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Personal profile

Biography

Dr Barron is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, and Deputy Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. He is a neuroethologist, which is a discipline of neuroscience studying the neural mechanisms of natural animal behaviour. Most of his research focuses on insects, especially honey bees. Using advanced techniques to visualise, manipulate, map and record from the insect brain Barron’s team has made important contributions to the understanding of fundamental behavioural systems such as cognition, navigation, social behaviour and learning and memory.

He also conducts research to improve honey bee health and welfare. He is studying how bees and bee colonies are impacted by pesticide and disease stressors, and how to best intervene to help bee colonies under stress.

Research interests

Understanding animal minds

What is it like to be a bee? Are simple animals like insects cognitive and reflective entities, or are they more like robots: simple reflexive stimulus-response entities? Studying animal behaviour combined with studies of the mechanisms supporting behavioural capacities will give critical understanding of the nature of animal minds.

 

Modelling the insect brain

The insect brain is a complex cognitive microprocessor. This project combines experimental neuroscience with computational and mathematical modelling to explore the circuits and systems of the insect brain function and generate behaviour.

 

Honey bee health and welfare

This is not an easy time to be a bee. Pesticides, diseases, habitat degradation and climate change are all piling stressors onto honey bees. Honey bee colonies are failing at such levels there is concern we may not have enough bees to pollinate our food crops. This research program explores how we can best support bee health in the current challenging environment.

Education/Academic qualification

Department of Zoology, PhD, University of Cambridge

19951999

Natural Sciences, First Class Honours, University of Cambridge

19921995

External positions

Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Australian Research Council

2015 → …

President, Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY OF THE STUDY OF ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR

20122014

Vice-President, Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY OF THE STUDY OF ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR

20102012

Treasurer, Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY OF THE STUDY OF ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR

20082010

Postdoctoral Fellow, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University

20042007

Fullbright Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois

20012004

Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sydney

19992001

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2008 2022

Research Outputs 1998 2019

A comparison of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen, worker and drone larvae by RNA-Seq

He, X. J., Jiang, W. J., Zhou, M., Barron, A. B. & Zeng, Z. J., Jun 2019, In : Insect Science. 26, 3, p. 499-509 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

drones (insects)
honeybee
Bees
queen insects
Transcriptome

Effects of thymol on European honey bee hygienic behaviour

Colin, T., Lim, M. Y., Quarrel, S. R., Allen, G. R. & Barron, A. B., 25 Apr 2019, In : Apidologie. 50, 2, p. 141-152 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

thymol
honey bees
Apoidea
parasitic mites
Varroa destructor

Honey bees increase their foraging performance and frequency of pollen trips through experience

Klein, S., Pasquaretta, C., He, X. J., Perry, C., Søvik, E., Devaud, J. M., Barron, A. B. & Lihoreau, M., 1 May 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, p. 1-10 10 p., 6778.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File
honey bees
Apoidea
foraging
pollen
nectar

Long-term dynamics of honey bee colonies following exposure to chemical stress

Colin, T., Meikle, W. G., Paten, A. M. & Barron, A. B., 10 Aug 2019, In : Science of the Total Environment. 677, p. 660-670 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Thymol
honey
Pesticides
bee
Productivity

Abstract concept learning in a simple neural network inspired by the insect brain

Cope, A. J., Vasilaki, E., Minors, D., Sabo, C., Marshall, J. A. R. & Barron, A. B., 17 Sep 2018, In : PLoS Computational Biology. 14, 9, p. 1-21 21 p., e1006435.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File
Concept Learning
neural networks
Insects
brain
Bees

Prizes

Australian Award for University Teaching

Andrew Barron (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Honorary award

university teaching
school research
science
school research
science
university research
engineering
science
Teaching
science

Activities 2005 2017

Re-use and Evolvability Workshop

Andrew Barron (Invited speaker)
2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

International Congress of Neuroethology (Event)

Andrew Barron (Member)
2017

Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

Australian Neuroscience Society Annual Scientific Meeting

Andrew Barron (Organiser)
2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Beecon

Andrew Barron (Invited speaker)
2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Animal Consciousness Conference

Andrew Barron (Invited speaker)
2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Press / Media

Ten years after the crisis, what is happening to the world’s bees?

Andrew Barron & Simon Klein

8/05/17

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Insects could shed light on evolution of consciousness

Andrew Barron

18/04/16

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Do Honeybees Feel? Scientists Are Entertaining the Idea

Andrew Barron

18/04/16

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment