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Cognitive Neuroethology

Join Us

In 2017 international and Australian Domestic MQRES  scholarships are available for students wishing to undertake a PhD in research alligned with modelling and comprehending the function of the honey bee brain.  Click this link for details on scholarship requirements and application.  Contact Andrew Barron to lodge an expression of interest.


We welcome undergraduate volunteers to join the team. Volunteering in the lab is a great way to gain research experience, develop lab and research skills and enhance a science education.  

Intern students from other universities and countries are also welcome to apply.  We have hosted interns from France, Italy and America.

Prospective volunteers or interns should contact Andrew Barron for more information and application details. Preference is given to applicants with a strong record of academic achievement.



Opportunities for Masters students

Macquarie University offers a two-year Masters of Research (MRes) program for domestic and international students as a comprehensive research preparation for a higher degree.  Scholarships are available.  For details on the MRes program click here.


Opportunities for PhD students

International and domestic postgraduate students are an integral part of the team, and are well supported by Macquarie University. Students wishing to pursue a PhD with the group should familiarise themselves with the information on Macquarie's Higher Degree Research website. If you are interested in our research, contact Andrew Barron to discuss suitability and project ideas 

Available PhD Projects 

Modelling the bee brain

The project will develop and test via experimentation new models for the operation of the honey bee brain.  It will focus on visual learning, stimulus classification, resolution of uncertainty, goal-directed behaviour or operant learning and involve a combination of modelling, electrophysiology, neural imaging and neuropharmacology.  The project is a collaboration with the University of Sheffield in the UK. 

Decision making and goal directed behaviour

How do animals decide what to do next and select the most appropriate action.  This is a fundamental capability for autonomous behaviour.  Animals do it very well, but we don't know how.  The project will use a combination of behaviuoural and neurophysiological methods to study decision making and action selection in honey bees and ants.  

Mechanisms of navigation in ants and bees

The project examines the neurobiology of navigation of ants and bees in both the field and a reconstructed reality of the field environment.  The objective is to identify brain regions and neurochemical systems involved in lanmark navigation, path integration and navigation by celestial cues.  It will involve neural imaging, electorphysiology and neuropharmacology.  

The evolution of consciousness

The project will develop and evaluate theoretical and conceptual models for the evolution of different forms of conscious experience in human and nonhuman animals.  

Why do honey bee colonies collapse, and how can we stop it?

The project will develop new models of the process of colony growth and colony decline, and test pheromonal and social interventions to improve colony health, resiliance and performance.  The project involves long-tem monitoring of honey bee colonies and collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture and universities in the US. 




Postdoctoral Fellows

We welcome inquiries from talented researchers interested in joining the team. There are many different opportunities to support postdoctoral research. Contact Andrew Barron for more information.


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