Professor Michael Ibbotson was recruited as the new Director of the National Vision Research Institute in 2010 and started in the position in July 2011. Professor Ibbotson carried out his PhD in the field of visual neuroscience at Queen Mary, University of London. He took up a post-doctoral fellowship in the Centre for Visual Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra, working with Professor Srinivasan in 1989.
He was awarded tenure at ANU in 2001 and simultaneously became Chair of Faculty at the Research School of Biological Sciences. He became Head of the Visual Sciences Department in 2006, and Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science in 2007. In that same year he was tasked with the development of the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience at ANU. Throughout his time at ANU, Professor Ibbotson initiated a range of research topics including the use of eye movements to detect glaucoma, development of a bionic eye, studies of cortical development related to amblyopia, investigations of sensorimotor coordination relevant to a range of human conditions, such as schizophrenia and dyslexia, and he continued his interest in the insect nervous system and its usefulness to robotics.
In 2011 he became Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne and also holds an honorary position at Monash University and a visting fellowship from the Australian National University. Professor Ibbotson has worked extensively at Emory University, Atlanta and New York University as part of research exchange programs since 2003. He has strong research collaborations with the University of Washington, the University of Queensland and with Monash University.
He is one of the twelve Chief Investigators that won the special fund in 2009 to develop an Australian-built bionic eye.