Ken Dial, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences, was trained in field biology as well as in vertebrate anatomy and physiology at both Northern Arizona University and Harvard University. He has been a professor of biology at the University of Montana for 20 years and is currently the Director of the University of Montana Flight Laboratory with a research program focused in animal flight.
Professor Dial is also a pilot with instrument, commercial, and multi-engine, ATP, and jet aircraft certificates.
Understanding the origin and evolution of avian flight has been Professor Dial's passion for the past decade. It's in this field that he's been conducting experimental studies on young and developing birds as they attain their locomotor skills, providing new insight into various aspects of birds origins.
Ken also studies animals of different wing shape and body size using wind tunnels and free-flight to better understand the relationship between form and function among the 10,000 species of living birds. Using high-tech recording equipment (movie x-ray, high-speed video, and miniature biomechanical devices) you literally get an inside look as to how birds fly.
Ken likes to fly-fish, fly aircraft, play blues/jazz guitar, listen to choral music, golf, tennis, down-hill ski, scuba dive, and mountain bike.