jeudi 17 janvier 2013

PhD Opportunity, Iridescence as defense, Bristol

Dazzled and Disrupted: Iridescence as defence

Iridescence (a form of structural colour where the hue changes according to the angle of viewing) is extremely widespread, both in mechanisms of production and occurrence, in plant and animal kingdoms, however its adaptive advantage and the selective pressures leading to its occurrence is frequently unclear. In 1909, Thayer suggested that iridescence could act as a form of camouflage, however, this potential function has not been previously investigated.

This project will focus on the visual impact of the different structural forms of iridescence found in nature, each of which has different optical effects. Bio-mimicking structures produced synthetically will be used to determine the impact of different structural forms of iridescence on accurate visual identification of shape, speed, patterning and colour against a variety of backgrounds and light environments will be tested using behavioural parameters in a variety of visual systems.

This project, supervised by Dr Heather Whitney and Professor Innes Cuthill in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK, is in competition with others for funding (UK and other EU applicants only), and the closing date for application is Friday 11th January, via this application portal: . For more information, please email Heather Whitney (, enclosing a CV.