Opendata, web and dolomites


Navigating the most challenging habitats on earth:unravelling the architecture of a universal compass system

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 UltimateCOMPASS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the UltimateCOMPASS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "UltimateCOMPASS" about.

dependent    uncharted    walk    steadfastly    manipulated    outside    vary    backpack    strength    compass    forests    pool    ball    carry    sensory    interplay    beetles    mathematics    grail    dense    insect    understand    almost    paved    habitats    bearing    rolling    cues    solved    realized    drastically    unravel    orienting    context    cue    works    obtain    algorithms    behavior    keeps    snapshot    celestial    line    truly    networks    brain    offers    orientation    straight    animal    terrestrial    computational    earth    science    continents    bio    perception    integration    tend    architecture    informatics    indicates    electronics    recordings    first    intelligence    underlying    little    modulated    neuronal    supports    core    easily    formulate    artificial    lost    decades    biology    neuroethology    territory    desert    circles    newly    modalities    certainly    walking    night    manner    antarctica    remarkable    except    act    possible    cognition    chosen    dung    beetle    fusion    opportunity    attain    released    seemingly    when    discovered    motor    people    holy   

Project "UltimateCOMPASS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Paradisgatan 5c
city: LUND
postcode: 22100
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Sweden [SE]
 Total cost 1˙994˙225 €
 EC max contribution 1˙994˙225 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-06-01   to  2024-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    LUNDS UNIVERSITET SE (LUND) coordinator 1˙805˙301.00
2    THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH UK (EDINBURGH) participant 188˙923.00


 Project objective

When lost in the desert at night, or in dense forests, people tend to walk in circles. This is because the seemingly simple act of walking in a straight line involves a complex interplay of various sensory modalities, the motor system and cognition. A ball-rolling dung beetle released in the same type of uncharted territory, does not walk in circles, but rather keeps steadfastly to a chosen bearing. The main goal of this project is unravel the sensory and neuronal architecture of the newly discovered ‘snapshot compass’, that supports orientation over all continents and terrestrial habitats on earth (except Antarctica). This goal will be realized through a fusion of biology, bio-informatics and mathematics.

A quickly growing pool of studies indicates that neuronal networks are modulated in a context-dependent manner. Therefore, to truly understand how this compass works, and to formulate the core computational algorithms underlying this remarkable system, I aim to obtain the first ever brain recordings from the compass of a freely orienting insect. Is this possible? Certainly! But only in an animal with a robust orientation behaviour, and that is strong enough to carry a little backpack of electronics. The large dung-beetles, with their easily manipulated orientation behavior, offers a unique opportunity to attain this holy grail of neuroethology.

The beetle’s compass makes use of a large range of celestial cues, which can vary drastically in availability and strength. While the challenge of cue integration has been solved effectively in the compass system of the beetles, it remains a key problem within the field of cognition and perception, as well as for the design of artificial intelligence systems. Taken together, almost two decades of studies of the dung beetle compass system have paved the way for this timely and unique opportunity, that will impact the advancement of science well outside the field of biology.

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The information about "ULTIMATECOMPASS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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