Integrative Organismal Modeling of Movement (IOMM)

Integrating perspectives: model-based and quantitative tools to address biological questions


About the Workshop

A fundamental goal of the Center for Integrative Movement Sciences is to build a sustained community & facilitate cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration in movement sciences. 

The Integrative Organismal Modeling of Movement workshop series is a program funded by the National Science Foundation Division of Integrative Organismal Systems to bring together diverse scientists at the intersection of organismal biology and physics, with shared interests in using model-based and quantitative approaches to address fundamental questions in organismal biology. 

Organisms are complex systems of interconnected elements that must achieve coordinated function and environment responses across spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the physical interactions between organisms and their environment is an essential link in integrating biology across scales. Modeling tools from mathematics, physics and engineering are becoming increasingly important tools for hypothesis driven research in organismal function and organism-environment interactions. Modeling the physical bases of organismal mechanics enables discovery of which elements and features are essential for robust and versatile movement. Cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration are required to make effective use of these tools.

This program, structured as a series of virtual workshops followed by in-person capstone symposium held at the NSF headquarters, aims to bring together interdisciplinary scientists working across a range of organisms to discuss recent innovations, challenges, and community needs for transformative advances in organismal biomechanics.


Upcoming Events

Team-Based Science

Each workshop consists of a team of scientists working on complementary modeling and computational tools to address biological questions within a specific scientific theme. A key focus is integrating perspectives to enable an understanding of how organisms robustly sense, respond to their environment, and effectively navigate interactions with their environment and other organisms.

Interdisciplinary Connections

A disconnect often exists between the use of models in the physical sciences and the effective translation and use of these models in biology. This workshop series aims to encourage effective and inclusive communication about the transformative potential of current model-based and quantitative tools, as well as the challenges and limitations in effectively applying these tools to biological datasets.

Workshop Structure

Each team will present two virtual workshops: 1) introduction workshop to showcase specific tools and how they have been used to address biological questions within the theme, and 2) a hands-on tutorial, in which workshop teams guide pre-registered participants through the details of using and applying the specific tools highlighted in the first workshop. Workshops will be recorded and published as an openly available resource to allow asynchronous participation.

Symposium Activities

The IOMM workshop series will culminate in an in-person capstone symposium to be held at the NSF headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia to showcase organismal biology to NSF program officers.