Anthony Herrel earned his degree at the University of Antwerp under the supervision of Professor Dr. F. De Vree with a thesis on lizard herbivory. He then became a postdoctoral researcher at the Fund for Scientific Research — Flanders, Belgium (FW O-Vl) with a home base at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. During his first postdoctoral appointment he was awarded a mobility grant, which enabled him to conduct research at the laboratory of Dr. K. Nishikawa at Northern Arizona University on motor control during feeding in lizards using nerve transection experiments. Later, during his second appointment, he spent a year at Tulane University in New Orleans in the laboratory of Dr. D. Irschick working on the evolution of cranial morphology and diet in Anolis lizards. He is currently on his final appointment as postdoctoral researcher at the FWO-Vl and is based at the Functional Morphology Laboratory at the University of Antwerp, working under the tutelage of Dr. P. Aerts.

Thomas Speck graduated in 1986 from the University of Freiburg with a diploma thesis on the biomechanics of early land plants. In 1990 he completed his doctorate thesis on biomechanics and functional anatomy of various plant growth forms and received his habilitation in botany and biophysics in 1996. Since 2002 he has been professor of functional morphology and director of the Botanic Garden of the University of Freiburg (Germany). He has written over 130 papers covering many aspects of plant biomechanics, functional morphology, biomimetics, and phylogeny of plants. He is a member of the board of the Competence Networks Plants as Concept Generators for Biomimetical Materials and Technologies and BIOKON e.V. He is president of the Society of Botanic Gardens, Germany.

Nicholas P. Rowe graduated from the Department of Botany, University of Bristol, where he went on to complete his doctorate thesis in fossil plant biology in 1986. He has since carried out research in plant biology in London, France, and Germany. Over the last 10 years he has been a research scientist for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Montpellier, France. A relative latecomer to the world of biomechanics, his research has combined plant biomechanics with evolutionary and ecological studies, and integrating such approaches with both laboratory experimental work and field work, particularly in the tropics. His main interests are functional and evolutionary studies in plants, particularly the evolution of complex structures, major innovations, and in particular, the evolution and biomechanics of various plant growth forms such as trees, shrubs, and climbers.

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