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Cognitive Neuroethology

Cognitive Neuroethology

Neurons (an artist's rendition?)

Cognitive neuroethology describes the study of neural mechanisms underlying natural animal behaviour. Even ‘simple’ animals frequently demonstrate remarkable behavioural abilities and adaptability just to solve the problems they encounter in their daily lives. Cognitive neuroethology explores how animals do this.

Core questions that motivate our research

  • How do animals with relatively small and simple brains solve complex problems?
  • How do innovative forms of behaviour (like new forms of social behaviour or the honey bee dance language) evolve?
  • How do animals navigate and find their way home?
  • How does goal-directed behaviour arise?
  • How animals evaluate their world and make decisions?

Latest News

9 Apr 2015: Naila Even graduates!  Huge Congratulations Dr Even - we are all very proud. 

9 Apr 2015: Brian Entler of Scranton University wins a Fulbright Student Award to study with us at Macquarie for a year.  Brian will be working on the Bionic Brain.

2 Apr 2015: Former intern Kaitlin Deutsch has been awarded both a Frost Scholarship to study a  Masters at Oxford University and an NSF Graduate Scholarship for a PhD.  Congratulations Kaitlin!

26 Mar 2015: The lab as been awarded an International Exchange Scheme grant from the Royal Society to work with Professor James Marshall of Sheffield University on the Bionic Brain.

24 Feb 2015: New scholarships for international and domestic PhD candidates available to study mechanisms of cognition and goal-directed behaviour in bees. Click here for details.

10 Feb 2015: Our study by Perry et al on honey bee colony failure is published in PNAS.  Reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Online and profiled in Nature.

28 Dec 2014: PhD scholarships for Australian and international graduate students are now available.  Details of possible projects can be found on the 'Join us' page. Contact Andrew Barron to lodge an expression of interest.

5 Nov 2014: Ken Cheng, Jochen Zeil, Ajay Narendra, Rudiger Wehner and Andrew Barron awarded ARC Discovery Project grant for a major 4-year collaborative project examining the neural mechanisms of navigation in ants.

9 Oct 2014: Ken Cheng and Andrew Barron awarded Highly Commended in the 2014 Macquarie University Research Awards for their research into mechanisms of animal cognition.  Click link to see video.

23 July 2014: Andrew Barron awarded 4-year ARC Future Fellowship to develop a computational model of the honey bee brain.