Lates: Olympian animals

02 July 2024 18:20 - 18:40 The Royal Society Free Watch online
Professor Alan Wilson with a cheetah

This event is part of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition 2024

When we refer to sports science, we often think of human performance. But have you ever wondered what makes a cheetah so fast? What technology is used to measure their performance?

Professor Alan Wilson FRS studies how the muscles and bones of athletic animals are specialised to move efficiently and quickly.  His team develop novel tracking collars which he uses to study predator prey interactions in wild animals and they have built and flown their own aircraft for fieldwork in Africa. In his talk he will explore the limits to athletic performance in humans, horses and in fast-running African mammals and offer advice on the best strategy to outrun a cheetah.  

Alan graduated from Glasgow University in 1987 having studied Veterinary Medicine and an intercalated BSc in Physiology. He subsequently undertook a PhD in the Anatomy Department at Bristol University where he studied the mechanical basis of tendon injury. Alan moved to the Royal Veterinary College in 1996 where he now holds the post of Professor of Locomotor Biomechanics. He is a Director of the Company of Biologists, a not-for-profit publishing organisation dedicated to supporting and inspiring the biological community. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2020.

Attending the event

This talk will be held in the Kohn Centre on Tuesday 2 July 2024, 6.20pm - 6.40pm. 

  • Free to attend, no ticket required
  • The room has limited capacity, so we recommend that visitors arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the talk. We operate a first-come, first-served policy
  • This talk will take place in person at the Royal Society and will also be livestreamed on the Royal Society YouTube channel
  • Live subtitles will be available in-person and virtually
  • Suitable for over 18s
  • Travel and accessibility information and details on planning your visit - contact us directly to arrange any specific accessibility requirements
  • Food and drink will be available for purchase at our onsite café

For all enquiries, please email us.

Image credit: Stuart Dunn