I am a biomechanist with a physicist background and I am mainly interested in the study of insect flight dynamics to answer relevant biological questions. For this I use three-dimensional videography, experimental fluid mechanics, deep learning and Bayesian statistics as well as various data exploration and visualization techniques.
I am currently studying the flight dynamic of mosquitoes in mating swarms and in collaboration with several teams of researchers around the world. This project, funded by the Human Frontier Science Program, aims to study swarming behaviour in lab, semi-field and field conditions. To achieve that, we are using an interdisciplinary approach by combining expertise from neuroscience, bio(fluid)mechanics, machine vision, behavioural ecology and medical entomology.
During my PhD, I investigated the capture and escape of malaria mosquitoes. On the one hand, I studied how mosquito approached and get captured by counter-flow odour-baited traps. These types of trap, use human simulating odours, CO2 and visual cues combined with a fan-generated counter-flow to attract and capture flying mosquitoes (more about that here: flight response of mosquitoes to odor-baited traps). Following on this, we developed a new trap with increase capture efficiency with the aim of helping in the fight against malaria. On the other hand, I focused on more fundamental research questions about mosquitoes escape manoeuvres. Because malaria mosquitoes must approach human hosts undetected and often in the dark, these mosquitoes are particularly interesting subjects for the study of escape flight manoeuvres. I defended my PhD thesis untilted Biomechanics of flying mosquitoes during capture and escape in October 2021 at the University of Wageningen and with the distinction cum laude.
In France, my first encounter with biomechanics was during a two-year research side project on the flight of the maple tree seed. During this project, two friends and I had the chance of winning two national prices and present our results in Lisbon (Portugal) at the 2010 EU Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS). After this, in September 2010 I started a BSc in physics in Orléans with the goal of becoming a scientist. In the following years, I did a first MSc of solid and fluid mechanics in the University of Versailles (UVSQ) and a second MSc of fluid mechanics in the University of Lille 1. During that time, I also did an internship at the ONERA (the French Aerospace Lab) of Lille on the characterization of flapping wings similar to insect wings and a research project at the Research Institute on Insects Biology (IRBI) in Tours, on the hydrodynamics of the movement of water striders using mechanical simulation at the interface air/water.