Shane Ross, professor of dynamical systems at Virginia Tech in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics Department. His research has been supported by the NSF and NASA, and he has received awards from NASA and the Americal Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his work on astrodynamics.

Dr. Shane D. Ross

PhD Caltech 2004, Advisor: Marsden
My scientific genealogy visualized
Shane Ross
  • Professor of Dynamical Systems
  • Engineering Science and Mechanics program
  • Engineering Mechanics program director
  • Biological Transport Interdisciplinary program
  • Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics
  • Virginia Tech
  • Ross Dynamics Lab description | Contact info

  • Papers | Twitter | YouTube | Talks | Videos | Books | CV | Bio | Students | Google scholar | ResearchGate | LinkedIn

    atmospheric transport | astrodynamics | aerobiology
    A spatiotemporal movie of an atmospheric transport barrier (ATB). ATBs may play a role in the population structure of airborne microbes, controlling movement between geographically dispersed habitats. Work to test these hypotheses is underway.
    Atmospheric transport barrier passes over Blacksburg.
    See funded NSF project links at left, below - see movie

    Dynamical systems theory,
    computations, visualization,
    control, and applications

    Funded Projects:
    NSF Dynamic buckling prediction
    NSF Environmental flow hazards
    NSF CAREER Phase space transport
    NSF CMMI Aerobiological mixing
    NSF EFRI Insect fluid control
    NSF BIO Barriers and invasions

    Applications to:
    Airborne microbe spread
    Pollution dispersion
    Environmental flow analysis
    Topology of transport
    Stirring & mixing
    Forecasts and predictability
    Lagrangian coherent structutres
    Almost-invariant sets
    Almost-cyclic sets
    Population dynamics
    Optimal control
    Efficient navigation
    Chemical physics
    Chaotic advection
    Hamiltonian systems
    Dynamical astronomy

  • Publications
  • Slides
  • YouTube
  • Monographs
  • Movies
  • Resume
  • Vita

  • MISC
  • Students
  • Space tubes
  • SBES

  • Co-founder of BIOTRANS (BIOlogical TRANSport interdisciplinary graduate education program, NSF IGERT / IGEP)

    Associate editor for Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation

    May 2017 New article on a Computational Method for Phase Space Transport with Applications to Lobe Dynamics and Rate of Escape in collaboration with Francois Lekien and former student Shibabrat Naik.

    April 2017 Congratulations to PhD student Gary Nave on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Leader award by the Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs.

    March 2017 New Featured Article in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics on Global dynamics of non-equilibrium gliding in animals with student Isaac Yeaton and Jake Socha. Download for free to learn about dynamical systems analysis of the velocity phase space of animal glides. More info, including supplemental information here.

    February 2017 Congratulations to undergrad researcher Tom Magelinski, chosen as this year's BEAM Outstanding Senior!

    January 2017 Read the article High-Flying Microbes in Scientific American; other info here

    January 2017 Want to know more about high-flying microbes riding air currents across the globe? Check out a video and a scientific review article in addition the Scientific American article

    January 2017 We are still accepting applicants to both the Engineering Science and Mechanics and Biological Transport graduate programs. Contact me for more info.

    January 2017 Ross co-wrote "High-flying microbes", an article on dispersal of airbone microbes via highways in the sky with David Schmale for Scientific American, February 2017 issue. See Virginia Tech press release

    November 2016 Paper on 'Geometry of escaping dynamics in nonlinear ship motion' with S. Naik, applies tube dynamics to the ocean engineering application of ship capsize

    September 2016 Congratulations to Dr. Shibabrat Naik on defending his dissertation to earn a PhD in Engineering Mechanics!

    August 2016 Paper on 'Tube dynamics and low energy trajectory from the earth to the moon in the coupled three-body system' presented at International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques

    May 2016 Ross gave a talk on 'Lagrangian transport and mixing in fluids from geometric, probabilistic, and topological perspectives.' at workshop Numerical Analysis and Predictability of Fluid Motion (hosted by the Pitt Math Dept.). See the slides

    March 2016 Congratulations to Dr. Renee Pietsch on defending her dissertation to earn a PhD in Biology!

    Jan 2016 Ross gave a talk on 'Escape from potential wells in multi-dimensional systems: experiments and partial control' at Dynamics Days US 2016 in Durham, NC (hosted by Duke Physics Dept.). See the slides

    Jan 2016 If you're at the 2016 SICB annual meeting in Portland, check out Isaac Yeaton's talk on the highest resolution flying snake experiments ever performed; on Wednesday, Jan 6. (SICB = Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology)

    Dec 2015 Detecting causality: new paper in European Journal of Plant Pathology entitled Identification of meteorological predictors of Fusarium graminearum ascospore release using correlation and causality analyses where we use new methods to detect which environmental factors cause the release of airborne plant pathogens from diseased agricultural fields

    Nov 2015 New paper published in Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics entitled Local finite-time Lyapunov exponent, local sampling and probabilistic source and destination regions where we show the connection between large-scale Lagrangian coherent structures in geophysical flows and consecutively released or collected samples in field experiments. With Amir BozorgMagham and David Schmale. Links to videos here

    Nov 2015 Ross named Virginia Tech Scholar of the Week "for his work to make an unpredictable world more predictable".

    Oct 2015 New paper published in Annals of Biomedical Engineering entitled Comparing Postural Stability Entropy Analyses to Differentiate Fallers and Non-fallers where we show we can predict which elderly adults are prone to falls.

    Sep 2015 Press release on our new NSF project by a multi-university team on forecasting where damaging contaminants in the ocean or atmosphere go.

    Aug 2015 The lab is now on Twitter. Follow us @RossDynamicsLab

    July 2015 Ross and a team of other collaborators at Virginia Tech, MIT, Woods Hole, and Berkeley have been awarded a nearly $3 million grant from the NSF for a project on Advanced Lagrangian Methods for Prediction, Mitigation and Response to Environmental Flow Hazards

    June 2015 New paper published in Annual Review of Phytopathology entitled Highways in the Sky: Scales of Atmospheric Transport of Plant Pathogens. This is a joint review article with my long-time collaborator David Schmale.

    May 2015 Ross gave a talk on 'Experimental Verification of Criteria for Escape from a Potential Well in a Multi-degree of Freedom System' at the SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems, Snowbird, Utah.

    Apr 2015 From the archives: Ross' talk on the Interplanetary Superhighway from 2004 is finally on YouTube. So are many other talks and simulations

    Jan 2015 See new paper in the journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology on Experimental validation of a long-distance transport model for plant pathogens: application to Fusarium graminearum with A.J. Prussin, Sloan Fellow at Virginia Tech/Pittsburgh. Youtube video of pathogen spread here

    Nov 2014 See the dynamics videos which the Dynamics II class (junior-level dynamics, ESM 3124) put together

    Nov 2014 See new paper on Atmospheric Lagrangian coherent structures considering unresolved turbulence and forecast uncertainty with Amir BozorgMagham of the Univ. of Maryland.

    Oct 2014 Ross will be speaking on October 18 at a panel open to the public on 'Contagions' related to the spread of disease. Details here. This is part of the installation ceremonies of Virginia Tech's new university president Timothy Sands. The slides are here (w/o movies).

    Sep 2014 See new paper on Experimental determination of three-dimensional finite-time Lyapunov exponents in multi-component flows in the journal Experiments in Fluids with Georgia Tech postdoc (and former PhD student) Sam Raben

    Aug 2014 Ross speaking at CDS@20, the 20th anniversary of the Control and Dynamical Systems (CDS) PhD program at Caltech. My talk.

    Jun 2014 See new paper on Seasonal associations and atmospheric transport distances of fungi in the genus Fusarium collected with unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-based sampling devices in the journal Atmospheric Environment

    May 2014 See new paper on A theoretical analysis of pitch stability during gliding in flying snakes in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics

    Apr 2014 Ross to give talk at Cornell on May 2, Center for Applied Mathematics colloquium

    Mar 2014 Two new papers on aerobiology appearing in Plant Disease based on MultiSTEPS trainee AJ Prussin's field work, Estimating the Production and Release of Ascospores from a Field-Scale Source of Fusarium graminearum Inoculum and Monitoring the Long-Distance Transport of Fusarium graminearum from Field-Scale Sources of Inoculum

    Feb 2014 Congratulations to Amir BozorgMagham on defending his PhD in Engineering Mechanics!

    Jan 2014 Congratulations to Nick Sharp. His programming team has advanced to the 2014 ACM-ICPC World Finals in Ekaterinurg, Russia this summer.

    Dec 2013 See new paper on Computation of finite time Lyapunov exponents from time resolved particle image velocimetry data in Experiments in Fluids, about improving the accuracy of Lagrangian coherent structure (LCS) calculations from particle tracking in fluid experiments

    Oct 2013 Browse last year's projects in Frontiers in Dynamical Systems. Be sure to request the course for Spring 2014 (see ad)

    Oct 2013 Please sign up for two classes in Spring 2014 which I'm teaching: ESM 6984 SS: Frontiers in Dynamical Systems and ESM 6314 Advanced Dynamics -- links go to the course announcements

    Oct 2013 Two new talks posted: "Geophysical transport structure and ecology: challenges and opportunities" and "Identifying transport structure: set-oriented FTLE, bifurcations of transfer operator modes, and predicting critical transitions"

    Sep 2013 Congratulations to David Schmale for being named one of Popular Science's Brilliant Ten for 2013!

    Aug 2013 From September to December, Ross will be visiting faculty at ICMAT (Institute of Mathematical Sciences) in Madrid, Spain. If you'll be in the area, let me know!

    Aug 2013 Congratulations to Sam Raben on finishing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and starting as a Joesph Ford Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Tech!

    Jul 2013 Ross to speak at workshop in September on Uncovering Transport Barriers in Geophysical Flows at the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery

    May 2013 See new paper on Real-time prediction of atmospheric Lagrangian coherent structures based on forecast data: An application and error analysis in Physica D, with lead author Amir BozorgMagham

    May 2013 Come to my session at Snowbird and hear my talk, (abstract here). Slides of the talk are posted here.

    May 2013 Congratulations to Binbin Lin and A.J. Prussin, who just passed their Ph.D. defenses! Congratulations also to Shibabrat Naik for passing his preliminary exam!

    May 2013 Congratulations to my former student Dr. Phanindra Tallapragada (EM PhD '10), who will join Clemson University as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in Fall 2013!

    Apr 2013 We found a new faculty member! Congratulations to James Hanna, currently of U Mass, who will be joining ESM in August 2013.

    Dec 2012 New paper on Topological chaos, braiding and bifurcation of almost-cyclic sets published in Chaos (content includes movies under multimedia)

    Oct 2012 My former ESM masters student Jeff Twigg is featured in a press release of the Army Research Lab, Army researchers link ground robots for collaborative autonomy

    Oct 2012 New paper on Capturing near-Earth asteroids around Earth has appeared in Acta Astronautica

    Sep 2012 New paper on A set oriented definition of the finite-time Lyapunov exponents and coherent sets accepted to Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation

    July 2012 Ross receives 2011-12 Liviu Librescu Prize

    July 2012 Tentative schedule of speakers at International Conference on Flow Dynamics (ICFD), September 19-21, 2012 in Sendai, Japan is available here.

    past news


    High-flying Microbes

    Riding highways in the sky

    The Interplanetary Superhighway

    Low energy space transportation

    Flying snake simulation: longitudinal dynamics

    Flying snake trajectory and attitude dynamics, with forces

    Topological chaos, braiding and bifurcation of almost-cyclic sets

    Movie shows switching order of eigenmode branches as a parameter is changed, as well as changes along branches.

    Airborne pathogen spread

    Near-Earth asteroid capture

    nearly 100,000 views this millennium

    Locations of visitors to this page

    interplanetary superhighway, transport network, gravitational corridors