I work in the field of animal movement ecology with a focus on multisensory navigation and
visual guidance. I am using my background in mathematics, dynamic systems theory and computer
science to develop new analytical methods to analyse the influence of various sensory modalities, like
visual cues and their involvement in visual guidance, as well as magnetic, infrasound and olfactory
cues and their involvement in navigation. I am also interested in other aspects of flight including
migration, flight aerodynamics and kinematics, group dynamics in flight.
NavMap will apply novel analytical techniques in combination with experimental manipulation of navigational factors to investigate the cues with which pigeons navigate. According to our
current understanding pigeons appear to navigate using a two step process - utilizing a map and a compass. In the past, experiments produced conflicting reports on effects of individual
experimental treatments when attempting to investigate specific sensory cues. If anything these past experiments hint at a rather complex system involving multiple redundant cues. Recent
developments in mathematical analysis of GPS tracks have not only provided direct evidence for this, but have also produced new methods, that allow a direct look at the underlying
mechanisms of the navigational process. In this project we plan to combine these new methods, with experimental treatments to investigate in detail the involvement of individual sensory
modalities in the pigeon's navigational process. Want to know more?
Visual Guidance and Colission Avoidance in Birds
I am an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland and together with scientists at QBI [Prof. Mandyam V. Srinivasan]
the Queensland University of Technology [Prof. Tristan Perez]
I am investigating the ability of birds to avoid mid air collisions, when facing incoming obstacles or other birds, as well as general principles
of visual guidance. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of how birds manage to avoid such collisions and derive simple rules for collision avoidance that would enhance
the safety of commercial air travel and inform the development of guidance systems for unmaned aerial vehicles. Want to know more?
Together with scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem [Prof. Ran Nathan]
and Tel Aviv University [Prof. Sivan Toledo]
I am working on the ATLAS project (Advanced Tracking and Localization of Animals in real-life
Systems). I am partly working on improving usabilty of the system, providing webapplications for managing data and real-time monitoring of the system, but also provide analytical
tools and filters for specific projects involving a variety of species of animals. Want to know more?
D. Karmaker, I. Schiffner, M. Wilson, M.V. Srinivasan (2018)
Image denoising with Weighted ORientation-Matched filters(WORM)
2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (IEEE ROBIO 2018) December 12-15 2018, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
D. Karmaker, I. Schiffner, M. Wilson, M.V. Srinivasan (2018)
The bird gets caught by the WORM: tracking multiple deformable objects in noisy environments using Weight ORdered Logic Maps
13th International Symposium on Visual Computing (ISVC 2018) November 19-21 2018, Las Vegas USA.
T.L. Molloy, G.S. Garden, T. Perez, I. Schiffner, D. Karmaker, M.V. Srinivasan(2018)
An inverse differential game approach to modelling bird mid-air collision avoidance behaviours
In 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID 2018), 9-11 July 2018, Stockholm, Sweden.
I. Schiffner, P. Fuhrman, J. Reimann, R. Wiltschko (2018)
Behavioural traits of individual homing pigeons, Columba livia f. domestica, in their homing flights
PLoS ONE 13(9): e0201291.
I. Schiffner, T. Perez , M.V. Srinivasan (2016)
Strategies for pre-emptive mid-air collision avoidance in budgerigars
PloS one 11 (9):e0162435.
I. Schiffner, M.V. Srinivasan (2016)
Budgerigar flight in a varying environment: flight at distinct speeds?
Biology letters 12 (6):20160221.
H.D. Vo, I. Schiffner, M.V. Srinivasan (2016)
Anticipatory manoeuvres in bird flight
Scientific reports (6):27591.
D. Karmaker, I. Schiffner, R. Strydom, M.V. Srinivasan (2016)
WHoG: A weighted HoG-based scheme for the detection of birds and identification of their poses in natural environments
2016 14th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision (ICARCV):1-7.
I. Schiffner, S. Denzau, D. Gehring, R. Wiltschko (2016)
Mathematical analysis of the homing flights of pigeons based on GPS tracks
Journal of Comparative Physiology A 202 (12):869-877.
I. Schiffner and M.V. Srinivasan (2015)
Direct evidence for vision-based control of flight speed in budgerigars.
Scientific Reports (5): 10992; doi: 10.1038/srep10992.
I. Schiffner, H.D. Vo, P. S. Bhagavatula and M. V. Srinivasan (2014)
Minding the gap: in-flight body awareness in birds
Frontiers in Zoology 11(64)
I. Schiffner, B. Siegmund and R. Wiltschko (2014):
Following the sun: a mathematical analysis of the tracks of clock-shifted homing pigeons
Journal of Experimental Biology 217:2643-2649.
I. Schiffner, R. Wiltschko (2014)
Pigeon navigation: different routes lead to Frankfurt
PloS one 9 (11):e112439.
I. Schiffner, P. Fuhrmann and R. Wiltschko (2013)
Homing flights of pigeons in the Frankfurt region: the effect of distance and local experience.
Animal Behaviour 86:291-307.
I. Schiffner and R. Wiltschko (2013)
Development of the Navigational System in Homing Pigeons: Increase in Complexity of the Navigational Map.
Journal of Experimental Biology 216:2675-2681.
I. Schiffner, J. Baumeister and R. Wiltschko (2011)
Mathematical analysis of the navigational process in homing pigeons.
Journal of Theoretical Biology 291:42-46.
11.6.2018- present Marie-Curie COFUND Research Fellow at Bangor University
15.7.2016- present Adjunct Research Fellow of the Queensland Brain Institute
1.3.2017- 31.5.2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1.7.2011- 14.7.2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland
1.6.2007- 30.3.2011 Research Fellow at the Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt am Main
Marie Curie COFUND Fellowship (2018-2020)
Fellowship from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Minerva Center for Movement Ecology (2017-2018)