Victor M. Ortega

My research focuses on how animals deal with unsteady and multi-phase flows such as rain, turbulence, surface ripples or dust devils. I am also interested in the trade-offs experienced by animals during wetting, and in the effects of electrostatic charges on flying insects and hummingbirds.

Storm winds

Fluids in nature generally run wild. Vortex shedding, ripples and turbulence are common architectural components of flows. I study the energetics and control of animals moving in such unsteady conditions.

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Nectar from the sky

Precipitation has the capacity to disrupt animal activities and, in extreme events, jeopardizes survival. I have interest on the effects produced by these flows in the locomotor performance of small animals.

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Sparks & wetting

At small scales electrostatic, or capillary forces reign over other forces humans are subjected to, like gravity. I am interested on the effects produced by these forces in animal-animal and plant-animal interactions.

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Lab news

Moving on rough waters
Aug 4, 2017

We found that water striders locomotion is degraded inversely with age while they move over wavy and bubbly water surfaces …read more

In the National Geographic
Jul 7, 2017

The N. Geographic is highlighting amazing pictures of our research on hummingbirds…read more

Wings as Autogyros
Jan 11, 2017

Our paper entitled “On the autorotation of animal wings” has been highlighted on the cover of Interface …read more

Thrips’ aquatic secrets
Sep 14, 2016

We discovered that millimetric-sized insects called thrips, can climb the meniscus by arching their water-repellent bodies …read more