... BatCave3
Photo credit: Jens Rydell


With the exception of the Introductory lecture, speakers should limit the duration of their presentations to 30 minutes to ensure ample time for discussion and transition between speakers.

Click on the title of each presentation to view the abstract.

Saturday 24 March

17.30 Welcome reception and drinks

Introductory lecture (Chair: Almut Kelber)

18.30 Barbara Webb (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Robotic perspectives on animal orientation, navigation and spatial cognition

19.30 Dinner

Sunday 25 March

Session I: Sensory control of navigation (Chair: Almut Kelber)

09.00-09.40 Russell Wyeth (St Francis Xavier University, Canada)

Olfactory navigation in aquatic gastropods

09.45-10.25 Matthias Wittlinger (University of Freiburg, Germany)

Distance measurement in navigating ants

10.30 Refreshment break

11.00-11.40 Gabriele Gerlach (Carl von Ossietzky University, Germany)

Imprinting and orientation behavior in fish

11.45-12.25 William Warren (Brown University, USA)

Non-Euclidean navigation

12.30 Lunch

Session II: Long-distance navigation: genetics and behaviour  (Chair: Basil el Jundi)

13.30-14.10 Martin Wikelski (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany)

Large-scale animal movements

14.15-14.55 Ken Lohmann (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)

Geomagnetic imprinting, natal homing, and mechanisms of magnetoreception in aquatic animals

15.00 Refreshment break


Miriam Liedvogel (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Germany)

Genetics of orientation in the European blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

16.15-16.55 Christine Merlin (Texas A&M University, USA)

Circadian clock and epigenetic control of monarch butterfly seasonal migration

17.00   Practical robotics session (led by Barbara Webb)

19.30 Dinner

Monday 26 March

Session III: Neural substrate of navigation (Chair: Michael Dickinson)

09.00-09.40 Stanley Heinze (Lund University, Sweden)

The central complex of the bee brain as neural substrate for path integration

09.45-10.25 Basil el Jundi (University of Würzburg, Germany)

Compass orientation in ball-rolling dung beetles

10.30 Refreshment break

11.00-11.40 James Knierim (Johns Hopkins University, USA)

Path integration and representations of space–time in the hippocampus

11.45-12.25 Yossi Yovel (Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Neuroethology of bat navigation

12.30 Lunch

14.00-21.00 Social event (including dinner at local restaurant)

Tuesday 27 March

Session IV: Development of navigation (Chair: Barbara Webb)

09.00-09.40 Nora Newcombe (Temple University, USA)

Navigation and the developing brain

09.45-10.25 Thomas Wolbers (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany),

Spatial navigation – a unique window into mechanisms of aging and dementia

10.30 Refreshment break

11.00-11.40 Philippe Gaussier (ETIS Lab, Cergy-Pontoise, France)

Merging information in the entorhinal cortex: what we can learn from robotics experiments

11.45-12.00 An introduction to The Company of Biologists and JEB

12.00 Lunch

12.30-16.00 JEB Editors’ Meeting (JEB Editors and Directors only)

Session V: Navigation in context (Chair: Almut Kelber)

16.00-16.40 Michael Dickinson (California Institute of Technology, USA)

The mechanisms of long-distance dispersal in Drosophila

16.45-17.25 Lucia Jacobs (University of California, Berkeley, USA)

Constraints on cognition: how olfaction shaped vertebrate navigation

17.30 Refreshment break

17.45  General discussion (led by Almut Kelber and Barbara Webb)

19.30 Conference Dinner

Wednesday 28 March



Sponsored by:


Linking brain and behaviour in animal navigation

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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 biologists 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 JEB website at the time of publication.

Contact us

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

Manuscript submission

As part of their agreement to attend the symposium, all invited speakers are required to submit a Review article based on their presentation to appear 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 2016 JEB Symposium on Evolution of Social Behaviour

Visit our journal websites

Development Journal of Cell Science The Journal of Experimental Biology Disease Models & Mechanisms Biology Open

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