facultydetails | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Physical Therapy (DPT) Faculty and Staff

Michael Habib Ph.D.

Michael Habib

Assistant Professor
Hometown : Baltimore, MD
Joined Chatham : 2009

Academic Areas of Interest

Biomechanics, Animal Flight, Biomimetics/Bioinspiration, Paleontology, and Anatomy

Personal Areas of Interest

Kung Fu, Illustration, Orchids, Inline Skating, and Backpacking


I am originally from Baltimore, MD. I completed my B.A. and M.S. work at the University of Virginia, and my Ph.D. work at Johns Hopkins. My academic interests fall mostly in the realm of anatomy, biomechanics, and comparative zoology. I am particularly interested in flight biomechanics, and have focused recently on the flight abilities of giant Late Cretaceous pterosaurs, which were the largest flying animals of all time. I also work on problems related to the flight performance and skeletal reinforcement of living birds and bats. Outside of academia, I involve myself in Kung Fu training, as well as inline skating, illustration, and orchid growing.






  • 2011. Functional Morphology of Anurognathid Pterosaurs. GSA Northeast Regional Conference
  • 2011. Solving the pterosaur size problem: Quadrupedal launch in the Pterosauria. Los Angeles County Museum
  • 2010. Emergence of convergent forms under fluid load in plants and animals. KLI Altenberg Series: Emergence of Form. Vienna, Austria
  • 2010. 10,000 Miles: Maximum range and soaring efficiency of azhdarchid pterosaurs. SVP Annual Meeting
  • 2010. Launch Mechanics of Giant Pterosaurs. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Moriarty Lecture Series
  • 2010. Taking Flight: Four Limbs to Launch a Pterosaur. UU Pittsburgh Forum
  • 2009. Structure in Flying Vertebrates: Movement in Unpredictable Environments. CMU Class Lecture
  • 2009. Structure in Flying Vertebrates: Movement in Unpredictable Environments. Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Seminar
  • 2009. Flight morphology and launch dynamics of basal birds, and the potential for competition with pterosaurs SVP Annual Meeting
  • 2009. Skeletal architecture, launch dynamics, and mechanical limits of flying vertebrates. SVP Annual Meeting
  • 2009. Relationships of Structural Mechanics to Flight in Birds and Pterosaurs. Brown University
  • 2008. Skeletal architecture and launch mechanics of pterosaurs SVP Annual Meeting
  • 2008. Structural Mechanics of Birds and Pterosaurs and Relationships to Flight. Ohio University
  • 2007. Structural characteristics of the humerus of Bennettazhia oregonensis and their implications for specimen diagnosis and azhdarchoid biomechanics. Flugsaurier: The Wellnhofer Pterosaur Meeting
  • 2006. Structural characters of the limbs of raptorial birds. SVP Annual Meeting
  • 2006. Flight performance of giant pseudodontorn birds. Calvert Marine Museum