μCT images of the mid‐span location of P. phocoena at the leading edge subsections(visualizing the chordwise sectional face). The chordline used for measurement of acute fiber angles was perpendicular to the cut edge of each tissue section.

Illustrations of a section of generalized cetacean fluke blade material at (a) a mid‐chord location and subsection. (b) Arrows show the spanwise (proximal to distal), chordwise (leading edge to trailing edge), and dorso‐ventral (dorsal to ventral) directions of the tissue as well as a representation of the black epidermis. (c) The ligamentous fiber layer is viewable, with white fiber bundles oriented along the spanwise axis of the fluke. (d) The ligamentous layer has been removed and the core layer fiber sheets appear to be oriented along the chordwise axis when inspected along the dorsal sectional face

Master's Degree

After finishing my undergraduate work, Dr. Fish offered me a position in his lab at West Chester University as a masters student studying propulsion in cetaceans. During one of the experiments on cetacean tail flukes, I observed that the dense internal material contained collagenous fibers oriented in a criss-crossing pattern that seemed to convey anisotropy (directionality). I expanded this observation into a multi-species comparison of the morphology and material properties of the cetacean tail fluke. The initial portion of this research has been written up for publication in the Journal of Morphology (Gough et al. 2018).