Florian Muijres appointed as professor of Experimental Zoology

Published on
November 15, 2022

Wageningen University & Research’s Executive Board has appointed Dr ir Florian Muijres as professor of Experimental Zoology (EZO). Muijres served as interim chairholder for the last several months. He succeeds Johan van Leeuwen who has retired. The appointment has already come into effect.

The Experimental Zoology group currently has four research lines: biomechanics, biomimetics (bio-inspired design, for example), evolutionary biology and developmental biology. Muijres considers it his primary responsibility to support and expand these research programmes. The newly appointed professor also aims to enhance the collaboration between the four technical universities in the Netherlands (4TU).

Additionally, he aims to further strengthen the link between fundamental and applied research. This has already been a priority for Muijres in his work on flying malaria mosquitoes, which led to the development of improved mosquito traps. In the domain of education, Muijres aims to focus on improving data science and modelling skills of students, as these are becoming increasingly important in biology and animal sciences.

Florian Muijres

Florian Muijres
Florian Muijres

Since his early childhood, Florian Muijres (1979) was fascinated by both flying animals and aeroplanes. As a student, he first focussed on aeroplanes by studying aerospace engineering at the TU Delft, specialising in aerodynamics. During his graduation trajectory, Florian was able to combine his interest in biology and aerospace technology in a MSc project at his current group EZO.

Following his graduation, Muijres continued studying animal flight. He obtained his PhD in Lund (Sweden) on the aerodynamics of bird and bat flight. To this end, he trained birds and bats to fly in a wind tunnel so that he could meticulously measure the airflow around the animals. During a postdoc in the United States, Muijres studied the impressively rapid evasive manoeuvres of flies. Muijres started working at EZO in 2014, where he studies flight of insects with high societal impact: the malaria mosquito and the pollinating bumblebee.