School of Life Sciences

Insect navigation

The navigational strategies employed by insects enable them to walk or fly over long distances, find food and return to their nest. To accomplish this they utilise a toolkit of elegant sensory and 'cognitive' strategies. In the Insect Navigation Group, we study these strategies using traditional behavioural experiments as well computational and robotic models.

News from the Sussex Insect Navigation Group

March '14: Over years of watching desert ants we have often seen a distinctive scanning behaviour when ants are disoriented. We now have learnt something about this behaviour and our paper is out in JCPA and can be downloaded from the Publications section.

Feb '14: It is great to announce that Alex's first research paper has just been released. The paper looks at how learning walks are shaped to the visual environment and has just come out in Adaptive Behaviour and can be downloaded from the Publications section.

Jan '14: Recently we were particularly excited by a Nature paper detailing some behaviourally relevant aspects of the drosophila visual system. We have written a Current Biology Dispatch on this paper and the article can be downloaded from the Publications section.

Jan '14: Happy New Year! and what better way to start the new year than with a new review paper from Tom, David and Paul. This paper is from Phil. Trans. and features in a Special Issue honouring the contributions of Mike Land to vision science. The article can be downloaded from the Publications section.

Dec '13: A super paper this month from Antoine and Seppi. They show how ants have a neat mechanism by which they can predict the direction of an impending displacement by wind. The article can be downloaded from the Publications section.

Oct '13: A busy month for new arrivals. Craig Perl has arrived as a new PhD student to work with Paul and Jeremy on the visual system of Formica rufa. Cornelia Buehlmann has also arrived from Jena to take up a SNF fellowship. Cornelia will be looking questions of olfactory cue use and how it interacts with other behaviours.

Sept '13: A great new review article from Tom (with Matthew and Lars Chittka) is just out in Current Biology. " Spatial memory in insect navigation" is available in our Publications section.

Main contact

Dr Paul Graham

Reader, School of Life Sciences
University of Sussex
John Maynard Smith Building
Brighton, BN1 9QG

t: +44 1273 872943

pdfs now available

pdfs of recent articles can now be downloaded from the publications page.