Camille Buhl

Dr Camille Buhl

Senior Lecturer

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Camille Buhl is a Senior Lecturer in Plant Protection the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide. She combines lab and field experiments with computational biology and field robotics to study insect movement and collective behaviour and its application to agriculture and pest control.

Current research projects - Movement ecology and collective animal behaviour

My research focuses on the ecology and behaviour of animals, in particular how the mechanisms involved at the individual level scale up to groups or population levels. I typically combine lab and field experiments with computational or mathematical modelling, and I am always keen to adapt the latest technological innovations to improve our ability to track and quantify animal behaviour.




Here are some of the current active projects in my team:


Detection, monitoring and tracking of beneficial and pest invertebrates using field robotics, radars and machine learning

We are developing an innovative framework to automate the detection, tracking and monitoring of invertebrates in the field using a combination of machine learning, drones and ground-based platforms (including robotics and innovative radar tracking). In some cases (e.g. locusts, snails, bees), the resulting data will be key to modelling and predicting insect movement. This is a new multidisciplinary collaboration which will capitalise on existing equipment and expertise in AgTech and machine learning at the Plant Accelerator and URAF, the experience of Buhl’s team in monitoring, tracking and modelling invertebrate movement (in collaboration with ECMS, in particular with Ed Green) and the extensive experience of SARDI Entomology working at the forefront of pest management and biosecurity.


Locust collective movement

To develop a better understanding of locust collective movement, we are combining lab and field experiments (which involve innovative techniques such as tracking individuals with a UAV) with computer simulations, which allow us to simulate up to millions of locusts using CUDA (parrallel computation on graphic cards). Ultimately, our goal is to build a model that will provide control operations with a better knowledge of band movement and trajectories so that improved methods such as barrier spraying can be optimized.

Termite nest collective construction

As the pinnacle of animal construction, termite nests embody how much complexity can arise from a multitude of relatively simple behaviour and interactions. Individual termites are small organisms with relatively simple neural systems and limited perceptive abilities, yet they can coordinate their building activity to construct structures up to thousands of times higher than themselves. In the most complex examples, termite nests take the form of complex mounds reaching several meters high, with elaborate ventilation systems and features such as spiralling staircases or suspended bridgesThis project aims to unravel the mechanisms underlying the construction of complex termite nests and their evolution by combining collective behaviour, computed tomography, physics and mathematical biology. 


Collective nutrition in social insects

Nutrition is at the centre of most collective behaviour phenomena. In social insects such as ants and termites, foraging is handled by a sub-group of workers who not only have to fulfil their own nutritional requirements but also provide the rest of the colony with the nutrients they require. How does the information pertaining to the nutritional state of the colony flows and how do workers adapt their foraging strategies in order to achieve efficient communal nutrition? We will tackle these questions using a combination of lab experiments, tracking nutrients with fluorescent dies and individuals with miniature barcodes, and computer simulations implementing the behaviour and nutritional processes as well as their evolution.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2014 - ongoing Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2012 - 2016 ARC Future Fellow University of Sydney
    2006 - 2012 Postdoctoral fellow University of Sydney
    2005 - 2006 Postdoctoral fellow University of Oxford
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2012 Fellowship ARC Future Fellowship Australian Research Council Australia $652,148
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    French Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2000 - 2004 Paul Sabatier University France PhD
    1999 - 2000 Paul Sabatier University France Master of Research, Biology
    1996 - 1999 Louis Pasteur University France Licence+Maitrise of Biology
  • Research Interests

Internal funding

2021 - Faculty of Sciences Research Roadmap Scheme (lead applicant). Improving detection and monitoring of biosecurity threats using drones, field robots and machine learning. $43,330

2021 - Agrifood and Wine FAME seed grant (lead applicant together with Tien-Fu Lu). A disruptive mobile roboticised tracking systems for pests and beneficial invertebrates. $20,000

2021 - Faculty of ECMS Theme Seed Funding (co-applicant with John Maclean and Ed Green). Predicting and preventing locust swarms with data science. $9,973


External funding 







ARC Discovery Projects



A/Prof Ashley Ward ; A/Prof Mary Myerscough ; Prof Dr Jens Krause ; Dr Jerome Buhl


Leadership matters: the emergence of informed leaders and their influence on group movement


ARC Future Fellowship



Dr Jerome Buhl


From individuals to mass organisation: aggregation, synchronisation and collective movement in locusts


ARC Linkage Projects



Prof Stephen Simpson ; Prof Edward Holmes ; Dr Jerome Buhl ; Prof Kenneth Wilson ; Dr James Woodman


Making Green Guard® greener: enhancing the efficacy of a biopesticide


- Foundations in Animal Behaviour II: course coordinator and lecturer

- Plant Health III & A: course coordinator and lecturer

- Microbiology and Invertebrate Biology II: lecturer


  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Principal Supervisor Molecular phylogenetics, ecology, and management of Mediterranean pest snails in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Nicole Kristyn Fechner
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Ecological interactions between two natural enemies of the Light Brown Apple Moth Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Miss Emma Kate Aspin
    2015 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Nutritional Ecology in Social Insects Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Laure-Anne Poissonnier
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Member Education Committee Australian Entomological Society Australia
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83130951
  • Email:
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Waite, floor 1
  • Org Unit: Agricultural Science

Connect With Me
External Profiles