Jim Barnett


I am interested in the interaction of different functions of animal colouration (e.g. aposematism, camouflage, communication, thermoregulation etc.), in the context of multiple observers, such as potential mates, competitors and various predators.

My PhD focuses on animals which combine aposematism and camouflage, two functions with seemingly contradictory mechanisms, into a single pattern. Patterns which are perceived differently at different distances, due to limitations in visual acuity, allow animals to restrain conspicuous signals into a “visible radius” which fulfils its function without attracting unnecessary attention.

I am particularly interested in the visual ecology and behaviour of amphibians and reptiles.


After graduating from the University of Reading, UK, with 1st class honours in Zoology, I moved to the University of Bristol, UK, in 2011. At Reading I conducted fieldwork into the effect of oil palm plantations on anuran amphibians in Malaysia, under the supervision of Dr Mark Fellowes and in connection with Universiti Putra Malaysia.

I started my current research as an MSc by Research at the University of Bristol in 2011. During my MSc I was awarded a Postgraduate Scholarship from the Faculty of Science to continue into a PhD.