Floris van Breugel

Hertz Fellow: Floris van Breugel

California Institute of Technology

Area of Study

Biological Engineering

Fellowship Years

2008 - 2013

Floris van Breugel, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, where he studies how flies and mosquitoes use odor, vision, and other sensory cues, to search for food. He designs and builds his own experiments, relying on computer controlled hardware and computer vision to automatically collect and analyze large volumes of data. His experiments are designed to reveal underlying aspects of the neural architecture in insects, which he has applied to (and plan to continue applying to) robotic applications.

As an undergraduate at Cornell University, Floris was awarded a Cornell Presidential Research Scholarship, which funded his undergraduate research project to design the first passively stable flapping hovering machine at the Cornell Computational Synthesis Lab. In 2013 as a Hertz Fellow, Floris received the named Jane and John Mather Fellowship to pursue his PhD in control and dynamical system at the California Institute of Technology. In 2016, his work with Hertz Fellow Brian von Herzen on a startup, TinyHerds, a company developing non-traditional protein sources for sustainable global food security in the form of cricket ranching technology that automates the livestock-raising process and locally produces feed with renewable energy sources, was awarded the Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative..


2014 - Complex behavior and perception in Drosophila emerges from iterative feedback-regulated reflexes


2016 - The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative
TinyHerds co-founded with Hertz Fellow Brian von Herzen