Beth Mortimer

Research Interests

For many diverse organisms, the physical environment is more than a habitat – it is a platform through which they send and receive information. From humans to elephants and spiders, vibrations that propagate through materials and along surfaces are used for information on the status of other organisms and their environment. My interdisciplinary research group studies the interactions between organisms and materials to understand the mechanisms of this information transfer process and the physical constraints acting on its evolution. Ongoing projects currently include elephant seismology (understanding how elephants communicate and gather information through seismic vibrations, and how we can use these vibrations to remotely monitor their behaviours), and vibrational communication in insects and spiders (vibration generation, propagation and sensing, including species comparisons and experimental manipulations of physical environment and noise).

Qualifications & Experience

BA Biological Sciences/MA (Oxon); PGCE Primary Education (Oxford Brookes); DPhil Zoology (Oxon)

6 years as independent research fellow at Universities of Oxford and Bristol


Personal Research Keywords

Vibrational communication, biological materials, sensory ecology, physical ecology, animal seismology