Macquarie University, Sydney, is offering two PhD scholarships to study ant vision and navigation. If you or anybody you know of, find this interesting, please get in touch with me.
Effects of miniaturisation on visual information processing capacities of ants
Project: Size is thought to dictate the performance of sensory systems and through this the lifestyle and the information processing capacities of animals. Ants exhibit dramatic differences in body size both within and between species. Irrespective of size, all individuals have to be competent navigators, pinpoint goals, detect polarised skylight, estimate distances, view landmarks, memorise and recall crucial information. This project will identify the behavioural costs and neural adaptations for navigating at the limits of size.
The project will involve state-of-art ant tracking techniques (Differential GPS, high speed videography), video analysis and insect view reconstructions. In addition, there will be opportunities to learn histological, neuroanatomical and micro-CT techniques to measure, map and reconstruct the sensory and information processing structures in ants. This research addresses many fascinating areas of biology and offers tremendous scope for students to pursue their own interest in the field of insect navigation.
We are looking for students enthusiastic about experimental research, are self-driven, and fully dedicated to work on an exciting project in a vibrant and stimulating environment alongside a team of international researchers. Candidates with experience in video and image analysis and/or working with social insect behaviour are particularly encouraged to apply. Start date is negotiable, but must be before October 2015. Project will be suitable for candidates with a background and an interest in evolutionary biology, neurobiology, computational biology and myrmecology.
Closing date: May 31, 2015. If interested, contact Ajay: ajay.narendra [at] mq.edu.au
More information on how to apply here.