Books That Inspire 2005

Life in Moving Fluids: the physical biology of flow
Steven Vogel

When I first read Life in Moving Fluids I was a graduate student studying the functional architecture of movable retreats inhabited by aquatic insect larvae called caddisflies. The stream-dwelling caddisflies constructed the retreats, which from the outside looked very much like a snail shell, with silk secretions and sand particles. I was exploring several hypotheses for why the retreat was shaped like a snail shell, including explanations involving hydro-dynamics. Vogel’s book, which is basically fluid mechanics for the non-physicist, helped me wrap my mind around hydrodynamics and design experiments to test my hypothesis (and appreciate physics for the first time!).
Caryn Vaughn
Oklahoma Biological Survey and Associate Professor, Department of Zoology