After an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences (Zoology) at Cambridge, I completed my PhD at the University of Exeter (Penryn), working on warning signals in day-flying burnet moths (Zygaenidae). Learning so much about the defensive strategies of moths and their caterpillars inspired me to write Woolly's Wonderful Wings, to share some of the little-known yet extraordinary characteristics of these often under-rated animals.
My PhD focused primarily on quantitative signal honesty both within and across species of burnet moths, in collaboration with Dr Mika Zagrobelny, from the University of Copenhagen. It involved field collections, digital photography and visual modelling of signals as perceived by predators, phylogenetic analyses and artificial predation experiments in the field. In previous projects, I have worked on colour patterns in cuttlefish, parental care in burying beetles, and edge-detection and contour-following behaviour in bumblebees. Current projects as a post-doctoral researcher include understanding the effects of artificial lights on hawkmoth visual ecology, and investigating the benefits of generalist and specialist camouflage strategies.
I love projects combining scientific research and creativity, and particularly enjoy writing, photography and exploring the natural world. I am also an author for the London Medical School's Biomedical Picture of the Day website, and have written articles about my own research and other topics in behavioural ecology and evolution in Biosphere magazine and other online publications.
You can read some of my work here:
Contact me via this website or on twitter:
And find links to my research papers on the Exeter Visual Ecology website.
Andrew created the adorable illustrations for Woolly's Wonderful Wings. Both an artist and a scientist, he is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Bristol, researching the relationship between personality and predator-prey dynamics, using Trinidadian guppies and predatory cichlids as a model system. His research involves aquarium experiments with robotic prey, as well as fieldwork in the streams of Trinidad. A keen birder, he loves wildlife, natural history and the outdoors.