The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Catherine Swinsky in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Catherine Swinsky ‘20 graduated with a degree in Biology at Longwood University. Catherine researched the function of bird tails during slow flight. She recorded videos of birds landing and taking off from feeders and used computer programs to analyze their tail movements. Check out this video about Catherine’s biomechanics of flight research:

Catherine started working on this project with Dr. Brandon Jackson during the spring semester of her junior year and continued her research through the summer PRISM program and her senior year. She decided to start a research project because she “always loved completing research projects in my courses and wanted to pursue a longer-term project outside of class. I was also very interested in animal physiology, which lead me to my research project with Dr. Jackson.”

Catherine says that “participating in PRISM allowed me to build closer relationships with my professors, especially Dr. Jackson. Dr. Jackson has been an incredible mentor to me and always pushed me to think critically and outside the box. Participating in research also challenged me to keep myself accountable. These are important skills that I have carried with me into my professional life.”

Catherine presented her research at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) conference in January 2020.

In Fall 2021, Catherine will be attending Oklahoma State University for veterinary school.

Congratulations to Catherine on her successful research!


If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or