I run Abertay’s Visual Perception and Camouflage Lab which is concerned with the processes underlying visual perception and with the ways in which camouflage undermines these processes.
Our research uses a range of techniques, ranging from visual psychophysics to virtual reality, video games and sometimes behavioural studies with animals.
I’ve been involved in various Knowledge Exchange Projects including developing baseline visibility measures of signs and signals for Network Rail.
I’ve published extensively within the area of visual perception including studies on visual impairment in dementia and camouflage in nature (for example, exploring whether quail choose to lay their eggs in locations that help to camouflage their eggs).
I’ve been interviewed on various media outlets including national radio and newspapers to discuss camouflage in nature.
I am a peer reviewer for Perception, Vision Research, Journal of Vision, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.
I’m also a member of the Vision Sciences Society and the Applied Vision Association.
- You can find more information about current research on my personal webpage: https://psyresearch.abertay.ac.uk/VPAClab/
I am the lead tutor on the PSY204 Cognitive Psychology module.
I am the lead tutor on PSY202 Thoughts on Psychology module.
I also lecture on:
PSY 304 Psychology and Technology
PSY101 Introductory Psychology
April 2016. Co-investigator, (PI Julie Harris, St Andrews). Grant total £591k (across all sites). Summary. What makes an effective warning signal? This project will look at the link between aposematic colouration in insects and the visual sensitivities of their predators.
- BBSRC (BB/N005945/1, BB/N00602X/1, BB/N006569/1, BB/N007239/1) (Abertay, Newcastle, St Andrews, Bristol).
October 2012. Researcher/Co-investigator, (PI Julie Harris). Grant total £401k (across all sites). From photons to fitness. Using calibrated photogrammetry to ask whether countershading in animals is really optimised for camouflage. In this collaboration with renowned experts in animal camouflage (Graeme Ruxton, Glasgow and Innes Cuthill Bristol). We will examine the long standing question of whether counter-shading pigmentation really does hide animals by concealing their shading cues. (£401,000). The project will accurately render 3D models of organisms under simulated natural light environments. We can then examine whether counter-shading aids concealment using visual search tasks in humans and starlings. (BBSRC BB/J000272/1)
March 2009. Co-Investigator. Do visual plumage cues act as a signal of relatedness in Japanese quail: implications for the optimal outbreeding hypothesis. John Robertson Bequest, £1,255.
July 2007-2010. Researcher/Co-investigator, (PI Tom Troscianko). Natural dynamic scenes and human vision. (£313,391). (EPSRC EP/E037372/1)
August 1994. EU ERASMUS Travel Grant to the University of Padova Cognitive Science summer school, £500.
August 1995, All-fees bursary for the Oxford Summer School in Connectionist Modelling.
A member of the Vision Sciences Society and the Applied Vision Association.
Reviews articles for the following journals: Perception, Vision Research, Journal of Vision, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology. EPSRC grant reviewer.
• Conspicuity Camera: Development of a baseline Set of Visibility Measures or Network Rail,with Human Engineering, (2009).
• Use of a vision model to quantify the significance of factors effecting target conspicuity see Gilmore et al. in Publications.
Nature Research Highlights. Quail pick nests that best hide eggs. Vol 493, January 24th 2013.
NPR radio (4 minute interview) quick-brown-fox-cant-find-camouflaged-quail-eggs, March 2013.
National Geographic Daily News. “Hunting for Quail Eggs? Mind Your Steps”, January 2013.
Deutschlandradio, radio interview on Egg Camouflage (January 2013).
ScienceNow,. ScienceShot: Camouflaged Quail Eggs Hide in Plain Sight (January 2013).
Audobon, Article on quail egg camouflage, April/May 2013
The Guardian, Week in Wildlife. 25th January 2013.
BBC, Living with Alzheimers, diagnostic stimuli, (February, 2009)
Material World, BBC Radio 4, “Bird-Idol”, BA Festival of Science 2007, (13th Sept 2007).
BA Festival of Science York, Bird-Idol, (2007).
Cheltenham Festival of Science, Bird-Idol software, (2006)
Science Alive! Bird-Idol software, The galleries, Bristol (2006).