Hello, I am

PATRICIA
YANG

I study the problems at the intersection of fluid mechanics and biology.
I ask questions like: How do birds fly together in groups? Are there
faster ways to detect blood clots? How do wombats excrete cubes?
RESEARCH
INTERESTS​
  • Collective animal behavior

  • Biofluids and medical devices

  • Rheology of biomaterials

  • Locomotion of aquatic animals

For Patricia, bodies are a series of tubes fine-tuned to pump the gory and the gross. She does the dirty work of handling feces-filled wombat intestines, gathering pig’s blood from slaughterhouses and designing makeshift elephant urethras – all for the sake of science. And she can’t get enough of it.
OPEN
POSITIONS

We are looking for lab members at all levels: undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs. The research topics are bio-inspired engineering, soft-matter physics, collective behavior of animals, biofluids, and biomechanics. Students in all majors are welcome. If you are interested, please email to Dr. Yang peijyang@pme.nthu.edu.tw for more details.

積極
徵才中
本實驗室積極招募實驗成員中!目前徵求大學部專題生、碩士班、博士班以及博士後研究員,不限科系。無論你在學習的任何階段,都歡迎加入實驗室,增加有趣研究的經驗值,研究主題包含仿生工程、軟物質物理、動物群聚行為、生物流體及生物力學,有興趣的同學歡迎前來參觀討論,或與楊老師聯絡 peijyang@pme.nthu.edu.tw 
 

AB

OUT

Patricia Yang is an Assistant Professor of Power Mechanical Engineering. She received bachelor’s degrees in Engineering Science and Ocean Engineering (ESOE) and Physics from National Taiwan University. She studies the fluid mechanics of body fluids, in particular, blood, feces, and urine during her doctoral and postdoctoral studies in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Before coming to National Tsing Hua University, she was a postdoc studying the collective behavior of birds in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.

Yang was the recipient of the Sigma Xi Best Thesis award and the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics. Her work has been featured on CNN, the BBC, National Public Radio, National Geographic, and The Times. In addition to conducting research, she teaches fluid mechanics at all levels, from elementary school to college.

AW

ARDS

 
 

journal articles

conference proceedings
 

PRESEN

TATIONS

2019

Institute of Research on Non Equilibrium Phenomena (IRPHE)

Centrale Marseille, France

Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

University of Konstanz, Germany

 

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Stanford University

  

Department of Engineering Science and Ocean Engineering

National Taiwan University, Taiwan

2018

Institute of Applied Mechanics

National Taiwan University, Taiwan

 

Department of Applied Mathematics

Feng Chia University, Taiwan

 

Department of Physics

National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan

 

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering

University of Massachusetts Amherst

 

Network Science Institute

Northeastern University

 

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University of Rochester

 

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Syracuse University

 

Center for the Physics of Biological Function

Princeton University

2017

Department of Physics

Boston University

 

Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science, Boston

2016

American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.

2014

Institute of Biophysics

National Central University, Taiwan

invited talks

conferences

MEDICINE

MATERIAL SCIENCE

FLUID MECHANICS

BIOLOGY

INTERDISCIPLINARY

BIOLOGY

2021

APS March Meeting

2019

APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting

Fluid and Health Conference

2018

APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting

2017

International Physics of Living Systems Network Meeting

10th Southeast Meeting on Soft Materials

2016

Southeast Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference

Digestive Disease Week

APS March Meeting

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference

2015

APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting

Gordon Research Seminar

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference

2014

APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting

International Physics of Living Systems Network Meeting

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference

2013

APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting

Southeast Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference

Annual Meeting of Ecological Society of America

 RE

SEARCH 

 

biofluids and

medical devices

30–MIN

BLOOD CLOT

TEST

Abnormal blood occludes the blood vessel gradually and it may lead to a stroke or a heart attack.

To prevent the irreversible damage, I am developing a blood test that identifies patients at high risk. I plan to design the test as a point of care test: Nurses can perform the test close to the patient and receive the result in 30 minutes. The project is ongoing, so stay tuned!

research network

publication

The project is ongoing,

so stay tuned!

The
global feces
problem

Human and animal feces pose threats to human health. We currently manage the human waste safely, but what about animal waste?

In our estimation, the total feces was 3.9 billion tons in 2014 and anticipated to 4.6 billion tons in 2030. We highlight the need of safe management of animal feces.

collaborator

joe.jpg

Environmental Engineering
Georgia Tech

 

Hydrodynamics
of
defecation

Mammals with cylindrical feces defecate in 5 to 20 seconds. Do animals excrete with rectal pressure, or do the feces slide out effortlessly?

Mammals use rectal pressure, but mucus in the colon lubricates the defecation process. We also discuss extreme cases such as constipation and diarrhea.

Video credit: New Scientist

collaborators

chu.jpg

Gastrointestinal Surgery
University of Alabama at Birmingham

wanting.jpg

Product Designer and Illustrator

LOCATION

The law
of
urination

How do animals urinate? Is urine driven by bladder pressure or by gravity?

In the study, we discover that gravity drives urination for animals greater than 3 kg, thus the urination time stays consistent, between 10 to 30 seconds, across body sizes. Smaller animals urinate high speed droplets driven by bladder pressure.

Video credit: Animal Wire

collaborator

seiji.jpg

Clinical Research Support Center

Asahikawa Medical University
Japan

LOCATION

rheology of
biomaterials 

FORMATION OF
CUBICAL FECES
FROM WOMBATS

Most animals produce cylindrical or pellet feces, but wombats produce cubes. How do wombats create cubes in the intestines?

Wombat intestines have varying stiffness. The material properties of the feces may also play a role in cube formation. Currently we are looking at the properties of the cubical feces.This research might lead to early screening techniques for colon cancer in humans based on the shape of feces. Please stay tuned!

Image credit: Incrediville

collaborator

scott.jpg

Wildlife Ecology

University of Tasmania

Australia

SEGMENTAL
CONTRACTION
OF THE

SMALL INTESTINE

Food transported in the intestines has varying compositions. Do the intestines respond to the variance of the composition?

As the gas composition increases, the frequency of intestinal contractions also increases, which may lead to GI abnormalities.

Photo credit: Arie van 't Riet

collaborator

dixon.jpg

Bioengineering

Georgia Tech

Publication and conference presentations

P. Yang, M. LaMarca, V. Karvets, D. Chu, D. Hu

The biomechanical influence of intestinal gas and chyme on small bowel peristalsis

Gastroenterology, 150:4, S904 (2016)

locomotion of
aquatic animals

MORPHOLOGY OF JELLYFISH PROPULSION

Rowing jellyfish swim through ever-changing ocean currents. How do they respond to the flows around them?

We discover that rowing jellyfish contract to offset their sinking, but otherwise ignore any feedback from the background flow.

LOCATION

Publication and conference presentation

P. Yang, M. Lemons, D. Hu

P. Yang, M. Lemons, D. Hu

Southeast SICB, 2016

FLIGHT INITIATION OF FLYING FISH

Flying fish swim underwater and glide in air, but how do they transfer from swimming to gliding? How do they penetrate the air-water surface?

In this work, we film juvenile flying fish at high speed. Within 0.05 seconds, flying fish accelerate at 5 times earth’s gravity and glide at 1.3 m/s, 10 times faster than their swimming speed. The submerged part of their body experiences less drag while gliding than it would during swimming.

Video credit: BBC Earth

collaborators

chang.jpg

Marine Affairs

National Sun Yat-sen University

Taiwan

ray.jpg

Wildlife Photographer

TEA

CHING

 

In-class demonstration of fluid concepts

11 of my mentees from various disciplines received the

Georgia Tech’s Presidential Undergraduate Research Award

Students filming

at the zoo

 

FALL 2017

FLUID MECHANICS

INSTRUCTOR

FALL 2016