Adam Summer’s research has been influenced by his background in engineering and mathematics and his interest in the evolution of diverse forms. He has many collaborative projects on a variety of vertebrate taxa, including reptiles, amphibians, bony fishes, and cartilaginous fishes. His main research program is in understanding the effects of material properties on the form and function of organisms. For example, He uses a comparison between the cartilaginous fishes and the bony fishes as a model system for understanding the constraints and opportunities presented by a cartilaginous skeleton. Complex interactions between structure and material properties occur at many different levels; therefore he approaches problems at several disparate size scales: the comparative biochemistry of cartilage, ultra- and microstructural morphology, gross anatomy, and function at the whole animal level. It has become clear that insights gained from one level of organization are often informative at several other levels.