I wear two hats, behavioural ecologist and sensory ecologist, although the unifying theme is the explanation of the factors shaping the design, through natural selection, of animal form and function. If I have particular skills then they are, first, developing novel empirical tests of theoretical predictions, whether in the lab or field, and second, establishing successful interdisciplinary collaborations. Most of my work lies at the interface of different disciplines, and I have a long history of working with mathematicians to investigate behavioural decisions. More recently, and my current main research area, I have been collaborating closely with physiologists, perceptual psychologists and computational neuroscientists to understand how animal coloration (notably camouflage) evolves in response to animal colour vision.
2008-2012 Head of School, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol.
1998-present Professor of Behavioural Ecology, University of Bristol.
1996-1998 Reader in Behavioural Ecology, University of Bristol.
1989-1996 Lecturer in Zoology (Behavioural Ecology), University of Bristol.
1985-1989 Concurrently: Junior Research Fellow, Brasenose College, Oxford; Departmental Demonstrator (in ornithology), Department of Zoology, Oxford University; College Lecturer in Biological Sciences, Brasenose College, Oxford; College Lecturer in Zoology, Exeter College, Oxford.
1985 D.Phil. (Oxon.) Zoology. Pembroke College, Oxford. (Supervisors: Prof. J.R. Krebs & Dr. A. Kacelnik (titles as in 1985).
1982 B.A. (Cantab.) Natural Sciences (Part II Zoology). First Class Honours. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Class I in Parts I & II of Tripos.
Special Awards, Honours and Distinctions
2007-2010 President, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (the leading European professional association in the field)
2005 Nature (Nature Publishing Group) and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) award for mentoring in science. First recipient of the ‘mid-career’ award for developing the careers of young scientists.
1998 Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, for contributions to zoology by a scientist under 40 years old.
I lecture in all 3 years of the degree programmes; this reflects my enjoyment of teaching as well as the popularity of the subject areas with our undergraduates. In brief, I lecture on Evolution (1st year), Behavioural Ecology (2nd year and Unit Coordinator), Optimisation, Behaviour & Life-Histories (3rd year), yearly animal behaviour field course to Lundy Island (Unit Coordinator), 3-5 pairs of Honours project students per year, ca. 6 Honours library project students per year, tutorials in Psychology & Zoology (all 3 years).
Plus an advanced postgraduate statistics course (17h of lectures and problem classes) and stand-alone postgraduate lectures on 'collaboration', 'how to get published' and 'how science is funded and evaluated'.
View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system
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