We are interested in identifying the navigational challenges animals face for operating at the limits of size and for functioning in dim light conditions. We are also interested in discovering the neural, physiological adaptations animals have evolved to be active at the limits of size and light. We regularly engage the community about our research through  nature walks or public lectures.

This group started at Macquarie University in July 2015. If you are interested in joining us for a Masters or a Ph.D. program, or as a Postdoctoral fellow, or would like to volunteer, please contact ajay.narendra [AT] Details for opportunities to work with us are here.

Ajay Narendra is an ARC Future Fellow and heads the Ecological Neuroscience group at Macquarie University. His research is in the field of insect neuroethology.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Franne Kamhi (Postdoctoral Fellow) is investigating the neuropharmacological basis of navigation in Myrmecia ants.

Yuri Ogawa (Postdoctoral Fellow) is investigating how information from an external compass integrates with the odometer in ants.


Fiorella Ramirez-Esquivel (Ph.D.) is studying the effect of miniaturisation on sensory structures in ants. Her research focusses on how size dictates the capture and processing of olfactory information.

Ravindra Nettimi (Ph.D.) is addressing the behavioural effects of miniaturisation in ants. Before joining us, Ravindra studied sexual dimorphism of cuticular hydrocarbons in wasps and foraging behaviour in ants.

Zachary Sheehan (M.Res) is investigating the organisation of neuropils in Myrmecia ants active in different temporal niches.

Alex Szwaja (undergrad) is identifying the extent to which a change in body size within a single species affects the organisation of visual and olfactory neuropils.

Braxton Jones (undergrad) is studying the hunting behaviour of net-casting spiders (Deinopidae).

Justin O’Donnell (undergrad) is helping us with the digitisation of ant video footage.

Christopher Whyte (undergrad) is assisting with analyses of jumping behaviour in ants.



  • Chloé Raderschall (MPhil, 2015).
  • Patrick Schultheiss (Postdoctoral fellow, 2014)
  • Franziska Schmitt, (Visiting Fellow, November-December 2014), University of Würzburg, Germany
  • Rebecca Readhead (Honours, 2014, Primary Supervisor Matthew Symonds, Deakin University)
  • Sara Wood (Honours 2014)
  • Rebecca Readhead, (Visitor, September-December, 2013), Deakin University
  • Caela Welsh (Special Topics PhB, 2013)
  • Kshiti Mishra, (Visiting Fellow, June-July 2013) Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
  • Melissa van de Wetering (Honours, 2011, Primary Supervisor Heloise Gibb, La Trobe University)
  • Animesh Agrawal (RA, 2012)
  • Rebecca Readhead (Summer Scholar, 2012)
  • Fiorella Ramirez Esquivel (Honours 2012).
  • Emma Birnbaum (Honours, 2011, Primary supervisor Richard Peters, La Trobe University)
  • Samuel Reid (PhD, 2010, Primary Supervisor Jochen Zeil Peters, ANU)
  • Sarah Gourmaud (MSc Intern, 2010).
  • Emma Birnbaum (Summer Scholar, 2010)
  • Ashley Card (2009) Summer Scholar

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