Anna N. Ahn
Professor of Biology
Education and Professional Experience
- B.A., Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley
- PhD, Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard University
- Visiting Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Harvey Mudd College
- Assistant Professor of Biology, Harvey Mudd College
- Associate Professor of Biology, Harvey Mudd College
- Bio 54: Biology Laboratory
- Bio 81/82: Human Physiology & Disease
- Bio 101: Comparative Physiology
- Bio 103: Physiology Laboratory
- Bio 183: Topics in Physiology (seminar)
- Bio/Eng 190B: Biomechanics
- Writ1: Introduction to Academic Writing
- Bio 81A: Science vs Pseudoscience
Professor Ahn’s research focuses on the neural control and mechanics of animal locomotion. We take an integrative and multi-disciplinary approach to examine the different levels of organization that influence the behavioral output of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system in animals such as frogs, lizards, tarantulas, and even humans! Our work includes examining the neural signals sent to muscles and how the different levels of musculo-skeletal organization respond to these neural signals. By spanning the fields of muscle physiology, biomechanics, and motor control, we hope to discover general principles underlying the neuro-mechanical basis of legged locomotion.
Senior Theses (last 5 years)
Karla Whitfileld ’10: Thermal sensitivity of locomotory performance in the tarantula, Aphonopelm hentzi. (co-advised with Adolph)
Nick Booster PIT ’11: Effect of temperature on walking kinematics in tarantulas. (co-advised with Adolph)
Rebecca Salzman CMC ’12: Effect of active and passive components on the kinematics of an intact frog ankle.
Christopher Jerry CMC ’12: The neural control and kinematics of walking in humans.
Tania Bhatia Scripps ’13: Kinematics of barefoot running.
Charlie Brayton ’13: Neural control of barefoot running.
Laura Wessbecher Scripps ’15: Lower leg morphology in runners who forefoot vs rearfoot strike.
Lab Members 2016
- Sara McAllister ’19
- Leanna Namovic ’17 (Scripps)
- Kenneth Robertson ’17 (Pitzer)
Rubin YS, Young MHY, Wright JC, Whitaker DL & Ahn AN. 2016. Exceptional locomotor performance in mites. J. Exp. Biol. 219:676-685.
Booster NA, Su FY, Adolph SC & Ahn AN. 2015. Effect of temperature on limb kinematics in a sprinting tarantula , Aphonopelma hentzi: Potential limitations of hydraulic joint actuation. J. Exp. Biol.
Ahn AN, Brayton C, Bhatia T & Martin P. 2014. The neural control and kinematics of forefoot and rearfoot strike runners. J. Sport Health Sci. 3:102-112. DOI: 10.1016/j.jshs.2014.03.007 (theme journal)
Ahn AN. 2012. How muscle function – the work loop technique. J. Exp. Biol. 215:1051-1052.
Ahn AN, Kang JK*, Quitt MA*, Davidson BD*, Nguyen CT*. 2011. Variability of neural activation during walking in humans: Short heels and big calves. Biol. Lett. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.1169 [article]
Wu GC*, Wright JC, Whitaker DL & Ahn AN. 2010. Kinematic evidence for superfast locomotory muscle in two species of teneriffiid mites. J. Exp. Biol.213: 2551-2556. [article]
Nishikawa K, Biewener A, Aerts P, Ahn A et al. 2007. Neuromechanics: An integrative approach for understand motor control. Integr. Comp. Biol. 47: 16-54. [article]
Ahn AN, Meijer K & Full RJ. 2006. In situ muscle power differs without varying in vitro mechanical properties in two insect leg muscles innervated by the same motor neuron. J. Exp. Biol. 209: 3370-3382. [article]
Biewener AA & Ahn AN. 2006. Tired of fatigue? Factors affecting the force-length relationship of muscle. J. Appl. Physiol. 101: 5-6. [article]
Ahn AN, Furrow E* & Biewener AA. 2004. Walking and running in the red-legged running frog, Kassina maculata. J. Exp. Biol. 207: 399-410. [article]
Ahn AN, Monti RJ & Biewener AA. 2003. In vivo and in vitro heterogeneity of segment length changes in the semimembranosus muscle of the toad. J. Physiol. 549: 877-888. [article]
Ahn AN & Full RJ. 2002. A motor and a brake: two leg extensor muscles acting at the same joint manage energy differently in a running insect. J. Exp. Biol. 205: 379-389. [article]
Full RJ & Ahn AN. 1995. Static forces and moments generated in the insect leg — comparison of a 3-dimensional musculoskeletal computer-model with experimental measurements. J. Exp. Biol. 198: 1285-1298. [abstract |article (pdf)]
Weinstein RB, Full RJ & Ahn AN. 1994. Moderate dehydration decreases locomotor performance of the ghost crab, Ocypode quadrata. Physiol. Zool.67: 873-891.
* undergraduate author