I wear two hats, behavioural ecologist and sensory ecologist, although the unifying theme is the explanation of the factors shaping the design, through natural selection, of animal form and function. If I have particular skills then they are, first, developing novel empirical tests of theoretical predictions, whether in the lab or field, and second, establishing successful interdisciplinary collaborations. Most of my work lies at the interface of different disciplines, and I have a long history of working with mathematicians to investigate behavioural decisions. More recently, and my current main research area, I have been collaborating closely with physiologists, perceptual psychologists and computational neuroscientists to understand how animal coloration (notably camouflage) evolves in response to animal colour vision.
2008-2012: Head of School, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol.
1998-present: Professor of Behavioural Ecology, University of Bristol.
1996-1998: Reader in Behavioural Ecology, University of Bristol.
1989-1996: Lecturer in Zoology (Behavioural Ecology), University of Bristol.
1985-1989: Concurrently: Junior Research Fellow, Brasenose College, Oxford; Departmental Demonstrator (in ornithology), Department of Zoology, Oxford University; College Lecturer in Biological Sciences, Brasenose College, Oxford; College Lecturer in Zoology, Exeter College, Oxford.
1985: D.Phil. (Oxon.) Zoology. Pembroke College, Oxford. (Supervisors: Prof. J.R. Krebs & Dr. A. Kacelnik (titles as in 1985).
1982: B.A. (Cantab.) Natural Sciences (Part II Zoology). First Class Honours. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Class I in Parts I & II of Tripos.
Special Awards, Honours and Distinctions
2007-2010: President, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (the leading European professional association in the field)
2005: Nature (Nature Publishing Group) and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) award for mentoring in science. First recipient of the "mid-career" award for developing the careers of young scientists.
1998: Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, for contributions to zoology by a scientist under 40 years old.
Merilaita, S., Scott-Samuel, N. E. & Cuthill, I. C. 2017. How camouflage works. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1724), 20160341.
Talas, L., Baddeley, R. J. & Cuthill, I.C. 2017. Cultural evolution of military camouflage. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1724), 20160351.
Hogan, B.G., Cuthill, I.C. & Scott-Samuel, N.E. 2017. Dazzle camouflage and the confusion effect: the influence of varying speed on target tracking. Animal Behaviour, 123, 349-353.
Hogan, B.G., Hildenbrandt, H., Scott-Samuel, N.E., Cuthill, I.C., Hemelrijk, C.K. 2017. The confusion effect when attacking simulated three-dimensional starling flocks. Royal Society Open Science, 4, 160564.
Hall, J. R, Cuthill, I. C., Roland Baddeley, Angela S. Attwood, Marcus R. Munafò, Nicholas E. Scott-Samuel 2016. Dynamic dazzle distorts speed perception. PLoS ONE, 11(5), e0155162.
Barnett, J. B., Scott-Samuel, N. E. & Cuthill, I. C. 2016. Aposematism: balancing salience and camouflage. Biology Letters, 12, 20160335.
Barnett, J. B., Redfern, A. S., Bhattacharyya-Dickson, R., Clifton, O., Courty, T., Ho, T., Hopes, A., McPhee, T., Merrison, K., Owen, R., Scott-Samuel, N. E. & Cuthill, I. C. 2016. Stripes for warning and stripes for hiding: spatial frequency and detection distance. Behavioral Ecology, 10.1093/beheco/arw168.
Hogan, B.G., Cuthill, I.C. & Scott-Samuel, N.E. 2016. Dazzle camouflage, target tracking, and the confusion effect. Behavioral Ecology, 27, 1547-1551.
Hogan, B.G., Scott-Samuel, N.E. & Cuthill, I.C. 2016. Contrast, contours and the confusion effect in dazzle camouflage. Royal Society Open Science, 3, 160180.
Scott-Samuel, N. E., Holmes, G., Baddeley, R. & Cuthill, I. C. 2015. Moving in groups: how density and unpredictable motion affect predation risk. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69(6), 867-872.
Osorio, D. & Cuthill, I. C. 2014. Camouflage and perceptual organization in the animal kingdom. The Oxford Handbook of Perceptual Organisation. Wagemans, J. (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Espinosa, I. & Cuthill, I. C. 2014. Disruptive coloration and perceptual grouping. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e87153.
Barnett, J. B. & Cuthill, I.C. 2014. Distance-dependent defensive coloration. Current Biology, 24, R1157–R1158.
Allen, W. L., Baddeley, R. J., Scott-Samuel, N. E. & Cuthill, I. C. 2013. The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes. Behavioural Ecology, 24(5), pp. 1237-1250.
Hall, J. R., Cuthill, I. C., Baddeley, R. J., Shohet, A. J. & Scott-Samuel, N. E. 2013. Camouflage, detection and identification of moving targets. Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences, 280(1758), pp. 1-7.
Allen, W. L., Baddeley, R. J., Cuthill, I. C. & Scott-Samuel, N. E. 2012. A quantitative test of the predicted relationship between countershading and lighting environment. The American Naturalist, 180(6), pp. 762-776.
Scott-Samuel, N. E., Baddeley, R. J., Palmer, C. E. & Cuthill, I. C. 2011. Dazzle camouflage affects speed perception. PLoS ONE, 6(6), e20233.
Allen, W. L., Cuthill, I. C., Scott-Samuel, N. E. & Baddeley, R. J. 2011. Why the leopard got its spots: relating pattern development to ecology in felids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences, 278(1710), pp. 1373-1380.
Cuthill, I. C. & Székely, A. 2011. The concealment of body parts through coincident disruptive coloration. Animal Camouflage: Mechanisms and Function. Stevens, M. & Merilaita, S. (eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 34-52.
Cuthill, I. C. & Troscianko, T. S. 2011. Animal camouflage: biology meets psychology, computer science and art. Colour in Art, Design and Nature. Brebbia, C. A., Greated, C. & Collins, M. W. (eds.), WIT Press, Southampton, pp. 5-25.
Cuthill, I. C. & Székely, A. 2009. Coincident disruptive coloration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1516), pp. 489-496.
Rowland, H. M., Cuthill, I. C., Harvey, I. F., Speed, M. P. & Ruxton, G. D. 2008. Can't tell the caterpillars from the trees: countershading enhances survival in a woodland. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1651), pp. 2539-2545.
Stevens, M., Párraga, C. A., Cuthill, I. C., Partridge, J. C. & Troscianko, T. 2007. Using digital photography to study animal coloration. Biol. J. Linnean Soc., 90, pp. 211-237.
Stevens, M., Hopkins, E., Hinde, W., Adcock, A., Connolly, Y., Troscianko, T. & Cuthill, I. C. 2007. Field experiments on the effectiveness of 'eyespots' as predator deterrents. Animal Behaviour, 74, pp. 1215-1227.
Houston, A. I., Stevens, M. & Cuthill, I. C. 2007. Animal camouflage: compromise or specialize in a 2 patch-type environment?. Behavioural Ecology, 18, pp. 769-775.
Cuthill, I. C, Stevens, M., Windsor, A. M. M. & Walker, H. J. 2006. The effects of pattern symmetry on detection of disruptive and background matching coloration. Behavioural Ecology, 17, pp. 828-832.
Stevens, M., Cuthill, I. C., Párraga, C. A. & Troscianko, T. 2006. The effectiveness of disruptive coloration as a concealment strategy. Progress in Brain Research, 155, pp. 49-65.
Cuthill, I. C., Hiby, E. & Lloyd, E. 2006. The predation costs of symmetrical cryptic coloration. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1591), pp. 1267-1271.
Stevens, M. & Cuthill, I. C. 2006. Disruptive coloration, crypsis and edge detection in early visual processing. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1598), pp. 2141-2147.
Stevens, M., Cuthill, I. C., Windsor, A. M. M. & Walker, H. J. 2006. Disruptive contrast in animal camouflage. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1600), pp. 2433-2438.
Cuthill, I. C., Stevens, M., Sheppard, J., Maddocks, T., Párraga, C. A. & Troscianko, T. S. 2005. Disruptive coloration and background pattern matching. Nature, 434(1), pp. 72-74.