Diversification of flight kinematics and morphology in Diptera

Flight is one of the most fascinating coevolution between morphological and behavioral traits, attracting the curiosity of both biologists and physicists. This remarkably complex phenotype likely played an important role in the diversification of flying animals in providing ecological opportunities inaccessible to most other taxa. But how did flying animals diversify?

My work is at the interface between evolutionary biology and biomechanics, aiming to understand the selective and mechanistic forces underpinning the diversity of flight, focusing particularly on insects.

I currently work as a postdoc in the Experimental Zoology Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Here, I address flight diversification at large phylogenetic scale, focusing on the order Diptera (flies, mosquitoes and relatives). I quantify the morphological and biomechanical diversity of Dipteran flyers, in order to investigate its evolution in a phylogenetic framework. Through this project, I hope to extend our knowledge of the morphology/flight kinematics diversity in insects, and to disentangle the evolutionary forces (i.e., phylogenetic history versus selective processes) underlying the diversification of Dipteran flyers.