• 6402 Citations
  • 44 h-Index
1979 …2022
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Personal profile


My research crosses mechanistic, functional and evolutionary questions in the study of animal behaviour. A central theme of my research concerns how animals process information. Dealing with information is crucial for many important behaviours in an animal's life, including choosing a mate, avoiding predators, and finding food. The range of species I have studied include humans, rats, pigeons, chickadees, Clark's nutcrackers, desert ants, and honeybees. A large part of my research has concentrated on how animals deal with space and time. I have collaborations with a number of researchers around the world.

Macquarie University funds postgraduate students from anywhere in the world with scholarships. I am currently looking for students to study the behaviour of ants in Australia. We are studying one species of desert ant, the highly thermophilic the red honey ant Melophorus bagoti, that lives in cluttered semi-arid habitats. We are also launching into the study of bull ants found on campus here. The latest venture is to provide reconstructed reality for ants, replicas of their natural scenes so that we can better control and manipulate the cues. I welcome enquiries from those interested.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ken Cheng is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 26 Similar Profiles
Ants Medicine & Life Sciences
Formicidae Agriculture & Biology
deserts Agriculture & Biology
honey bees Agriculture & Biology
Columbidae Medicine & Life Sciences
Bees Medicine & Life Sciences
Cues Medicine & Life Sciences
pigeons Agriculture & Biology

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Projects 2006 2022

Navigating brains: the neurobiology of spatial cognition

Cheng, K., Zeil, J., Narendra, A., Barron, A., Wehner, R. & MQRES, M.

30/06/15 → …

Project: Research

Animal Behavior
Appointments and Schedules

Evolution of intelligence in small brains: how to navigate the messy natural outdoors smartly

Cheng, K., Newton, J., MQRES, M., PhD Contribution (ARC), P. C. (. & Wehner, R.


Project: Research

Research Outputs 1979 2019

Effects of sun compass error on spatial search by Clark's nutcrackers

Kelly, D. M., Cheng, K., Balda, R. & Kamil, A. C., Mar 2019, In : Integrative Zoology. 14, 2, p. 172-181 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Experimental ethology of learning in desert ants: becoming expert navigators

Freas, C. A., Fleischmann, P. N. & Cheng, K., Jan 2019, In : Behavioural Processes. 158, p. 181-191 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

animal behavior

Panorama similarity and navigational knowledge in the nocturnal bull ant Myrmecia midas

Freas, C. A. & Cheng, K., Jun 2019, In : Journal of Experimental Biology. 222, 11, p. 1-12 13 p., jeb193201.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Myrmecia (Hymenoptera)

Running paths to nowhere: repetition of routes shows how navigating ants modulate online the weights accorded to cues

Wystrach, A., Schwarz, S., Graham, P. & Cheng, K., Mar 2019, In : Animal Cognition. 22, 2, p. 213-222 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Cognition beyond representation: varieties of situated cognition in animals

Cheng, K., 2018, In : Comparative Cognition and Behavior Reviews. 13, p. 1-20 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Cognitive Science