Animal Flight Laboratory

PhD Victor M. Ortega Jimenez

PhD Victor M. Ortega Jimenez
Phone: 510-642-1555

Research Interest

My research interest at UC Berkeley is to evaluate the flight abilities of hummingbirds on complex fluids, like rain or Kármán vortices produced by an air flow passing through a tree trunk.

Previous work
In Mexico, I studied the effect of plumage wettability on takeoff performance and the benefits of the loss of air bubbles during the diving of Cassin’s Auklet, Xantus’s Murrelet and Leach’s Storm-Petrel.

Also, I am interested in the hydrophobic properties of feathers. There are some areas of research with which I will continue to be engaged the next year at UC Berkeley. First, I want to extend the study of the effect of rain on flight performance of insects.

Second, I want to explore, with collaboration of my colleges, the flying performance of hummingbirds hovering on smooth surfaces. Given the near absence of research in Mexico on animal locomotion, I would like to set up an animal locomotion laboratory with the aim of exploring the huge natural biodiversity of Mexico in terms of animal locomotion and to train Mexican students in this field. Ongoing studies of biomechanical performance, control, and maneuvering abilities of animals will inevitably derive on the new generation of small flying and diving technological devices.

Selected publications:


Ortega-Jiménez, V. M., S. Álvarez-Borrego, S. Arriaga- Ramírez, M. Renner, and E. S. Bridge. 2010. Takeoff flight performance and plumage wettability in Cassin’s Auklet Ptychoramphus aleuticus, Xantus’s Murrelet Synthliboramphus hypoleucus and Leach’s Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa. Journal of Ornithology 151:169–177. (doi:10.1007/s10336-009-0441-z).

Ortega-Jiménez, V. M., S. Álvarez-Borrego. 2010. Alcid feathers wet on one side impede air outflow without compromising resistance to water penetration. Condor 112:172–176 (doi:10.1525/cond.2010.090137).

Ortega-Jiménez, V. M., Álvarez-Borrego S., Arriaga-Ramírez S., Renner, M. and E. Bridge. 2011. Maximum load-carrying during takeoff of Cassin’s Auklet and Leach’s Storm-Petrel. Waterbirds (in press).

Ortega-Jiménez, Álvarez-Borrego S., Arriaga-Ramírez S Parental Infanticide in Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) during Nest Defense 2011. Journal of Raptor Research (in press).

Ortega-Jiménez, V. M., Álvarez-Borrego S., Arriaga-Ramírez S., Renner, M. and E. Bridge. Effects of changing air content on diving performance of two small alcids (In preparation).

Other publications (en español)

Ortega, V.M. and T. Velázquez. 2010. Amores Extremos. La Jornada en la Ciencia.

Ortega, V.M and Terán B E. 2010. Concha Urquiza, entre el accidente y el suicidio. La Jornada en la Ciencia.

Ortega V.M., Arriaga R. S. y Terán B. E. 2010. La divulgación de la ciencia en México vista a través de blogs. La Jornada en la Ciencia.

Ortega, V.M. 2010. Piernas, Espuma y Movimiento. Razón Áurea.

Ortega, V.M. 2010. ¡El tamaño sí importa! Razón Áurea.

OrtegaV. M.“Trazos de locomoción animal”. Ciencia (Revista de la Academia Mexicana de Ciencias). (Accepted).

Animal Flight Laboratory, March 2011