Professor Mandyam Srinivasan has been given two recent honours for a career in studying the behaviour of flighted animals, and translating that into technological innovations.

The head of the Neuroscience of Vision and Aerial Robotics laboratory at QBI was given the Royal Institute of Navigation’s (RIN) highest honour, the Harold Spencer-Jones Gold Medal.

Professor Srinivasan was then named as an inaugural Queensland Government Science Champion by Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, The Hon Ian Walker MP.

Professor Srinivasan’s work sees him study insects and birds to understand how animals with small brains are able to navigate complex environments, and applying that research in the field of robotics with unmanned aerial vehicles.

“This recognition provides validation that our research is heading in the right direction and that we’ll be able to deliver tangible outcomes,” Professor Srinivasan said.

“I am delighted that the Royal Institute of Navigation has recognised the potential of studying minuscule flying creatures with tiny brains to provide inspiration for the development of novel strategies, algorithms and technology for navigation,” he said.

RIN Director Peter Chapman-Andrews MBE said that Professor Srinivasan’s achievements emphasise the benefits that may be obtained from the navigation techniques used by animals.

“Srini is a member of a rare group of scientists who are world renowned in their own field of biology, and who also perceive possible applications for their findings in the design of integrated navigation systems,” Mr Andrews-Chapman said.

Professor Srinivasan was presented the award by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in London.