Dr. Mason DEAN

Associate Professor
M.S., Ph.D.
Office Address
Room 2-507, 5/F, Block 2, To Yuen Building, 31 To Yuen Street, City University of Hong Kong
Office Tel

Mason Dean is a marine biologist, zoologist and anatomist, studying skeletal development, structure and function in vertebrate animals, but with a particular focus on (and affection for) sharks and rays.

In addition to his work at CityU, he is a Guest Scientist at in the Department of Biomaterials, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (where he led a research workgroup prior to moving to Hong Kong) and an Associate Investigator in the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s Excellence Cluster ‘Matters of Activity’, collaborating with designers, engineers and architects to study anatomy. His work on “form-function” relationships in animal skeletons allows him to combine Zoology and Comparative Anatomy with illustration and 3D digital visualization.

  • Mechanics and structural properties of biological materials, especially of skeletal tissues
  • Functional anatomy/morphology and evolution of feeding in vertebrates, particularly fishes
  • Collaborative multi-disciplinary approaches integrating science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics
  • Linking science, hands-on experience, and digital technology for teaching and presentation

(† = student first author)

Amini S, H Razi, R Seidel, D Werner, WT White, JC Weaver, MN Dean & P Fratzl (2020) Shape-preserving erosion controlled by the graded microarchitecture of shark tooth enameloid. Nature Communications. 11: 5971. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19739-0)

Seidel R, Blumer M, Chaumel J, Amini S & MN Dean (2020) Endoskeletal mineralization in chimaera – a comparative guide to tessellated cartilage in chondrichthyan fishes (sharks, rays and chimaera). Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 17: 20200474. (doi: 10.1098/rsif.2020.0474)

†Jayasankar AK, R Seidel, A Hosny, JC Weaver, P Fratzl, J Chen & MN Dean (2020) Multi-scale modeling and mechanical performance characterization of stingray skeleton-inspired tessellations. Journal of the Mechanics & Physics of Solids. 138: 103906. (doi: 10.1016/j.jmps.2020.103906)

†Chaumel J, †M Schotte, J Bizzarro, P Zaslansky, P Fratzl, D Baum & MN Dean (2020) Co-aligned chondrocytes: Zonal morphological variation and structured arrangement of cell lacunae in tessellated cartilage. Bone. 134: 115264. (doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2020.115264)

†Connors M, †T Yang, Z Deng, A Hosny, Z Deng, F Yazdandoost, H Massaadi, D Eernisse, R Mirzaeifar, MN Dean, JC Weaver, C Ortiz & L Li (2019) Biologically-inspired lessons from chiton scales for the design of flexible armors. Nature Communications. 10: 5413. (doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13215-0)