Monthly Meeting (Note new venue)
Abstract: Since the seminal finding in 1914 by Nobel Laureate Karl von Frisch that honeybees could be trained with a sucrose reward to find a coloured square, the 'bee' has been an important model for understanding learning in animals. In recent times behavioural experiments have revealed a capacity for solving visual problems that in many cases parallel levels of cognitive processing observed in large brained primates; suggesting that environmental need for using vision rather than brain size is a main determinant of cognitive processing ability in animals. Bees can for example, learn to recognise faces, navigate mazes and/or perceive illusions. We will discuss the exciting future for this highly valuable insect model.
Adrian Dyer is an Associate Professor at RMIT University who has worked on bee visual processing for about 20 years including several post doctoral positions in Germany and the UK. Work has a strong focus on visual ecology principles linked to how bees are very efficient pollinators of important plant flowers.
Scarlett Howard is a PhD student at RMIT University working on numerical processing in honeybees. She has worked on bees in Australian, Germany and France, and focuses on how free flying bees can learn to solve novel problems that may be encountered in natural environments.
Meeting Address: Doncaster Secondary College, 123 Church Rd, Doncaster 3108