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Julian Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Engineering Department
University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, IN 47712


UW Bloedel Traveling Scientist (2022-2023)


Phone: (812) 461-5489



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Jul Davis is an Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana. He received his PhD in 2007 from Virginia Tech in Engineering Mechanics where he studied the vestibular organs in the inner ear using finite element models and vibration analyses. This is where he found his passion for biomechanics research. After graduating, he spent two years at University of Massachusetts (Amherst) studying the biomechanics of biting in bats and monkeys, also using finite element modeling techniques. In 2010, he started his career teaching in all areas of mechanical engineering at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). He loves teaching all of the basic mechanics courses, and of course his Vibrations and Finite Element Analysis courses. Jul is excited to continually learn and for all of the new conversations as he joins the Sisneros lab for his sabbatical as a UW Bloedel Traveling Scientist.


Jul is always interested in research that applies engineering principles to study biological phenomenon. His path has allowed him to study otolith organs (in turtles and guinea pigs), biting mechanics (in bats, monkeys, birds and T-rex) and the mechanical behavior of butterfly wings. Each experience brings about new ideas and biomechanical questions to which he asks: “Hmmm, how can we model that?!” Currently he is interested in investigating the mechanical behavior of the otolith organs in the plainfin midshipman and modeling how the swim bladder may contribute to enhancing hearing.


Recent Publications 
Smith AL, Robinson C, Taylor AB, Panagiotopoulou O, Davis, JL, Ward, CV, Kimbel WH, Zeresenay A & CF Ross. 2021 Comparative biomechanics of the Pan and Macaca mandibles during mastication: Finite element modeling of loading, deformation and strain regimes. Interface Focus.    

Cost IN, Middleton KM, Sellers KC, Echols MS, Witmer LM, Davis JL & CM Holliday. 2019 Palatal biomechanics and its significance for cranial kinesis in Tyrannosaurus Rex , Anatomical Record.  


Sellers KC, Middleton KM, Davis JL and CM Holliday. 2017 Ontogeny of Bite Force in a Validated Biomechanical Model of the American Alligator, Journal of Experimental Biology.

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