Dr Rox Middleton


I am an EPSRC Doctoral Prize fellow, working on variation and tuning of iridescence for visibility.

My background is in physics - the optics and biomimetics of materials in nature. My previous research has focused on structural colour, the nanostructural cause of iridescence, particularly in plants. In my doctoral research I used the phenomenon to observe the development of sub-wavelength structures during live fruit development using optical spectroscopy. I also optically characterised a lot of biomaterials and worked on biomimetic engineering of cellulose.

I am interested in connecting visual and optical analyses with biomimetic engineering. I want to understand how natural iridescent materials are optimised for different functions, and how we might be able to interpret that in order to design our own artificial materials.

I did my PhD in the Bio-Inspired Photonics group with Silvia Vignolini in Cambridge and am always looking for exciting (weird) interdisciplinary collaborations, both in research and in public engagement. Or if you just want something measured optically. Get in touch.


PhD (-2018): Bio Inspired Photonics, Cambridge Structural Colour in Fruits with Silvia Vignolini

Additional research projects with the NanoDTC: Stick insect adhesion, ‘Mud Crack’ propagation in colloidal drying, Collagen composite mesh for tissue scaffolds , polarisation spectroscopy

MSci: Imperial College London /  ESPCI, Paris.  Masters Research: Microfluidics for microfibres


List of members