Mandyam Veerambudi Srinivasan

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Mandyam Veerambudi Srinivasan AM FRS is an Indian-born Australian biologist who studies visual systems particularly those of bees and birds.[1][2]

A faculty member at the University of Queensland, he is a recipient of the Prime Minister's Prize for Science and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society (elected 2001).[3][4]


Research interests

Focusing his attention on bees, Srinivasan has explored how simple animal systems display complex behaviours. This broad field has applications in robotics, especially unmanned aerial vehicles because of the competing needs for autonomy and a lightweight control system.[6]

Bees are highly competent fliers. Srinivasan has shown that many ostensibly complex flight behaviours can be attributed to the tendency of the bee to keep optic flow constant. Some examples:

  • They measure the distance they have travelled. This is important as distance is signalled to other bees as a component of the waggle dance.
  • When landing, the ground becomes closer and therefore appears to be moving faster. By keeping the apparent velocity of the ground constant, the bee reduces its own velocity in a continuous manner.
  • Similarly, bees slow down in a crowded landscape because nearby objects appear to move faster than objects on the horizon. This is a safety mechanism that reduces the incidence of collision.
  • When avoiding objects, the bee will tend to take the optimal path because it will 'balance' the rate of the optic flow between the eyes. It will, for example, fly down the middle of a tunnel, because if it flew closer to one side the optic flow would appear to be greater.


  1. ^ "Search Australian Honours: Srinivasan, Mandyam Veerambudi: Member of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Australian Government. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Here's how budgies avoid collisions". New Scientist; London. 232 (3094): 15. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Fellows". Royal Society. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  4. ^ Stafford, Annabel; Catalano, Christian (16 October 2006). "Catching the buzz to work pays off for science". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  5. ^ "2006 Prime Minister's Prize for Science". Australian Government, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. 29 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  6. ^ Wheeler, David L. (15 April 2012). "From Bees' Brains to Airplanes: an Australian Scientist Applies His Research". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 24 August 2018.

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