Abstract: Insect wings are a marvel of evolution—they are lightweight, strong, durable, and flexible. These traits are made possible by wing veins, which are strut-like features embedded in the wing surface. These veins form diverse geometric patterns across insects. For many insect species, even the left and right wings from the same individual have veins with unique topological arrangements, and little is known about how these patterns form. In this talk, I will present a large-scale quantitative study of these fingerprint-like “secondary veins.” I will then present a simple model that can recapitulate vein patterning across many different insect species.
The talk will be based on this paper, and some follow-up work. The study involves large-scale data analysis and long-running collaboration with a developmental biology lab, and it is well-suited to the theme of breaking down the “silos” of research created by academic department boundaries.
Orchard View Room, Virtual