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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.

Work and education history

  • 2020-Present I am currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Engineering Science and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University, working with Daniel Abrams to better understand the dynamics of pain in individuals with Sickle Cell Disease.
  • 2018-2020 I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Orit Peleg in the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. I studied the ways that insects collectively build large structures out of their own bodies, including honey bee swarms and fire ant towers.
  • July 2018 I received my Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech advised by Shane Ross and Mark Stremler through the Biological Transport interdisciplinary program. I studied phase space structures and models of the forces experienced by objects moving in fluids including flying snakes and vibrating cylinders.
  • 2012-2014 While starting my graduate coursework in Engineering Mechanics, I was the Undergraduate Recruiter for the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. I coordinated and planned the annual Engineering Open House, was the point of contact for high school students considering Virginia Tech engineering, and directed an amazing team of undergraduates to give daily presentations to visiting prospective students.
  • May 2012 I received my B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech.

Recent news:

August 2021 I’ve submitted a paper to the IEEE Bioinformatics and Biomedicine meeting! We’ve published a preprint of the work on arXiv. You can find it here: Clustering of Pain Dynamics in Sickle Cell Disease from Sparse, Uneven Samples

August 2021 I submitted an abstract on my recent work at Northwestern to the American Society of Hematology conference! We study the different ways in which patients with Sickle Cell Disease experience pain.

May 2021 I had a great time attending the SIAM Dynamical Systems meeting remotely! Due to family circumstances, I didn’t present this year, but I loved hearing all of the wonderful talks!

March 2021 My collaborator, Olga Shishkov, presented some of our work at the American Physical Society MARCH meeting! Her talk was entitled “Analysis of the internal structure of honeybee swarms with x-ray CT.” In this work, we use an x-ray CT to examine the inside of a honeybee swarm!

March 2021 Our paper is published! Wind dispersal of natural and biomimetic maple samaras has been published in Biomimetics. Authors are: G.K. Nave, Jr., N. Hall, K. Somers, B. Davis, H. Gruszewski, C. Powers, M. Collver, D.G. Schmale III, and S.D. Ross! This project started as an undergraduate project, and grew to include a lot of great people.

January 2021 My collaborator, Olga Shishkov, presented some of our work at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting! Her talk was entitled “Internal structure of honey bee swarms

January 2021 My collaborator, Swati Padhee, presented some of our work at the First Workshop on Computational and Affective Intelligence in Healthcare Applications: [YouTube] [arXiv paper]

December 2020 I submitted a new paper with a whole lot of wonderful folks. It’s currently under review, but for now we’ve posted the article on arXiv! You can read it here: Wind dispersal of natural and biomimetic maple samaras by GKN, Nathaniel Hall, Katrina Somers, Brock Davis, Hope Gruszewski, Craig Powers, Michael Collver, David G. Schmale III, and Shane D. Ross.

November 2020 Our conference paper, led by Swati Padhee, has been shared on arXiv: Pain intensity assessment in Sickle Cell Disease patients using vital signs during hospital visits, by S. Padhee, A. Alambo, T. Banerjee, A. Subramaniam, D.M. Abrams, G.K. Nave, and N. Shah. This paper has been accepted for presentation at the First Workshop on Computational and Affective Intelligence in Healthcare Applications. [arXiv paper]

September 2020 I started a new position working as a Postdoctoral Scholar with Daniel Abrams at Northwestern University!

June 2020 I was invited to give a talk to the Department of Engineering Science and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University! My talk was entitled “Geometric structure and collective behavior.”

April 2020 My abstract with Mark Stremler has been accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Engineering Vibration in August 2020. The talk will be entitled “Modeling wake stiffness as a non-linear spring.” Note: this conference was cancelled due to COVID-19.

March 2020 My paper with Nelson Mitchell, Jordan Chan Dick, Tyler Schuessler, Joaquin Lagarrigue, and Orit Peleg has been published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI: Attraction, Dynamics, and Phase Transitions in Fire Ant Tower-Building [bioRxiv]

January 2020 A week after getting back from Austin, I attended the 2020 Joint Math Meetings in Denver! I gave a talk entitled “Modeling decision-making in fire ant tower and honey bee swarm formation” as a part of the SIAM Minisymposium on Mathematical Modeling and Simulation of Complex Biological Systems.

January 2020 I attended my first SICB Annual Meeting in Austin! I gave a talk entitled “The formation of honey bee swarms” based on our preliminary experimental results.

August 2019 Congratulations to undergraduate mentee Hadley Tallackson for a successful presentation at the end of the CU SPUR program! Her talk was titled “Honeybee swarm formation: modeling and experimentation” [Google Slides].

August 2019 I had a fantastic time participating in the Evidence-Based Introduction to Teaching course through the CIRTL netework!

July 2019 High school mentees April, Jackson, and Sloan did a great job this summer as a part of the STEM Research Experience program.

June 2019 I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta for the ACS Colloid & Surface Science meeting. I presented a talk entitled “Coming together to climb higher: agent‐based modeling of fire ant tower building.”

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 My 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 My 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.