You are here

Organismal Dynamics, Fluids and Sparks: Stories of Marvelous Beasts

Dr. Víctor Ortega-Jiménez
The University of Maine | School of Biology and Ecology
Seminar date:
Monday, April 29, 2024 - 12:00 to 13:00
HCK 132

Most incredible animal adaptations, such as flight or filter-feeding, have been shaped by natural selection in which the fluid environment has played a fundamental role. Similarly, at submillimeter scales, some tiny organisms use other phenomena, such as electrostatics, to their biological advantage. In this seminar, I am going to focus on four stories of my recent research that show how fluids, as well as electrostatic forces outline the animal world. For the first story, I will talk about how semi-aquatic springtails, which are millimeter- sized arthropods, can skydive and consistently land on the water surface. For the second story, I will show how flamingos lift sediment particles to feed. Their chattering beak acts as an unidirectional pump inducing a vertical flow. By retracting their heads from the water they induce tornado-like vortices that effectively stir sediments. Flamingos even use their feet: by stomping they generate horizontal vortices which swirl particles directly to their beaks. The third story I will present how ripple bugs use elastocapillary actuation to enhance interfacial locomotion performance. Finally, I will show how nematodes are pulled by electrostatic forces towards their charged insect host.

Flyer: People:
Fields of interest: