Our work investigates the mechanics of highly deformable interfaces in three main contexts: soft adhesion, fluid surface instabilities, and plant biophysics. We complement this work with other soft matter mechanics research, especially regarding defects in amorphous materials, and through collaborations contribute to a broad range of research from soft matter to neuroscience to biologically-relevant crystallography.

For our published work, see the Publications page, or Prof. Jensen’s Google Scholar page.

Active research areas in the laboratory include:

Soft Adhesion and Contact Mechanics

  • Elastocapillary adhesion of soft gel microspheres
  • Dynamics of making and breaking adhesive contacts
  • Deformation-dependent adhesion with soft polymers

Funding: NSF Grant CMMI-2129463; Research Corporation Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Grant

Fluid Surface Instabilities

  • The physics of leaking fluids: How (and when) a leak can stop itself
  • Naturally-occurring surface-shock starburst instabilities

Funding: ACS Petroleum Research Fund UNI Grant

Plant Biophysics

  • Water-air interface mechanics during asexual reproduction of M. polymorpha

Funding: NSF Grant PHY-2015208

Other Soft Matter Mechanics & Materials Science Research

  • Microscopic mechanisms of plastic deformation in colloidal glasses
  • Active flow transport in decentralized biological networks


Additional funding supporting our research has come from Williams College for individual students via Allison Davis Research Fellowships (2019-2023), the Edward N. Perry 1968 and Cynthia W. Wood Summer Science Research Fellowship for experimental soft condensed matter research (2021-present), the Summer Science Program, and the Science Center; and for PI Jensen via startup funding and a Class of 1945 World Fellowship (2021-2022).

(last updated August 2023)