Floris van Breugel


I am interested in understanding how insects are able to control complex behaviors with their numerically simple nervous systems – only 100,000 neurons for the fruit fly, for example. My research in the past five years has focused on how flies use olfactory and visual cues to track down food sources, and I am now beginning to delve deeper into the brain using genetic tools to determine the neural underpinnings of this complex behavior.


van Breugel F, Morgansen K, Dickinson MH (2014). Monocular distance estimation from optic flow during active landing maneuvers. Bioinsp Biomim 9(2), 025002.

Elzinga MJ, van Breugel F, Dickinson MH (2014). Strategies for the stabilization of longitudinal forward flapping flight revealed using a dynamically-scaled robotic fly. Bioinsp Biomim 9(2), 025001.

van Breugel F, Suver M, Dickinson MH (2014). Octopaminergic modulation of the visual flight speed regulator of Drosophila. J Exp Biol 217(10), 1737-1744.

van Breugel F, Dickinson MH (2014). Plume-tracking behavior of flying Drosophila emerges from a set of distinct sensory-motor reflexes. Current Biology 24(3), 274-286.

van Breugel F, Dickinson MH (2012). The visual control of landing and obstacle avoidance in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. J Exp Biol 215(11), 1783-1798.

van Breugel F, Regan W, Lipson H (2008). From insects to machines: demonstration of a passively stable, untethered flapping-hovering micro-air vehicle. Robotics & Automation 15(4), 68-74.

Regan W, van Breugel F, Lipson H (2006). Towards Evolvable Hovering Flight on a Physical Ornithopter. AlifeX Conf Proc.

van Breugel F, Lipson H (2005). Evolving buildable flapping ornithopters. GECCO Conf. Proc.



Ph.D. Control and Dynamical Systems, Caltech, 2014.

B.S. Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2008.


florisvb “at” google email.