Floris van Breugel, PhD

2008 Hertz Fellow
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Floris van Breugel is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he leads a laboratory studying insects to learn how brains make complex sequences of decisions.

Floris earned his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2014 in control and dynamical systems under the support of National Science Foundation and a Hertz Fellowship while working with Michael Dickinson on insect flight biomechanics, control, and multi-sensory integration. He subsequently went to the University of Washington to work with Jeff Riffell and Nathan Kutz as a post-doctoral researcher to work on insect search strategies and machine learning approaches to system identification of complex systems, supported by a Sackler Fellowship in biophysics and a Moore/Sloan Data Science and Washington Research Foundation Innovation in data science.

Floris received a Sloan Fellowship in Neuroscience in 2020.

“Throughout my graduate career, I was fortunate to have the support of the Hertz Foundation, which became like family to me.”
– Floris van Breugel

Graduate Studies

California Institute of Technology
Complex behavior and perception in Drosophila emerges from iterative feedback-regulated reflexes

Undergraduate Studies

Cornell University


2016, The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation