Dr. Michael Dickinson is the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology. His work focuses on the biomechanics and the biophysics of life with a particular focus on how animals fly. He looks at these questions through a neuroscientific lens, trying to understand behavior and flight control. In addition to being an excellent scientist, Michael is quite the enthusiastic musician. He played guitar for many years, and has been strumming on the ukulele for about 10 years as well. Much of his free time is spent gardening native plants and enjoying the company of his family. He received his PhD in Zoology from the University of Washington and afterwards worked briefly at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. Michael has received numerous awards and honors during his career, including the Larry Sandler Award from the Genetics Society of America, the Bartholemew Award for Comparative Physiology from the American Society of Zoologists, a Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Quantrell award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the University of Chicago. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Michael shares more about his journey through life and science in this interview.
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