Ajay Narendra, Group Leader

Ajay is interested in understanding how insects navigate in their natural habitats. He is also interested in the sensory structures and neural machinery they have evolved to memorise, integrate and recall information. 

Homepage; Flickr; E: ajay.narendra AT

Research Group

Bhavana Penmetcha, PhD student

Bhavana completed her MRes program with us in 2019 studying the anatomical and physiological properties of ocelli in ants. For her PhD she is further investigating the function of the ocelli for visual navigation in diurnal and nocturnal ants. She also aims to map the ocellar pathway in ants and compare them with the ocelli in flying insects.

E: bhavana.penmetcha AT

Marcel Sayre, PhD student

Marcel is a cotutelle PhD student, enrolled at Lund University (Stanley Heinze) and Macquarie University (Ajay Narendra). His research focusses on the central complex (CX), a region vital for navigation, decision making, action selection, and which functions as a biological compass. He will compare the CX neuroarchitecture across bees and ants to understand the role of the CX in navigation. He then aims to intracellularly record from major CX neurons to identify how sensory information is transformed into navigational decisions.

E: marcel.sayre AT

Vaishnavi Sathyakumar, MRes student

Vaishnavi joined us in January 2021 for her MRes Y2 program. She is studying the aerodynamics of free flight manoeuvres in the Australian native bee, Tetragonula carbonaria. Their flights will be studied in the context of how individual bees detect and avoid being captured in spider webs. A project in collaboration with Dinesh Rao and Fleur Ponton

E: vaishnavi.sathyakumar AT

Recent Visitors

  • Prof Christian Peeters
  • A/Prof Marc Seid


Zachary Sheehan, Research Assistant 2020; Yuri Ogawa, Postdoctoral Fellow 2019; Frances J Kamhi, Postdoctoral Fellow 2019; Ravindra Palavalli-Nettimi, PhD 2019; Fiorella Ramirez-Esquivel, PhD 2018; Duncan Jaroslow, MRes 2018; Zachary Sheehan, MRes 2017; Alex Swaja, RA 2017.