BC1 The Eye, the Sky and Compass Orientation


The course will cover the range of eye design across the animal kingdom, with the limitations and benefits of different type of eyes. We will then move over to information contents of the sky, that includes patterns and structures not visible to the human eye. The last two sessions will present the form and function of celestial compass systems, with a special focus on behavioural studies in the field.


Eye design across the animal kingdom, information contents of the sky and the form and function of celestial compass systems. Methods to study sensory biology and neurobiology, with a behavioural focus.


Dacke M and el Jundi B (2018) The dung beetle compass Current Biol. 28, R952–R1008

Warrant E and Dacke M (2016) Visual navigation in nocturnal insects. Physiology 31:182-192. Doi:10.1152/physiol.00046.2015

el Jundi B, Warrant EJ, Byrne M, Khaldy L, Baird E, Smolka J and Dacke M (2015) Neural coding underlying the cue preference for celestial orientation. PNAS 112:11395-11400.

el Jundi B, Foster JJ, Khaldy L, Byrne M, Dacke M* and Baird E* (*shared senior authorship) (2016) A snapshot-based mechanism for celestial orientation. Current Biol. 26:1456-1462.

“Animal eyes” by Mike Land and Dan-Eric Nilsson, Oxford University press.
ISBN: 9780199581146

Course location


Course requirements


Instructor information.

Marie Dacke


Lund University


Professor Marie Dacke is a leading expert in neuroethology and celestial compass systems. She makes regularly visits to Africa, with the aim to understand the underlying mechanisms for navigation across the savannah. Marie currently holds a Grant for Distinguished Young Researchers from the Swedish Research Council, has received a Future Research Leader award from SSF and is an alumna of the Swedish Young Academy. Marie Dacke received the IgNobel prize in 2013 and is a Swedish champion in Science Communication.