Friday 18th May, 1-2pm
DT Anderson Lecture Theatre 217, Heydon-Laurence
'The Evolutionary Ecology of Visual Communication'
Visual communication is a ubiquitous broker of information exchange across the natural world. Effectively producing, transmitting, and perceiving visual information amidst noisy environments is a complex challenge, however, and selection has favoured diverse solutions. I will discuss ongoing work on the mechanisms, causes, and evolutionary consequences of visual signalling, with a view to understanding some of the most conspicuous features of biological diversity. I will focus on examples from two charismatic Australasian invertebrates: dynamic signalling in iridescent butterflies, and deceptive prey-luring in polymorphic 'jewelled' spiny-spiders.
Tom White is an evolutionary biologist, with broad interests in evolutionary and sensory ecology. He uses experimental, observational, and theoretical tools to test and refine theory, and prefers working with understudied invertebrates for the exciting opportunities afforded by non-model systems. After completing his PhD at Macquarie University he completed brief postdoctoral stints at Western Sydney University and Macquarie University, before joining SOLES earlier this year.