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Suzanne Cox


Ph.D. Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Univ of Mass., Amherst  2016
M.S.  Mechanical Engineering, Univ of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 2012
M.A.  Philosophy, Brown University, Providence, RI
B.F.A  Sculpture, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA
B.A. Philosophy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
B.S. Physics, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH


2018                 OpenSim Visiting Scholar at National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research, Stanford University ($8000)

2011 – 2014     National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (~$120,000)
2010 – 2011     Rossbach Fellowship for Mechanical Engineering (~$15,000)
2000 – 2001    Mellon Fellowship in Humanities      (~$45,000)
2014                  Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Research Grant ($1000)
2013                  Sigma Xi GIAR (under $1000)


2016-present Post Doctoral Researcher Rubenson Lab Penn State Kinesiology


Ilton, M, Cox, SM, Egelmeers, T, Sutton, G, Patek, S, Crosby, AJ. Size-scaling limits of impulsive elastic energy release from a resilin-like elastomer. In Review

Salzano, MQ, Cox, SM, Piazza, SJ, Rubenson, J, High acceleration training during growth increased optimal muscle fascicle lengths in an avian bipedal model. In Press Journal of Biomechanics

Cox, SM, Rubenson, J, Sawicki, S. A soft-exosuit enables multi-scale analysis of wearable robotics in a bipedial animal model. In Press IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

Crane, RL, Cox, SM, Kisare, SA, Patek, SN, Smashing mantis shrimp strategically impact snails. 2018 Journal of Experimental Biology. Jun 14;221(Pt 11).

Cox, SM, Ekstron, L, Gillis, G, The Influence of Visual, Vestibular and Hindlimb Proprioceptive Ablations on Landing Preparation in Cane Toads. 2018 Integrative and Comparative Biology. 58 1. doi: 10.1093/icb/icy059

Ilton, M., Bhamla, SM.*, Ma, X.*, Cox, SM*, Kim, Y., Koh, J., Krishnamurthy, D., Kuo, C., Temel, FZ., Crosby, A. Prakash, M., Sutton, G., Wood, R., Azizi, E., Bergbreiter, S., Patek, SN. The principles of cascading power limits in small, fast biological and engineered systems.  2018 Science 260 6387  *Co-second authors [link]

Cox, SM,  Gillis, G. Evidence toads may modulate landing preparation without predicting impact time. 2017 Biology Open 6, 71LP-76 [pdf]

Cox, SM, Gillis, G. Sensory feedback and coordinating asymmetrical landing in toads. 2016 Biology Letters 12 20160196 [pdf]

Cox, SM, Gillis, G. Forelimb Kinematics during hopping and landing in toads (Bufo marinus). 2015 Journal of Experimental Biology 218 3051-3058 [pdf]

Gallardo, M, Schnyer, A, Schikowski, E, Cox, S, Gillis, G. Indirect evidence of elastic energy storage and release during limb recovery in toad hopping. 2014 Biology Letters 10 1-6 [pdf]

Cox, SM, Schmidt, D, Modarres-Sadeghi, Y, Patek, SN. A Physical model of the extreme mantis shrimp strike: Kinematics and cavitation of Ninjabot.  2014 Bioinspiration and Biomimetics 9 016014 [pdf]


2018     Best Poster, Center for Orthopedic Research and Translational Science, Musculoskeletal Research Symposium, Penn State University, State College, PA

2018      Life Science Research  Fellowship Finalist

2017    Journal of Biomechanics Award*, American Society of Biomechanics Conference, Boulder, CO  *co-author

2014    Best Oral Presentation, The Crustacean Society, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, TX

2014    Best Student Paper Honorable Mention, DCB, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, TX


Cox, SM, Sawicki, G, Rubenson, J. 2018 RoboBird: A passive exo-tendon for guinea fowl. Neural Control of Movement, Santa Fe NM

Salzano, M, Cox, SM, Piazza, S, Rubenson, J, 2018 Impaired jumping performance arising from sedentary growth is recovered through exercise in adulthood. American Society of Biomechanics East, Penn State Berks.

Salzan0, M., Cox, SM., Piazza, S., Rubenson, J., 2017 High-Acceleration Training during growth increases optimal fiber lengths in an avian bipedal model. American Society of Biomechanics, Boulder, CO

Cox, SM, Sawicki, G, Rubenson, J., 2017 Robobird: An avian model for passive-elastic exotendons. American Society of Biomechanics (ASB-SICB Joint Symposium: Insights from Animal Biomechanics), Boulder, CO

Ilton, M, Cox, S.M., Egelmeers, T., Patek, S., Crosby, A. 2017, Unleashing elastic energy: dynamics of energy release in rubber bands and impulsive biological systems. American Physical Society, New Orleans, LA H16.00003

Cox, SM, 2016, Control of coordinated landing in cane toads. Pennsylvania State University Kinesiology Colloquium

Cox, SM, Gillis, G. 2016 Sensory Feedback and coordinated landing in cane toads. American Society of Biomechanics, Raleigh, NC

Cox, SM, Gillis, GB, 2016, Sensory modalities and coordinated landing in cane toads. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Portland, OR.

Gallardo, M, Schnyer, A, Schikowski, E, Cox, SM, Gillis, G. 2014 Indirect evidence of elastic energy storage and release during limb recovery in toad hopping.  Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, TX. P2.39

Cox, SM, Patek, SN. 2014 Does cavitation limit the speed of mantis shrimp? Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, TX 91.6

Cox, SM; Modarres-Sadeghi, Y; Patek, S.  2012 Physical model of the feeding strike of the mantis shrimp.  Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Charleston, SC. 107.6


Georgia Tech Bioscience Department Seminar 2018

PSU Mechanical Engineering Biocontrols Colloquium 2018

SICB Symposium “Sensory feedback and animal locomotion: perspectives from biology and biorobotics” 2018

ASB-SICB Joint Symposium ASB 2017 Boulder, CO

PSU Kinesiology Colloquium Series 2016


2018 Strategic strikes by mantis shrimp smash shells selectively. Inside JEB

2018 Too small for big muscles, tiny animals use springs. Quanta

2018 ‘Ninjabot’ reveals the mantis shrimp’s wily snail-hunting scheme. Wired

2018 Nature’s Mechanical Secrets could help build faster robots.  Wired

2017 Tiny Bubbles, big impact Science for the People podcast

2014 Ninjabot strikes with force of mantis shrimp

2011  National Geographic Television Ninja Shrimp


2016-Present Post-Doctoral Researcher Rubenson Lab Penn State Department of Kinesiology.  Musculoskeletal plasticity in developmental disuse animal model.  Neuromechanical plasticity of an animal model in response to wearable robotics. Research techniques: musculoskeletal computational modeling, functional biomechanical analysis (Kinematic and kinetic data collection via motion capture, energetics), sterile in-vivo surgical procedures: botox injection, sonomicrometry, tendon force buckle construction and implantation, robotics.

2015-2016 Research Associate in Crosby Lab, University of Massachusetts Polymer Science Department. Size-scaling limits of impulsive elastic energy release. Research Techniques: Material testing, material testing machine development, computational modeling.

2014-2016 Graduate Student in Gillis Lab, Mount Holyoke College Department of Biological Science.  Motor control of landing preparation in Cane Toads.  Research techniques: in vivo electromyography, motion capture, surgical ablations of sensory systems.

2012-2014 Graduate Student in Patek Lab, University of Massachusetts Graduate program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.  Cavitation and extreme biological motion in mantis shrimp. Research techniques: High-speed motion capture, mantis shrimp wrangling, biomimetic robotics.

2010-2012 Graduate student in Schmidt Lab, University of Massachusetts Mechanical Engineering Department.  Experimental investigations on kinematic contributions on to cavitation onset.  Research techniques: High-speed video, biomimetic robotics, acoustic frequency spectrum analysis, computational fluid dynamics.

Undergraduate Research

Research assistant in Hersman Lab, University of New Hampshire Nuclear Physic Department.  Assembly of components for Continuous Electron Beam Accelerating Facility (CEBAF).  Research Techniques: Circuit board and scintillator assembly and testing.

Research assistant in Mobius Lab, University of New Hampshire Space Science Department. Numerical simulation of ion detectors for solar wind research. Research Techniques: Computational modeling


Biostatistics, Mount Holyoke College (2015)

Teaching Assistant, University of Massachusetts Biology Department, Amherst, MA (2014-2015)

Teaching Assistant, Mount Holyoke College Environmental Studies Department, South Hadley, MA (2015)

Individual Math Teacher, High Mowing High School, Wilton, NH (2006 – 2010)

Teaching Assistant, Brown University Philosophy Dept, Providence, RI (2001 – 2004)

Graduate student mentor to undergraduate’s senior theses and independent projects

Michael Seldon Cavitation and snail damage Univ. of Mass 2012

Marialis Gallardo Indirect Evidence of elastic energy storage and release during limb recovery in toad hopping Mount Holyoke College 2014

Ariella Schnyer Indirect Evidence of elastic energy storage and release during limb recovery in toad hopping Mount Holyoke College 2014

Jessica Murray Hind limb Elastic Energy Storage in Bull Frogs Mount Holyoke College 2015

Sarah Crocker  Toad preparation for landing uneven surfaces Mount Holyoke College 2015


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