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Dr. Stacey Combes

Stacey Combes

Position Title
Vice Chair of Academic Affairs

  • NPB
155A Hutchison Hall

Profile Introduction

Research in the Combes Lab focuses on the physical interaction between flying insects and their environment, and on how physiology, morphology and behavior contribute to the performance of ecologically relevant flight behaviors. Our work combines lab-based flight biomechanics with field-based insect ecology to understand the physical foundations of diverse, natural flight behaviors. Projects in the lab explore topics such as flexible wing morphology, the mechanics of aerial predator-prey interactions, flight through cluttered environments, causes and consequences of wing damage, and the effects of turbulent airflow on flight stability.


2002 PhD Zoology University of Washington
1994 B.A. Integrative Biology University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests

AERIAL INTERACTIONS: Biomechanics and behavior during aerial predator-prey and aggressive interactions


FLIGHT IN COMPLEX PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS: Maneuvering flight through clutter; collisions and consequences of insect wing damage


FLIGHT IN TURBULENCE AND UNSTEADY FLOW: Effects of environmental turbulence on insect flight performance and movement patterns


MORPHOLOGY AND FLIGHT CONTROL: Flexible wing morphology and secondary control structures in insect flight


- U.C. Davis Chancellor's Fellowship, 2019-2024
- Roslyn Abramson Award for excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates, Harvard University, 2014
- Certificate of Teaching Excellence, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University, 2013
- NSF Early Faculty Development (CAREER) Award, 2013
- Miller Institute post-doctoral research fellowship, U.C. Berkeley, 2004-2007\

Graduate Group Affiliations

Animal Behavior Graduate Group
Ecology Graduate Group
Entomology Graduate Program, affiliate member

Department and Center Affiliations

Center for Neuroscience, affiliate member

Professional Societies

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)
Society for Experimental Biology (SEB)

Teaching Interests

Animal Behavior, Biomechanics, Physiological Ecology, Scientific Writing