Vision is the dominant sense in a large proportion of animal diversity, and has evolved dozens of times with enormous variety, from the simplest eye spots to highly sophisticated visual systems. In many animal groups, the structure, function and evolutionary history of light-sensing organs remain unclear; in others, better-understood visual systems offer exceptional opportunities to study ecological and evolutionary patterns. Projects may examine the fine structure and function of poorly understood invertebrate photoreceptor systems, or address macroevolutionary questions concerning visual and central nervous system evolution in changing light environments. Specific techniques can be discussed with the student, but may include X-ray tomography and 3D anatomical reconstruction, experimental behaviour, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, developmental biology, transcriptomics, and palaeontology.
Associated Research Streams
vision, evolution, behaviour, neuroanatomy, invertebrate zoology