Dr. Christina Harvey
Aerospace Engineer & Zoologist

(she/her)



I lead the Biologically-Inspired Research and Design (BIRD) lab at UC Davis, where we study how, when, and why animals adjust their morphology in flight. Our research aims to inspire highly maneuverable and adaptable uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and to advance our understanding of biological flight. The work integrates biological and engineering knowledge and techniques.



glaucous-winged gull prepared wing mounted in wind tunnel
Nine 3D printed gull wings at different elbow and wrist angles
Photo of Christina (red hair in blue blazer) outside in front of pine trees

For more information or to discuss a possible position or collaboration, please contact me or visit the BIRD Lab website.

Experience

Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Faculty page
2022-Present

Educational background

University of Michigan
Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Advisor: Prof. Daniel Inman Thesis: Avian wing joints provide longitudinal flight stability and control
2018-2022
University of British Columbia
M.Sc. in Zoology Advisor: Prof. Douglas AltshulerThesis: Gull wing morphing allows active control of trade-offs in efficiency, maneuverability and stability
2016-2018
McGill University
B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering Aeronautical Engineering concentrationCapstone: AEROMcGill Advanced Class SAE Aircraft Design - Team Lead
2011-2016

Skills and Interests

Technical

  • Wind tunnel experiments
  • Large data set analysis and statistics
  • Low speed aerodynamics;
  • Flight performance, stability and control
  • Programming (R, Python, Matlab)
  • Finite element modelling (ANSYS)

Non-technical

  • Road biking and spin class
  • Backpacking
  • Birding
  • Gardening in a tiny garden
  • Oscar-nominated (and those that should have been) movie watcher

Teaching, Mentoring and Volunteering

Teaching

  • Teaching assistant; Zoological Physics (BIOL/PHYS 438)
  • Teaching assistant; Intro to Animal Locomotion (BIOL 325)
  • High school lectures on bio-inspired flight
  • Lecturer for UM Transfer Student Bootcamp on presentation skills

Mentoring

  • Advising an undergraduate research project (SS 2020, W 2021)
  • Graduate Society for Women Engineers (GradSWE)
  • A.E.R.O mentorship program (AMP)
  • Graduate Rackham International (GRIN)
  • GSAC incoming graduate students program (Co-founder)

Volunteering

  • Scientific program committee volunteer, North American Ornithological Conference
  • Graduate student representative on the Aerospace Department Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee
  • Aerospace GSAC DEI sub-committee; discussion co-lead and mentorship program co-lead
  • Aerospace GSAC, Website creation/maintaince and events

Fellowships

  • 2021 Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship
  • François-Xavier Bagnoud Fellowship
  • NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral

Publications and Presentations

2022

  • C. Harvey, L.L. Gamble, C.R. Bolander, D.F. Hunsaker, J.J. Joo, and D.J. Inman. (2022). A review of avian-inspired morphing for UAV flight control.
    Progress in Aerospace Sciences. doi.org/10.1016/j.paerosci.2022.100825
  • C. Harvey, V. B. Baliga, J.C.M. Wong, D. L. Altshuler, and D. J. Inman. (2022). Birds can transition between stable and unstable states via wing morphing.
    Nature. doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04477-8
  • C. Harvey, V.B. Baliga, J.C.M. Wong, D.L. Altshuler, and D.J. Inman. (2022). Avian flight maneuverability: An inertial perspective.
    I
    n Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

2021

2020

  • L.L. Gamble, C. Harvey, and D.J. Inman. (2020). Load alleviation of feather-inspired compliant airfoils for instantaneous flow control.
    Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. doi.org/10.1088/1748-3190/ab9b6f
  • C. Harvey, V.B. Baliga, and D.J. Inman. (2020). Control force required to morph the elbow and wrist in gulls.
    I
    n AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition 2020, Orlando, FL, USA. doi.org/10.2514/6.2020-1037
  • C. Harvey, V.B. Baliga, D.L. Altshuler and D.J. Inman. (2020). Static longitudinal stability of four avian species' wings.
    I
    n Gordon Research Conference - Multifunctional Materials and Structures, Ventura, CA, USA.

2019

  • C. Harvey, V.B. Baliga, P. Lavoie, and D.L. Altshuler. (2019). Wing morphing allows gulls to modulate static pitch stability during gliding.
    Journal of the Royal Society Interface. doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2018.0641
  • C. Harvey and D.J. Inman. (2019). A finite element analysis of a gull wing through varied morphed configurations.
    I
    n ICAST 2019: 30th International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies, Montreal, QC, CA.
  • C. Harvey, V.B. Baliga, D.L. Altshuler, and D.J. Inman. (2019). Pitch Control Effectiveness of the Avian Elbow and Wrist via a Numerical Lifting Line Analysis.
    I
    n AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition 2019, San Diego, CA, USA. doi.org/10.2514/6.2019-0853

2018

  • L.L. Gamble, C. Harvey, and D.J. Inman. (2018). Analysis of a Morphing Bioinspired Flexible Airfoil Concept.
    I
    n ICAST 2018: 29th International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies, Seoul, Korea.
  • C. Harvey, V.B. Baliga, P. Lavoie, and D.L. Altshuler. (2018). Gulls manipulate their elbow to modulate aerodynamic trade-offs.
    In Gordon Research Conference - Multifunctional Materials and Structures, Ventura, CA, USA.
  • C. Harvey, V.B. Baliga, P. Lavoie, and D.L. Altshuler. (2018). How elbow deflection affects the aerodynamic performance and stability of gliding gulls at varying turbulence conditions
    I
    n Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA.

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