Fudge Lab Members
Dr. Fudge runs the Comparative Biomaterials Lab at Chapman University. As an undergraduate, he studied biology at Cornell University, followed by an M.A.T. in science education, also at Cornell. For his M.Sc. research, he worked on the biology of bluefin tuna at the University of Guelph, and then moved to the University of British Columbia for his Ph.D., where he worked on the biomechanics of hagfish slime in John Gosline’s lab. As an NSERC postdoctoral fellow, he worked on cell biomechanics in Wayne Vogl’s lab in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He joined the faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph in 2005, where he worked until 2016.
Dr. Charlene McCord
Once thought to be mostly sedentary animals, recent studies have shed light onto the elegant and elaborate nature of hagfish locomotion. While I’m broadly interested in many aspects of hagfish biology and biodiversity, my current research focuses on the functional morphology and biomechanics of the numerous locomotor behaviors associated with the Pacific hagfish’s ability to squeeze into and navigate through architecturally complex environments.
Dr. Gaurav Jain
Gaurav Jain is a senior research fellow at the comparative biomaterials lab at Chapman University. His work is focused on the exploring biophysical and biochemical properties of slime for biomedical applications. He loves hiking and playing table tennis.
My passion for research and outdoor education has taken me to research facilities across North, Central and South America. My last appointment as the Executive Director of the Wildlife Research Station in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada allowed me to further develop my interests in research and logistics, outdoor education, and scientific communication. Exploring how plants and animals interact with each other and their environment can provide interesting insights into how natural selection has shaped the seemingly endless biological, ecological and behavioral diversity on this planet. Understanding diversity can inspire new more sustainable relationships for humans with their biotic and abiotic environments.
I am working on a project that aims to understand the mechanisms that stabilize the coiled slime threads that are produced within hagfish slime glands, and also the mechanisms that cause them to unravel when they are released from the gland.
I am studying the effects of trimethylamines on Pacific hagfish skein unraveling, as these are suspected of being involved in skein stabilization within the slime glands.
I am studying the mechanism by which hagfish slime exudate combines with seawater to form their defensive slime. Specifically, I am researching how the skeins within slime exudate are able to quickly and fully unravel to up to 15 cm. Currently I am testing the anchor point hypothesis which suggests skeins requires an anchor point to fully unravel.
The project that I am working on focuses on understanding the behavioral patterns and structural mechanisms that allow for specific burrowing techniques in Atlantic hagfish, a relatively unexplored area within the animal’s vast range of intricate locomotive abilities.
I am currently studying the mechanisms of hagfish locomotion by observing their navigation techniques within increasingly complicated and narrowed pathways.
I’m partaking in the Navy project, in which we study the interaction between hagfish slime exudate and submarine propellers.
The project I am working on focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that produce thread skein within the thread gland cells.
I am currently studying hagfish locomotion in which we are specifically investigating the behavioral reasoning and mechanical mechanisms hagfish use to collect in tight spaces.