Hi there!

My name is Gary Nave, and I study simple models that help us understand complicated behaviors at the interface of Engineering, Applied Math, Physics, and Biology. My current work focuses on understanding how large groups of insects (honey bees and fire ants) work together to form large, stable structures by linking their bodies together. I also build mathematical tools to understand the behavior of both models and experimental results.

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate advised by Orit Peleg in the BioFrontiers Instute at the University of Colorado Boulder. I received my Ph.D. in 2019 in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech advised by Shane Ross and Mark Stremler through the BioTrans interdisciplinary program.

Recent news:

May 2019 I did an Introduction to Python workshop for postdocs at CU Boulder. The materials can be found on my GitHub here: https://github.com/gknave/Python_Intro

April 2019 A paper with Shane Ross was published in Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation: Global phase space structures in a model of passive descent [PDF]

April 2019 A paper with Peter Nolan and Shane Ross was published in Nonlinear Dynamics: Trajectory-free approximation of phase space structures using the trajectory divergence rate [PDF]

April 2019 I was invited to give a talk to the Math department at the University of Pittsburgh, entitled “Flying snakes, attracting manifolds, and the trajectory divergence rate”

March 2019 The bees are here! The 2019 experimental season has begun. I’ll be doing experiments with honey bee swarms to understand their shape and structure.

March 2019 Congratulations to former lab-mate and collaborator Peter Nolan on a successful Ph.D. defense! His dissertation was on “Experimental and theoretical developments in the application of Lagrangian coherent structures to geophysical transport.”

January 2019 The Virginia Tech graduate school did an article about my wife and I meeting in graduate school: New Virginia Tech doctoral alumni call their relationship “a Blacksburg love story”

December 2018 I attended the Social Insects iN the NorthEast RegionS (SINNERS) conference, and learned a lot about bees, ants, termites, and wasps. I gave a short talk entitled “The surface tension of honey bee swarms.”

August 2018 The Nave family has moved to Boulder, Colorado! I am now a postdoc at CU Boulder, and my wife, Amy Hermundstad Nave, is a faculty developer in the Trefny Center at Colorado School of Mines.

August 2018 I’ve finished edits to my dissertation, and it can now be freely accessed online through Virginia Tech: Nonlinear models and geometric structure of fluid forcing on moving bodies

July 2018 Congratulations to my wife, Amy Hermundstad Nave, for defending her Ph.D.!

July 2018 I successfully defended my Ph.D.! You can watch my defense here.