Dr. Gal Ribak

School of Zoology
ביה"ס לזואולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Dr. Gal Ribak
Phone: 03-6408646
Fax: 03-6406405
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 228

Research Interests

Gal Ribak’s field of research covers comparative biomechanics and ecophysiology of locomotion in animals. He studies the  biomechanical, physiological and evolutionary mechanisms that shape the diversity of animal abilities to move (e.g. fly, swim jump) through their natural environment. 


Recent Publications


Ribak, G., Weihs, D. and Arad Z. (2004) How do cormorants counter buoyancy during submerged swimming? J. Exp. Biol.207: 2101-2114 


Ribak, G., Weihs, D. and Arad Z. (2005) Water retention in the plumage of diving great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis). J. Avian. Biol. 36: 89-95


Ribak, G., Heller, J. and Genin A. (2005) Mucus net feeding on organic particles by the vermetid gastropod Dendropoma maximum in and below the surf zone. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 293:77-87


Ribak, G., Weihs, D. and Arad Z. (2005) Submerged swimming in the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) is a variant of the burst and glide gait. J. Exp. Biol. 208: 3835-3849.


Ribak, G., Klein, N., Weihs, D. and Arad Z. (2006) Adjustment of submerged swimming to changes in buoyancy in cormorants. Can. J. Zool. 84: 383-396.


Ribak, G., Strod, T. Weihs, D. and Arad, Z. (2007) Optimal descent angles for shallow diving cormorants. Can. J. Zool.85:561-573


Ribak, G. and Swallow, J. G. (2007) Free flight maneuvers of stalk-eyed flies: do eye-stalks limit aerial turning behavior? J. Comp. Physiol. A 193:1065-1079.


Ribak, G., Weihs, D. and Arad, Z.(2008) Consequences of buoyancy to the maneuvering capabilities of a foot-propelled aquatic predator, the great cormorant (Phalcrocorax carbo sinensis). J. Exp. Biol. 211:3009-3019.


Ribak, G., Egge, A. R. and Swallow, J. G. (2009) Saccadic head rotations during walking in the stalk-eyed fly (Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni). Proc. R. Soc. Lond.. B 276:1643-1649. 


Ribak, G., Pitts, M. L., Wilkinson, G. S. and Swallow, J. G. (2009) Wing shape, wing size and sexual dimorphism in eye-span in stalk eyed flies (Diopsidae). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 98: 860-871


Ribak, G. (2010) A method to measure buoyancy of diving birds during voluntary dives. J. Ornithol. 151: 963-969.


Ribak, G., Swallow J. G. and Jones D. R. (2010) Drag based ‘hovering’ in ducks: The hydrodynamic and energetic cost of bottom feeding. PLoS One 5:e12565

Husak, J. F., Ribak, G., Wilkinson, G. S. and Swallow, J. G. (2011) Compensation for exaggerated eye stalks in stalk-eyed flies. Functional Ecology 25: 608-615.


Ribak, G. and Weihs, D. (2011) Jumping without using legs: The jump of the click-beetles (Elateridae) is morphologically constrained. PLoS One. 6(6):e20871  

Husak, J. F., Ribak, G., Wilkinson, G. S. and Swallow, J. G. (2011) Sexual dimorphism in wingbeat frequency in relation to eye span in stalk-eyed flies (diopsidae). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 104: 670-679.


Ribak, G., Reingold, S. And Weihs, D. (2012) The effect of natural substrates on jump height in click beetles. Functional Ecology 26: 493-499


Ribak, G., Rand, D., Weihs, D. and Ayali, A. (2012) Role of wing pronation in evasive steering of locusts. J. Comp. Phys. A198: 541-555.


Ribak, G., Gish M., Weihs D. and Inbar M. (2013) Adaptive aerial righting during the escape dropping of Pea Aphids.Current Biology 23: R102-103.

Husak J. F, Ribak, G., Baker R. H., Wilkinson G. S. and Swallow, J. G. (2013) Effects of phylogeny and ornamentation on the evolution of wing shape in stalk-eyed flies (Diopsidae). J. Evol. Biol. 26: 1281-1293.


Ribak, G., Mordechay, O. and Weihs, D.(2013) Why are there no long distance jumpers among click-beetles (Elateridae)?Bioinspir. Biomim 8: 036004 (pp 1-15) 

Meresman Y, Ribak, G., Weihs, D. and Inbar, M. (2014) The stimuli evoking the aerial righting posture of falling pea aphids.  J. Exp. Biol. 217: 3504-3511


Kassner Z, Dafni E  and Ribak G (2016) Kinematic compensation for wing loss in flying damseflies. J. Insect Physiol. 85:1-9


Ribak, G., Dafni E. and Gerling D (2016) Whiteflies stabilize their takeoff with closed wings. J. Exp. Biol. 219:1639-1648


Davidovich H. and Ribak, G (2016) Flying with eight wings: Inter-sex differences in wingbeat kinematics and aerodynamics during the copulatory flight of damselflies (Ischnura elegans). Sci. Nat. 103:65 (pp 1-8) 


Brown, S., Soroker, V. and Ribak G. (2017) Effect of larval growth conditions on adult body mass and long-distance flight endurance in a wood-boring beetle: Do smaller beetles fly better? J. Insect Physiol. 98:327-335


Meresman, Y and Ribak G. (2017) Allometry of wing twist and camber  in a flower chafer during free flight: How do wing deformations scale with body size? R. Soc. Open Sci. 4:171152

Ribak, G., Barkan, S. and Soroker, V. (2017) The aerodynamics of flight in an insect flight-mill. PLoS One 12:e0186441


Urca, T. and Ribak, G. (2018) The effect of air ressistance on the jump performance of a small parasitoid wasp, Anagyrus pseudococci (Encyrtidae) J. Exp Biol. In Press


Kassner, Z. and Ribak, G. (2018) Role of side-slip flight in target persuit: blue-tailed damselflies (Ischnura elegans) avoid rotation while approaching a moving perch. J. Comp. Physiol. A . In Press


Selected Professional Reports (Limited distribution)

  • Ribak, G. and Weihs, D. (2005) Fundamental Principles of Flapping Flight for MAV's. Contract no. 793-5074-01
  • Marmur, A., Ribak, G., Bittoun, E. Cwikel D. and Weihs, D. (2009) Nano-structured Surfaces for Hydrodynamic Drag Reduction. Contract no. 500-9287-01 
  • Ribak, G., Ayali, A. Marom, S. and Weihs, D. (2011) Using Insect as Miniature UAVs. Contract no. 444-0193-617.



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