... BatCave3
Photo credit: Jens Rydell

Journal of Experimental Biology Symposium 2018:

Linking brain and behaviour in animal navigation

Organisers: Basil el Jundi, Almut Kelber, Barbara Webb

Date: 24-28 March 2018

Location: Cavo Olympo, Plaka Litochoro, Greece

Animals show impressive navigational abilities, whether returning to a close-by goal or migrating thousands of kilometres across entire continents and oceans. They move on their own or in large groups, and they can use visual landmarks, olfaction, magnetic maps, celestial cues and more, often integrated with internal cues for self-motion. Can we identify common navigational strategies used by animals? And how does the brain act as an animal’s internal navigation system?

Behavioural experiments on animals as varied as insects, bats and birds have revealed different navigational mechanisms, such as landmark memories, path integration and time-compensated compass orientation. Electrophysiological recordings, on the other hand, have given us an understanding of how potential cues for navigation are processed in the brain. State-of-the-art-techniques measure neural activity in freely behaving animals, and genetic methods can reveal the role of individual brain areas.

This symposium will highlight recent advances in our understanding of the physiological mechanisms underlying navigation in a vast array of organisms ranging from tiny insects to humans and robots. The comparative perspective will help to understand general principles and mechanisms underlying topics such as compass navigation, course control, odometry, spatial memory and group navigation. We will bring together investigators studying navigation on the behavioural and physiological level in order to unravel how neural processes and behaviour are linked during spatial orientation and navigation.



The symposium is open to invited speakers and delegates only. However, all presentations will be published as a special issue of Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2019.


The nearest international airport to the conference venue is Thessaloniki International Airport Makedonia (SKG), approximately 120 km.  If you are unable to fly directly to Thessaloniki, you can transfer from  Athens (50  minutes) or another European city. A full list of airlines that fly to Thessaloniki can be found here.

Transport (by taxi/minibus) will be provided from Thessaloniki airport to/from the conference venue (all flights must be confirmed by 1 February).

Alternatively, if you wish to drive to the venue, directions can be found here.

Please book your travel so that you arrive by 18.00 on Saturday 24 March (journey time from the airport is approximately 1.5 hours but allow extra time, where possible, as we aim to coordinate transport for flights arriving at similar times).

Earliest check-in time at the conference venue is 14.00.


Accompanying persons

Spouses/domestic partners are welcome to accompany invited delegates to the meeting (please note that the hotel does not allow guests under the age of 16). To cover the costs of the accommodation, catering and social event, the registration fee will be €330 (euros). The fee assumes two people sharing a double room and that accompanying persons will NOT attend the scientific sessions.

Registration fee (330 euros) for accompanying persons includes:

  • Accommodation for four nights (24-27 March)
  • Welcome Reception on 24 March
  • Breakfast on 25-28 March
  • Lunch on 25-27 March
  • Dinner on 24-27 March (including conference dinner on 27 March)
  • Social event on 26 March

The registration fee is payable direct to Cavo Olympo on check-out.

To register an accompanying person, please email us as soon as possible, and by  1 February 2018 at the latest. Charges may be incurred for cancellations after 12 March 2018.


Sponsored by:



About JEB

Journal of Experimental Biology is the leading journal in comparative physiology. JEB publishes papers on the form and function of living organisms at all levels of biological organisation, from the molecular and subcellular to the integrated whole animal.

About JEB Symposia

The JEB Symposia were launched in 1978 at the suggestion of the then Editor-in-Chief John Treherne. Their aim was, and still is, to review knowledge and stimulate further research in an expanding topic of experimental biology and to bring together scientists from different areas to encourage cross-fertilization of techniques and knowledge across specialization boundaries. Since the first symposium on ‘Cellular oscillators’, the annual JEB symposia have covered a diverse array of topics within experimental biology, highlighting the relevance and power of the comparative approach to mainstream physiology.

The main aim of the JEB Symposia is to unite outstanding biologists and bring together their varied expertise on one particular subject.  It is a leisurely meeting with enough time to talk and to discuss. The number of symposium delegates is limited to invited speakers only.

In order that the proceedings of each symposium are made available to the community as soon as possible, speakers are invited to contribute a Review article to a ‘special issue’ of the journal. These special issues are freely available on the journal website at the time of publication.

Contact us

For questions regarding the symposium, please click on the link below

Manuscript submission

As part of the journal’s editorial strategy, all oral presentations will be published in the form of a Review article  in a special issue of Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2018.

Manuscripts should be a maximum of 7000 words (excluding title page, summary, references and figure captions), with up to 8 display items, and comply with our Submission Guidelines and Manuscript Preparation guidelines.

All invited Review articles for the JEB Special Issue should be submitted by Friday 20 April 2018.

Experience a JEB symposium

To get a feel for what a JEB symposium is really like, view the movie from the JEB Symposium on Evolution of Social Behaviour

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