• Bhavana submits her PhD thesis on navigation and visual physiology of ants and bees. Well done Bhavana! (April 2023)
  • Pranav and Ajay return from a successful 10-day field trip in the Cape York Peninsula studying and collecting spiders (April 2023)
  • Saroja has her first ant brain dissected and in the bag ūüôā (March 2023)
  • Lazzat Aibekova from OIST, Okinawa visits us to study biomechanics of jumping behaviour in ants. (March 2023)
  • Welcome (back): Marcel joins us as a Postdoc supported by ARC Discovery project (February 2023)
  • Congratulations! Marcel is awarded a PhD from Macquarie University and University of Lund of his work on neural circuitry of central complex in ants and bees. He was also awarded Vice Chancellor’s recommendation at MQ – a first for our group! (February 2023)
  • Welcome: Saroja Ellendula joins us to start her PhD program. Saroja will investigate sex and caste specific neural visual circuitry in ants. (February 2023)
  • Welcome: Pranav Joshi and Daniel Allman join us for their MRes Y2 program to study jumping behaviours and kinematics of spiders and ants. (January 2023)


  • First field trip in 2 years with Giovanni, Dinesh and Ajay to find strobe ants, Opisthopsis rufithorax, in NSW – a successful trip! (December 2022)
  • New stingless bee hives from Ku-ring-gai Council call MQ their home! May they pollinate (December 2022)
  • $$: Casey Forster is awarded a grant from AgriFutures Honey Bee & Pollination Industry Development Grant to study effect of glyphosate on honeybees. Well done Casey! (November 2022)
  • Congratulations! Giovanni wins a Highly Commended student grant at Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour. (August 2022)
  • Welcome: Anuja Joseph joins us to start a MRes Y2 program to study visual navigation in ants. (July, 2022)
  • Bhavana, Casey and Ajay headed off to present and learn about bees at the Australian Native Bee Conference (June, 2022)
  • Article: A large team of researchers from School of Natural Sciences led by Mariella got together over the last 3 years to develop a massive trait database ‘AnimalTraits’. check it out in Scientific Data. (June, 2022)
  • $$: Ajay, together with Fleur Ponton, Theotime Colin and Sasha Tetu were awarded a large HIA grant to develop techniques to combat fungal and bacterial diseases in honeybees. (May, 2022)
  • Welcome: Giovanni Ram√≥n-Cabrera joins us to start a PhD studying visual ecology and navigation behaviour in Strobe ants. (April, 2022)
  • Article: Yuri, Ajay and Jan Hemmi have a cool paper comparing temporal resolution of day- and night-active Myrmecia in iScience. (March, 2022)
  • $$: Ajay was awarded a ARC Discovery Project grant to study spatial memory capacities. (January, 2022)


  • Article: Together with colleagues from University of Edinburgh, W√ľrzburg University and ANU, we show anesthesia disrupts distance memories but not direction in Current Biology. (December, 2021)
  • Vaishnavi submitted her MRes thesis – well done! (December, 2021)
  • Welcome: Casey Forster join us for her PhD program to study bees and their microbiome (November, 2021)
  • Article: Bhavana gets her second paper! This builds on her MRes work to study spatial vision of ocelli in bull ants. Published in J Experimental Biology – Congratulations Bhavana! (September, 2021)
  • $$: New gadget arrived: Phantom T1340 high speed camera, thanks to MQ’s infrastructure grant and superlative team (March, 2021)
  • $$: Fleur Ponton, Th√©otime Colin and Ajay won a grant from Department of Water, Agriculture and Environment to develop strategies to reduce impact of hive beetles on honeybee. (February, 2021)
  • Welcome: Vaishnavi joins our group for her MRes Y2 program to study the flight dynamics of stingless bees. (January, 2021)


  • Its micro CT time (March-April, 2019)
  • After successfully completing a fun fuelled PhD, Ravindra bid adieu – to start a postdoc at Florida University. All the best Ravi! (March, 2019)
  • Dinesh Rao from Universidad Veracruzana visited us for 3 weeks to study how stingless bees avoid spider webs (February 2019)
  • Lots of fun experiments with ants on trackballs and in our humongous Antarium (February 2019)
  • ARC Grant writing time kept us busy (February, 2019)
  • Article: Yuri led an awesome paper on measuring spatial acuity and contrast sensitivity in the compound eyes of ants. Out now in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.¬†(January 2019)
  • Article: Zach’s Masters work on brain region investment patterns in day and night-active Myrmecia ants is published in the prestigious Journal of Comparative Neurology. Well done Zach! (January, 2019)


  • Christian Peeters from Paris visits us to talk ants (December, 2018)
  • A few of us are heading out to Fowlers Gap to check out the field station and semi-arid ants (November 2018)
  • Ravi submits his PhD thesis on Implications of miniaturisation in ants. Congrats Ravi! (October, 2018)
  • Duncan graduates from the Masters of Research program. He is pursuing a PhD at La Trobe (September, 2018)
  • Several of us from the group will be at the International congress of Neuroethology in Brisbane) and at the IUSSI in Brazil (July, August 2018)
  • Welcome: Bhavana Penmetcha arrived from India to start her Masters program with us to identify the role of ocelli in ants (June 2018)
  • Duncan submits his Masters thesis on ‚ÄėSex and experience dependent neural and behavioural plasticity in Camponotus ants. Well done mate! (May 2018)
  • Article: Ravi’s first paper from his PhD work accepted in JEB! Here, he addresses the behavioural impact of miniaturisation in ants [March 2018]
  • Grant writing time [January, February, 2018]


  • Article: Check out our latest paper in JEB on the structure of the ocelli in flying and walking ants [December 2017]
  • A successful trip to South Australia from where we brought back a colony of the Dinosaur ant, Nothomyrmecia macrops. [October 2017]
  • Franne reviews the¬†Origins of aminergic regulation of behavior in insects in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. Its freely available, check it out!¬†[October 2017]
  • Zach submits his well-crafted Masters thesis – well done!! Zach investigated how brain architecture changes between diurnal and nocturnal Myrmecia ants [October 2017]
  • Marc Seid, from University of Scranton, is visiting us for his sabbatical to study brain allometry relationship in ants [September 2017]
  • Welcome: Victoria Als, Masters student from Austria vists us to study population genetics in Myrmecia ants. [September 2017]
  • Welcome: Duncan joins us to start a Masters in Research program. His research will focus on the changes in neural architecture as ants acquire information (July 2017)
  • $$: Ajay and Yuri are awarded a 3-year research grant from The Hermon Slade Foundation to investigate ant ocelli (June 2017)
  • $$: Ajay, Fleur Ponton, Josh Madin and Drew Allen were awarded a 2-year research grant from MQ Species Spectrum Centre to study metabolic rates in ants (June 2017)
  • Ravi returns from a longish field trip with tonnes of video footage! (May 2017)
  • Article: Yuri, in her latest paper in the¬†Journal of Experimental Biology¬†characterises the spectral and polarisation sensitivities of¬†the honeybee ocelli. (February 2017)
  • Article: Ajay and Fiorella have a new paper in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B¬†to demonstrate that ants active in dim light detect very subtle changes to their landmark panorama. (February 2017)
  • Together with¬†Ken Cheng and Cody Freas, Ajay has a new paper in the¬†Journal of Experimental Biology demonstrating the¬†compass cues used by the¬†nocturnal¬†Myrmecia midas. (February 2017)
  • Ajay is presenting at the Low Spatial Resolution Vision symposium at¬†the¬†Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference, New Orleans (January 2017)
  • Alex (re)joins us as an RA. She will be working with Franne¬†helping with filming nocturnal ants. (January 2017)
  • Welcome: Zach¬†joins us for¬†his 2nd year MRes program to study the variation in brain architecture in day- and night-active Myrmecia ants.


  • Franne, Andy Barron¬†and Ajay are¬†awarded an¬†MQ Research Development Grant to investigate the¬†neural circuitry involved in visual navigation¬†(November 2016)
  • Ravi heads out to Canberra for his second¬†field season. ¬†(November 2016)
  • Yuri Ogawa Kato joins us as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Yuri has¬†arrived¬†from Perth (UWA) and will be studying the physiological properties of visual system of ants. Welcome Yuri! (November 2016)
  • Franne has a new paper in Proceedings B¬†identifying the neural operation cost¬†in ants (October 2016). Well done JFK!
  • Ravi wins NSW Office of Environment and Heritage/ Ecological Society of Australia’s award for outstanding outreach for 2016.
  • Ravi wins the 3-minute student talk award at ASSAB 2016!
  • Ravi wins the Barbara Rice Award for¬†Best

    Ravi dazzles everybody with his talk about ant miniaturisation

    Ravi dazzles everybody with his talk on ant miniaturisation

  • presentation for field-based research (June 2016)
  • Ravi¬†is gearing up to attend the Ant¬†Course 2016 in Mozambique! (June 2016)
  • Stanley Heinze from University of Lund visited us for a few days to¬†develop the ant electrophysiology setup (May 2016)
  • We have a new article in Scientific Reports quantifying the extent of the dorsal rim area in flying and walking ants. It also includes possibly the first ever¬†anatomical descriptions of ant ocelli. (March 2016)
  • Together with Andrew Barron, Ken Cheng, Nathan Hart and Jennifer Cornish, we were awarded an MQ Research Infrastructure Block Grant (>90K) to develop an intracellular electrophysiology rig. (Feb 2016)
  • Dr Franne Kamhi joins us as a Postdoctoral Fellow to investigate¬†the neurobiological basis of ant navigation. Franne recently graduated from Boston University where she studied¬†the neuroecology of social organisation in the¬†Weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina.¬†(Feb 2016)


  • Ravindra Nettimi joins¬†us as a PhD student to study behavioural implications of being tiny (Oct 2015)
  • We have a new¬†article in¬†Scientific Reports on tandem running in ants in their¬†natural conditions.¬†A short video clip about it is here. (June 2015).
  • In a new article in Proceedings of the Royal Society B we show that the charismatic Australian ants, Myrmecia,¬†have three spectral¬†sensitivities (June 2015).
  • New article in¬†Journal of Comparative Physiology A demonstrating cool methods for reconstructing the¬†navigational information available for insects (April 2015).
  • Jochen and Ajay¬†will be giving talks at the Symposium, Ecology, Sensory Processes and Cognition, at Macquarie University on Feb 7, 2015 (January 2015)


  • Chlo√© submits her Masters thesis in which she¬†addresses the role of vision in head stabilisation in the nocturnal Myrmecia. (December 2014)
  • Jochen and Ajay together with Andy Barron, Ken Cheng¬†and R√ľdiger Wehner are awarded a four-year¬†ARC¬†Discovery project grant¬†to¬†develop¬†a virtual reality¬†arena¬†for navigating ants (November 2014)
  • Jochen Zeil and Wolfgang St√ľrzl¬†are awarded a three-year¬†ARC¬†Discovery project grant to¬†understand the choreography and development of learning flights in insects (November 2014)
  • Jochen, Willi and Ajay¬†wrote a chapter¬†on Polarization Vision in Hymenopterans in the second edition of¬†Polarized Light and Polarization Vision in Animal Sciences.¬†(November 2014).
  • Sara¬†submits her beautifully crafted Honours thesis on ‘Visual and Chemoreceptive Adaptations¬†for¬†Dim Light in nocturnal Myrmecia ants’. Well done Sara! (October 2014)
  • Jochen Zeil and Jan Hemmi¬†write a chapter on¬†Path Integration, Vision and Decision-making in Fiddler Crabs in¬†Crustacean Nervous Systems and their Control of Behavior.¬†(October 2014)
  • Ajay¬†is awarded a four-year Future Fellowship by¬†the Australian Research Council (July 2014)
  • Fiorella¬†gets¬†her¬†first publication!¬†She describes the antennal¬†sensory array¬†of the night-active bull ant, Myrmecia¬†pyriformis¬†with stunning high magnification SEM images. Keep a look out for it in Arthropod Structure and Development. (July¬†2014)
  • Chlo√© was awarded the Runner-up prize for her talk on head stabilisation in ants at the¬†ASSAB conference, Katoomba (July 2014)
  • Sara Wood won the¬†National Indigenous Legal Student of the year¬†and attended the gala award ceremony in Brisbane (June 2014)
  • Chlo√© Raderschall¬†won the¬†Heiligenberg Travel Award¬†to¬†present her work at the¬†2014 Neuroethology meeting¬†in¬†Japan (June 2014)
  • Patrick Schultheiss joins the lab. Patrick previously worked on search strategies of¬†Melophorus¬†ants at Macquarie University (March 2014)
  • Sara Wood joins the lab to start her Honours program. Sara will use Golgi-Electron microscopy techniques to identify dendritic fields of the visual fibres in the lamina in nocturnal and diurnal Myrmecia ants. (Jan 2014)
  • Together with Eric Warrant and his lab members, a few of us went for a walk up a couple of mountains to watch the resting places of the cool Bogong moths. Pictures here. (Jan 2014)


  • Caela handed in her Special Topics report where together with Fiorella she studied obstacle avoidance in crepuscular ants, Myrmecia pyriformis. (Nov 2013)
  • Willi Ribi and Ladina Ribi are visiting us from November-March. With Willi we will be carrying out significant amount of histological investigations into insect eyes and ocelli and with Ladina we are eagerly looking forward for her wonderful scientific illustrations of Australian ants.
  • Wolfgang R√∂ssler and Franziska Schmitt from the University of W√ľrzburg are visiting during November-December to do some behavioural experiments with Myrmecia ants.
  • Rebecca Readhead is back in our lab to carry out part of her Honours research. She will be identifying aggression levels between colonies of several Myrmecia ants. (Sep 2013).
  • New MS: Jochen and Ali have a manuscript accepted in the Journal of Comparative Neurology on compound eye design of the fiddler crab Uca vomeris. (Sep 2013).
  • New MS: Jochen with Ajay and Wolfgang has an article accepted in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B on gaze direction in jack jumper ants, specifically addressing how they decide where to go.¬†(Aug 2013)
  • New MS:¬†Two articles on the intertidal ant,¬†Polyrhachis sokolova¬†have been accepted. One, addresses navigation strategies (in J Exp Biol) and the other describes the eye structure of these ants (in PLoS ONE). (Aug 2013)
  • Caela Welsh joins the lab to work on obstacle avoidance in ants as part of her ASC project. (Aug 2013)
  • New MS:¬†We have a new article in Myrmecological News on the spatial and temporal foraging patterns of jack jumper ants (Aug 2013)
  • Few of us from the lab will be in Sweden attending the Invertebrate vision conference. (Aug 2013)
  • Chlo√© visits Wolfgang R√∂ssler‚Äôs lab in Germany to learn some neuroanatomical techniques. She will also be in Peru for the Ant course! (July-Sep, 2013)
  • New MS: Sam with Ajay, Bob and Jochen has an article accepted in Aus J Zoology – all about foraging ecology of the night active Myrmecia pyriformis.
  • New MS: Ajay, Sarah and Jochen have a new article in Proceedings B¬†on mapping the navigational knowledge of jack jumper ants. (May 2013)
  • Fiorella starts her PhD program (March 2013)


  • Fiorella just submitted her Honours thesis tackling the sensory costs of miniaturisation in ants. (October, 2012).
  • Chlo√© begins her degree to¬†investigate the role of ocelli in ants. (October, 2012)
  • Ajay and Chloe back from a field trip to Townsville. In collaboration with Simon Robson, we began to tackle the navigation strategies of the swimming ants,¬†Polyrhachis sokolava¬†in the mudflats of Townsville. (May, 2012)
  • Fiorella Ramirez-Esquivel starts her Honours project studying sensory structures in different sized ants. (Feb 2012)
  • Marc Seid from University of Scranton from US, visits us for 3-weeks to study ant brains. (Jan 2012)
  • Willi Ribi from Private University of Liechtenstein is back! Willi is here for 3-months to carry out histological research studying ant eyes and ocelli. (Jan 2012)


  • Wolfgang St√ľrzl arrives from M√ľnich to continue our quest of imaging the environment in 3D (Dec 2011)
  • We excavated our first nest of the jack jumper ant,¬†Myrmecia croslandi, possibly a world‚Äôs first! (Dec 2011)
  • Chlo√© Raderschall joins the ant group as a Research Assistant funded by the Hermon Slade Foundation (January 2011)
  • Katherine Gill joins the ant group as a short term visitor (Jan 2011)
  • New paper on nocturnal bull ant navigation is out in J Experimental Biology (Jan 2011)


  • New paper on visual structures of ants is out in the Proceedings B!! (October 2010)
  • Attending the Neuroethology meeting, IUSSI & Ant Course (August 2010)
  • Sarah Gourmaud heads back to France after a super productive 6-month stint in our group. (June, 2010)
  • Ajay and Jochen get a 3-year research grant from Hermon Slade Foundation for a project on the jack jumper ants. (May 2010)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s