Bio


Lentink's group studies biological flight as an inspiration for engineering design. We focus on key biological questions which we probe with new engineering methods to find inspiration for innovative flying robots. Our comparative biological flight research ranges from maple seeds and insects to birds such as swifts, lovebirds, and hummingbirds. For in-depth biomechanics research we focus on bird flight. Our fluid mechanic research of dynamically morphing wings ranges from studying vortex dynamics to fluid-structure interaction. We apply our findings through robot designs centered on flying in complex cluttered environments under realistic atmospheric conditions.

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • Dobbinga Award, Delft University of Technology (2003)
  • AIAA best Fluid Dynamics conference paper, AIAA (2003)
  • Elsevier Young Scientist Award, Society for Experimental Biology (2005)
  • Most Exotic Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Award, First American-European MAV contest (2005)
  • Ritsema van Eck Award, Delft University of Technology (2006)
  • Bolk Prize, Netherlands Society for Anatomy (2008)
  • Zoology Award, Royal Dutch Zoological Society (2009)
  • Biophysics thesis award, Dutch Society for Biophysics and Biomedical Technology (2009)
  • 100kE Dutch Academic Year Prize, 100kE (2010)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013 - Present)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, Cum Laude, Experimental Zoology (2008)

2014-15 Courses


Postdoctoral Advisees


All Publications


  • Small aspect ratio differences impact hover efficacy among 12 hummingbird species Kruyt, J. W., Quicazan-Rubio, E. M., Van Heijst, G. J., Altshuler, D. L., Lentink, D. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2013: E118-E118
  • Flight Artists: An outreach project that enables the general public to film natural flight using the worlds most advanced high-speed camera Lentink, D., Fiaz, A. W. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2013: E124-E124
  • Flying like a fly. Nature Lentink, D. 2013

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature12258

  • Vortex interactions with flapping wings and fins can be unpredictable. Biol. Lett. Lentink, D., van Heijst, G., J.F., Muijres, F., T., van Leeuwen, J., L. 2010

    View details for DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0806.

  • Structural analysis of a dragonfly wing. J. Exp. Mech. Jongerius, S., R., Lentink, D. 2010; 50: 1323-1334
  • Nature inspired flight – beyond the leap. Bioinspir. Biomim. Lentink, D., Biewener, A., A. 2010; 5
  • Leading-edge vortices elevate lift of autorotating plant seeds. Science Lentink, D., van Dickson, W., B., van Leeuwen, J., L., Dickinson, M., H. 2009; 324: 1438 – 1440
  • Biofluiddynamic scaling of flapping, spinning and translating fins and wings. J. Exp. Biol. Lentink, D., Dickinson, M., H. 2009; 212: 2691 – 2704
  • The scalable design of flapping micro air vehicles inspired by insect flight. In: Flying insects and robots. Lentink, D., Jongerius, S., R., Bradshaw, N., L. edited by Floreano, D., Zufferey, J. -C., Srinivasan, M., V. Springer. 2009
  • Rotational accelerations stabilize leading edge vortices on revolving fly wings. J. Exp. Biol. Lentink, D., Dickinson, M., H. 2009; 212: 2705 – 2719
  • Automated visual tracking for studying the ontogeny of zebrafish swimming. J. Exp. Biology. Fontaine, E., Lentink, D., Kranenbarg, S., Müller, U., K., van Leeuwen, J., L., Barr, A., H. 2008; 211: 1305 – 1316
  • Vortex-wake interactions of a flapping foil that models animal swimming and flight. J. Exp. Biology. Lentink, D., Muijres, F., T., Donker-Duyvis, F., J., van Leeuwen, J., L. 2008; 211: 267 – 273
  • Wake visualization of a heaving and pitching foil in a soap film. Exp. Fluids Muijres, F., T., Lentink, D. 2007; 43: 665 – 673
  • How swifts control their glide performance with morphing wings. Nature Lentink, D., Müller, U., K., Stamhuis, E., J., de Kat, R., van Gestel, W., Veldhuis, L., L.M. 2007; 446: 1082 – 1085
  • Turning on a Dime. Science Müller, U., K., Lentink, D. 2004; 306: 1899 – 1900