MacArthur Fellows Program

Thomas L. Daniel

Biologist | Class of 1996

Seattle, Washington
42 at time of award
Published July 1, 1996

About Thomas' Work

Thomas Daniel is a biologist whose work combines the disciplines of zoology, engineering, and mathematics to study the neuromuscular dynamics of human and animal motion.

Daniel studies how organisms interact with their environment and the mechanical properties of each organism’s components.  He creates testable hypotheses based on imaginative models and creates the necessary hardware and software for his experiments, incorporating new technologies from mathematics and engineering to help increase our understanding of biological principles.  His research integrates neural stimulation patterns, muscle mechanical properties, and fluid mechanics to understand coordinated locomotion in leeches and in flying hawkmoths.


Daniel has been teaching at the University of Washington since 1984, where he is the Joan and Richard Komen Professor of Biology and chair of the Department of Biology.  He has also been a member of the external graduate faculty at the University of Oregon.  He has published numerous articles in such journals as Acta Astronautica and the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Daniel received a B.S. (1976) and an M.S. (1978) from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. (1982) from Duke University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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