S. Johnsen, presenter). Abstract:  Integrative and Comparative Biology 49: e86.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Charleston, SC, January 2012. “Tuning of mantle connective tissue to non-uniform strain in the squid Doryteuthis pealeii.” [co-authored with J.A. Kurth (presenter) and J. T. Thompson].
“Non-uniform strain in squid mantle muscle: relating the length-tension curve to in-vivo muscle performance.”  [co-authored with J.T. Thompson (presenter) and R. M. Shelton].
“Muscular tissues in the squid Doryteuthis pealei express identical myosin heavy chain isoforms”. [co-authored with J.F. Shaffer (presenter)]
“Using research focused learning modules for outreach to high school science classrooms”. [co-authored with A.L. Safarti (presenter), J.F. Shaffer, W.M. Kier, and J.S. Coble].

Society for the Neural Control of Movement Annual Meeting, Venice, Italy, April, 2012.  “Morphology and biomechanics of muscular hydrostats”.  Invited Symposium Presentation.

Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, Salzburg, Austria, June, 2012.  “Structural modulation of shortening velocity in cephalopod muscle”. Invited Symposium Presentation.

Living Machines, The International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Barcelona, Spain, July, 2012.  “Morphology and biomechanics of muscular-hydrostats”. Invited Symposium Presentation.

Southeast Regional Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Charleston, SC, October 2012, “Fast and slow squid muscle:  an integrative analysis of fiber evolution and specialization”. Keynote Address.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, January 2013, “Scaling of the hydrostatic skeleton in the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris.” [co-authored with J.A. Kurth (presenter)].

Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, Valencia, Spain, July, 2013. "Coleoid cephalopods do not express tissue specific myosin heavy chain isoforms". (co-authored with J.F. Shaffer).

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, January 2014.  “Clearly camouflaged: muscle architecture in transparent shrimp.” [co-authored with S. Johnsen and L.E. Bagge (presenter).
“Bigger is not better:  the effects of body size on 3D burrowing kinematics in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris.” (co-authored with J.A. Kurth)

34th International Ethological Conference, 2015, Cairns, Australia, August 2015. "Diversity, morphology, and biomechanics of muscular hydrostats". Invited Symposium Presentation.

Experimental Biology Conference, San Diego, CA, April 2016. “The function of oblique striation explained? Tuning the length-force relationship in the muscles of soft-bodied invertebrates.” Invited symposium presentation, [co-authored with J.T. Thompson (presenter)]

Invited Seminars (selected recent only)

Evolutionary Morphology Seminar Series, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA, 2/4/99.
“Fast and Slow Squid Muscle: The Evolution of Muscle Fiber Specialization”

Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, Gloucester Point, VA, USA, 11/9/99.
“Fast and Slow Squid Muscle: An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Specialization”

Perspectives in Biology Symposium, Featured Speaker, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 11/12/99-11/13/99.
“Tentacles, Tongues and Elephant Trunks: Moving with Skeletons of Muscle”
“Fast and Slow Squid Muscle: An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Specialization”

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, 8/25/00.
“Fast Squid Muscle: An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Specialization”

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 12/14/00.
“Fast Squid Muscle: An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Specialization”

Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC, 1/24/01.
“Tentacles, Tongues and Other Muscular Hydrostats: Inspiration for Robotic Manipulators?”

Keynote Speaker, Howard Hughes Biology Forum, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, 4/12/01.
“The Strike of the Squid: An Integrative Analysis of Muscle Specialization”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, VA, 7/11/01.
“Morphology and Biomechanics of Muscular Hydrostats”

Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training Program in Neuro-Mechanical Systems, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 11/5/01.
“The Strike of the Squid: An Integrative Analysis of Muscle Fiber Specialization”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, VA, 11/29/01
“Structure and Mechanics of Muscular Hydrostats”

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency / Defense Sciences Research Council Planning Meeting on Dynamically Stable, Malleable, Materials and Structures, Arlington, VA, 10/9/02
“Morphology and Biomechanics of Muscular-Hydrostats”

The Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 10/20/02
“The Strike of the Squid: An Integrative Analysis of Muscle Fiber Specialization”

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency / Defense Sciences Research Council Workshop on Dynamically Stable, Malleable, Materials and Structures, Arlington, VA 2/4/03.
“Morphology and Biomechanics of Muscular-Hydrostats”

Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 11/10/03.
“Tongues, Elephant Trunks, Squid Tentacles, and Soft Robots”

Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 4/23/04.
“The Strike of the Squid: An Integrative Analysis of Muscle Fiber Specialization”

Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC, 3/21/06.
"Squid Tentacles, Elephant Trunks, Tongues, and Soft Robots"

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Durham, NC, Scientific Excursions and Diversions Program, 3/6/07.
"Squid Tentacles, Elephant Trunks, Tongues, and Soft Robots"

Pembroke University, Pembroke, NC, Plenary Speaker, Pembroke University Creativity Forum, 4/16/07.
"Soft Robots"

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 10/15/07.
"Continuum Robot Arms Inspired by Cephalopods"

College of Charleston, Grice Marine Laboratory, George Grice, Jr. Memorial Lecture, 11/9/07.
"Fast and Slow Squid Muscle:  An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Evolution and Specialization"

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 11/6/08.
"Fast and Slow Squid Muscle:  An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Evolution and Specialization"

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC , 9/22/09.
"Tentacles that Twist, Tense, Telescope, and Torque: Biological Inspiration for Flexible Robots."

Brown University, Providence, RI, 9/30/11.
"Fast and Slow Squid Muscle:  An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Evolution and Specialization"

Darling Marine Center, University of Maine, Walpole, ME, 07/27/12.
"Fast and Slow Squid Muscle: An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Evolution and Specialization"

Duke University, Durham, NC, 04/17/14.
The Schmidt-Nielsen Memorial Lecture
"How Squid Build Fast Muscle"

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 04/10/15
Paul Burton Seminar Series
"How Squid Build Fast Muscle:  An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Evolution and Specialization"

Raleigh Charter School, Raleigh, NC  04/23/15
Tech Talk Series
"Robot Arms Inspired by Tongues, Tentacles and Elephant Trunks"

UNC Chapel Hill Program in the Humanities, Spotlight on Scholars, Chapel Hill, NC 09/29/15.
"Squid Tentacles, Elephant Trunks, Tongues and Soft Robots"

University of Florida College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Gainesville, FL  10/29/15.
"How Squid Build Fast Muscle:  An Integrative Analysis of Fiber Evolution and Specialization"

North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC  11/12/15
Museum After Hours Series
"Robot Arms Inspired by Tongue, Tentacles and Elephant Trunks"