Deceptive Iridescence

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Biological Sciences

Abstract

Iridescence is a property of materials both widespread in nature and of growing use in a range of industries. We aim to determine whether it can function as a form of deceptive camouflage and, if so, how. Understanding the costs and benefits of having such colours will not only help explain their widespread occurrence in nature, but also help direct their efficient use in commercial, security and defence applications.
Colour is an integral, and striking, feature of the natural world and has diverse functions in both plant and animal kingdoms - from pigments that enhance the photosynthetic capacity of plants to the vivid plumage of birds. However, the function of one sort of colour, iridescence, is not yet fully understood. Iridescence is termed a "structural" colour because the hue of the reflected light is due to the structural rather than chemical properties of a material. The defining feature of iridescence is that the colour of the object changes with changing angle of viewing.
In both animals and plants there are multiple ways of producing and modifying iridescence, and these have different visual effects. Many of these biological mechanisms have been characterised and can be reproduced synthetically, and these methods of producing colour are increasingly used in various industries, from car paints where their role is to create a striking visual impact, to the production of bank notes, where the complex colour variation is hard to forge. The iridescent colours of Christmas wrapping paper and peacocks' trains are clearly designed to attract attention, but not all iridescence can be explained this way. A fundamental property of iridescence is that it changes colour when either the object or observer moves. This means it could act as effective camouflage through several mechanisms - the shifting shades could disrupt object outline, by distracting the visual system from other identifying features, and/or by acting as a dynamic 'dazzle coloration' to confuse the viewer. Pilot data collected by the PI suggests at least one of these possibilities is effective, as iridescence makes it hard for bees to discriminate between the shapes of objects. Our proposed research aims to test these possibilities.
We will focus on iridescence in land animals. We will investigate its impact on the ability to identify, discriminate and track objects using three model animals with very different visual systems - bee, bird and human. Standard iridescent 'target' materials, or different types, will be generated in collaboration with commercial companies. Their colours will be characterised using a specialised camera able to record specific wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infra-red, attached to robot arms that can move the camera and light source to any relative angle. The spectral information will be combined with knowledge of bee, bird and human vision to model the colours and shapes as seen by each of our model species. This will be followed by a series of behavioural experiments to determine the impact of iridescence on object detection, object identification, and accurate evaluation of object speed and trajectory.
Ultimately, we aim to answer the question - can iridescence interfere with visual systems to the extent that it could function as a hitherto unsuspected, but extremely widespread, form of camouflage? As well as understanding the function and diversity of iridescence in nature, this research could also have important societal impacts. Interference with object identification is relevant in both military and security (document fraud prevention) applications. Iridescence is also increasingly being used in many industries without a clear understanding of how the beneficial visual impact (conspicuousness at some viewing angles, attraction of attention) are offset by costs (interference with recognition and localisation). Understanding how evolution has 'solved' these trade-offs will help us use iridescence more strategically.

Technical Summary

Iridescence is a form of structural coloration in which hue changes with viewing angle. It is widespread in nature and of growing use in industry, from car paint, where its role is to create a striking visual impact, to the production of bank notes, where the complex colour variation is hard to forge. The iridescent colours of wrapping paper and peacocks' trains are designed to attract attention, but not all iridescence can be explained this way. We will test whether it can function as deceptive camouflage and, if so, how. Understanding the costs and benefits of having such colours will not only help explain their widespread occurrence in nature, but also help direct their efficient use in commercial, security and defence applications.
We will focus on terrestrial iridescence. We propose that the shifting spatio-chromatic signal from iridescent objects could act as effective camouflage through several mechanisms: the shifting shades could disrupt object outline, distract the visual system from other identifying features, or act as a dynamic 'dazzle' coloration to confuse. We will investigate its impact on the ability to identify, discriminate and track objects using 3 model species with different visual systems: bee, bird and human. Biomimetic iridescent and non-iridescent targets of different types, with different visual effects, will be used. Their angle-specific reflectance (i.e. BRDF) will be characterised across the UV to nIR using a hyperspectral camera attached to robot arms that can move the camera and light source to any relative angle. The spectral information will be combined with data, from stereophotogrammetry and motion capture, of how animals move past targets, and models of bee, bird and human vision, to model the colours and shapes as seen by each of our species. This will be combined with behavioural experiments to determine the impact of iridescence on object detection, identification, and accurate evaluation of speed and trajectory.

Planned Impact

As this project will evaluate an unstudied property of materials that are both widespread in nature and of growing use in a range of industries, there are a range of beneficiaries in both academia and industry. Due to the charismatic and appealing nature of both iridescence and many of the species that produce it, this research will also have strong possibilities for public engagement activities.
Main non-academic beneficiaries from the project:
1) Industrial third parties (packaging, vehicle paint manufacturers, security, military)
2) Public policymakers (Highways Agency)
3) General public
4) PDRA, PI and Co-Is will also benefit in ways distinct from science per se.

1) Industrial Third Parties. Establishing the visual impact of iridescence could have particular benefits for several industrial areas.
a) Packaging. Many products have packaging that contains iridescent material.
b) Vehicle paint manufacturers. There is an increasing market for various forms of iridescent vehicle paint (e.g. chameleon, color-flip or prism paints).
c) Security. Iridescent materials are a key component of the portfolio of measures used in the production of security documents such as passports and national currency.
d) Military. Iridescent materials that were able to confuse object identity, speed or trajectory would be of use in protecting moving vehicles.
Three of these industries (packaging, vehicle paint manufacturers, security) have been using iridescent materials as part of their portfolio for the last decade. Our hypotheses state that; iridescence (in certain forms) can result in the disruption of object identity (resulting in potential confusion of brand/security feature identity); iridescence can obscure accurate assessment of object speed and trajectory, (safety implications for iridescent paint on vehicles). This research would highlight which iridescence generating structures would result in increased detectability but minimal object disruption - ensuring that packaging or security features could draw the eye without confusing it, or enhancing vehicle appearance without compromising safety. The reverse of this - materials that optimised the visually disruptive effects of iridescence while minimising those of detectability - would be of potential benefit to the military.
Currently, we have established links with three companies that have expressed an interest in this research and its outcomes in two of these areas (security and military): De La Rue (the world's largest integrated banknote printer), Malvern Optical and QinetiQ (world leading defence technology research and innovation). Through these established interactions, and by establishing additional interactions, this project will not only assist the maintenance of the UK's pre-eminence in sensory biology, and develop new methods to understand a well used but poorly understood visual phenomena, but will also assist with the translation of that research into insights for several world leading UK industries.

2) Public Policy Makers. As mentioned above, to increase vehicle attractiveness, car paint manufactures are increasingly using iridescent materials. This may have safety implications, assessment of which could be of benefit to public policy makers such as the Highways Agency.

3) General Public. This topic would provide an excellent vehicle to provide activities that would engage the public on a range of topics including visual ecology, camouflage, evolution, optics, biomimetics and nanotechnology.

4) PDRA, PI and Co-Is. The three PDRAs employed on this grant would gain extensive training experience in an interdisciplinary range of novel techniques and experimental methods that have both academic and industrial relevance. The PI and Co-I will also benefit through the development of novel techniques (such as the hyperspectral-goniometer) which we predict will be of interest to many in both academia and industry, leading to additional future collaborations.

Publications

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Cuthill I (2019) Camouflage in Journal of Zoology

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Cuthill IC (2017) The biology of color. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

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Kjernsmo K (2018) Iridescence impairs object recognition in bumblebees. in Scientific reports

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Kjernsmo K (2020) Iridescence as Camouflage. in Current biology : CB

 
Title Cross-pollination 
Description Informed by our work on iridescence and how pollinators and other insects might perceive iridescence, contemporary artists from across Wales created indoor and outdoor responses to the ways in which flowers and insects communicate both in Wales and across the world. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact A catalogue of the exhibition was published and can be found at https://crosspollinationartsciencecollaboration.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/cross-pollination-catalogue.pdf 
URL https://botanicgarden.wales/visit/whats-on/cross-pollination-re-valuing-pollinators-arts-science-col...
 
Description Summary
We have met several of our Scientific Objectives. In particular
1. We have investigated the impact of iridescence in three different visual systems: insect, bird and human.
2. We have developed a hyperspectral method which can be used in sombination with standard spectrometry methods for characterisation of natural iridescence.
3. We have investigated the impact of iridescence on detectability of objects in both lab and natural set ups.
4. We have determined that iridescence can disrupt object identity, and are in the process of publishing these results (manuscript in review).
5. We have gathered data for further manuscripts on iridescence as an anti-predator strategy against predation by birds, against humans as a visual model for predator cognition and behaviour and against bumblebees as a model for insect vision and cognition.

We are currently completing our final objective, to determine if characterised iridescence on moving objects can disrupt speed and trajectory identification.

The principal aim is to test the hypothesis that some forms of iridescence can act as a novel, and highly effective, form of camouflage, and to do so in three different visual systems: insect, bird and human. In order to design the appropriate control treatments for our experiments, we also needed to characterise the available visual information produced by various forms of iridescence, and this has been achieved using our new hyperspectral camera to collect necessary spectral information (as seen by each visual system) from the various targets used in the experiments outlined below. With our new equipment, we have successfully completed several series of experiments, both laboratory-based and in the field, using all three visual systems as outlined in the proposal. Importantly, we have accumulated data to support the hypothesis that various forms of iridescence, both in simple and more complex environments, can impair detection, recognition and ultimately provide a survival benefit for prey.

In our first set of experiments using bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) as a model for (predatory) insect vision and cognition, our research show that intense iridescence, produced by two different mechanisms, diffraction gratings and multilayers, both impair shape recognition in bees, whereas non-iridescent or subtle iridescence does not. Our findings support the idea that both strategies can be effective means of camouflage through interference with object recognition, research that has now been published in Scientific Reports (Kjernsmo et al. 2018) and which has received an Almetric score of 98, putting this article in the 97th percentile of the tracked articles of a similar age in all journals.

Using the same visual system (bees) and similar targets in the next set of experiments, we tested the impacts of iridescence on detection under two different light conditions, dappled and normal diffuse light. Contrary to our predictions, our research show that naïve bees take longer to detect targets with intense diffraction grating iridescence compared to non-iridescent targets under normal light conditions (even when all colour displayed by the iridescent targets are also present, but static, on the non-iridescent targets). Using our robotic arm equipped with a video camera, simulating the movement of the bees approaching a target, it seems likely that this result could be due to a disruptive mechanism, i.e. that the strong iridescent effect produced by diffraction gratings under normal light conditions can confuse visual predators by breaking up the otherwise recognisable shape of the object. Interestingly, this effect it reversed when the bees 'knew' what they were looking for: non-naïve bees took longer to detect their last iridescent targets under dappled light compared to normal light, and this took longer compared to non-iridescent treatments. Our findings demonstrate that it is the key aspect of iridescence, the changeability of colours that provides a protective function against visually oriented predators by increasing detection time, most likely due to the disruptive effect iridescence has on target shape recognition (Kjernsmo et al. 2018, Kjernsmo et al. in prep).

For the next set of experiments, we tested the impacts of biological iridescence, produced by multilayer cuticle reflectors in real jewel beetle (Sternocera aequisignata) wing cases, against birds as visual predators. We used birds, because they are most likely to be the most important predators of iridescent insects in the wild, and thus, if iridescence were to work as a form of protective coloration, it needs to work against birds. To design our control treatments for these experiments, we used a hyperspectral camera (sensor: Hamamatsu Orca 03, unit: Resonon Pika UV, lens: UV Nikkor 105 mm) with a frequency range of 300-800 nm to identify the peak wavelengths reflected by the iridescent elytra of the jewel beetles and tried to match these peaks as close as possible using nail varnish to create single-coloured, non-iridescent treatment groups. The measurements revealed that the ground colour of the beetle was black, with peak reflectance in the violet, blue and green end of the colour spectrum. The final, important control was the 'static rainbow' treatment, which we produced using calibrated images of the real jewel beetles, resulting in a treatment that had all multiple colours displayed by the real beetles, but without the key feature of iridescence: the angular change in colour.

Using the six different treatments as described above, we measured the time it took for domestic chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) to find each target on a semi-natural background (search plates with model English ivy glued to the plates to create a 3D substrate so that the beetle wing cases wouldn't be the only item that was protruding from the search plate) under both normal and dappled light conditions. We found that it took longer for the chicks to detect the iridescent treatment compared to the controls under dappled light condition. Under normal light condition, the iridescent group fared better than the black, violet and blue, and equally well to the green and static rainbow group (Kjernsmo et al. in prep). This demonstrated that biological iridescence, produced by real multilayer cuticle reflectors, provides a survival advantage by increasing detection time, and that this effect can be further enhanced by more complex (dappled) light environments.

Next, using the same six target groups and wild birds and humans as surrogate 'predators', we measured both the 'survival' and direct detectability of these targets in a more naturalistic foraging and detection task that we carried out in local woodlands. With these experiments, we demonstrated that the iridescent group fared best against predation by wild birds, with approximately 60% of the iridescent 'population' surviving until the end of the experiment (after 48 hours) compared to approximately 20% of the static rainbow, and less than 10% of the violet 'population' surviving until the end. Moreover, the iridescent group was also least likely of all the groups to be detected by human surrogate predators (Kjernsmo et al. manuscript in submission as a Letter to Nature).

Finally, we have also conducted a series of experiments in the motion capture laboratory in Experimental Psychology using humans as surrogate predators. Here, we investigated the impacts of iridescence, produced by both diffraction gratings and multilayers, on both detection and shape recognition, while also recording the eye and body-movements of humans during these tasks (Hall et al. in prep.,). Preliminary results are in accordance with our previous findings using insects and birds as model predator and support the idea that iridescence can impair both object detectability and shape recognition. However, motion-capture data sets are massive, and these data are yet to be processed.

Nevertheless, with these experiments we have successfully achieved five out of the six main scientific objectives outlined in the grant proposal. The final objective, which is still in progress, is to investigate how iridescence on moving objects can disrupt speed and trajectory identification. When taken together, our results support the more than century old and counter-intuitive hypothesis proposed by Thayer (1909), that iridescence can indeed work as a novel and highly effective form of camouflage by making it difficult to identify the otherwise recognisable shape and body outline of a prey and by increasing detection time, ultimately increasing prey survival. We conclude that this may explain the widespread occurrence of iridescence in many animal taxa, particularly in many monomorphic species.


Impact Objectives
We have established collaborations with two industrial partners in two different sectors; De La Rue (in the Security Sector) and QinetiQ (in the Defence Sector) who have both expressed general interest in our ongoing research on the function of iridescence. We have signed NDAs with both companies and MTA with De La Rue. Further, QinetiQ is assisting us to take measurements from multiple of our iridescent (beetle) targets used in our experiments to increase our understanding for their visual properties (and in the long run, together with our behavioural experiments, its adaptive function).
We have been involved with multiple public engagement activities. One notable one was displaying iridescence in a garden at the Chelsea Garden show, in collaboration with the British Ecological Society. We have also established collaborative links with a team of artists based in Wales through the cross-pollination project. This collaboration has already resulted in an exhibition at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, with further exhibitions planned, including at this years Festival of Nature in Bristol.
Exploitation Route It is too early to say, but our results suggest that iridescence may be effective visual anti-preditor mechanism, which could be of use in the Defence sector in particular.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Creative Economy,Security and Diplomacy

 
Description Cross-pollination: Re-valuing Pollinators through Arts and Science Collaboration 
Organisation National Botanic Garden of Wales
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaborate with artists regarding perception of iridescence by pollinators, and methods of replicating that iridescence.
Collaborator Contribution Revaluing Pollinators through Arts and Science Collaboration is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Networking project that aims to bring Art and Science together to produce creative art projects that explore and promote the crisis facing pollinators and to influence policy decision making. Additional funding has been provided by the Arts Council of Wales, to enhance the art work production and to increase the impact of the project. The project is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in partnership with Aberystwyth University and the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The ultimate aim is to contribute towards the protection of our pollinatorsDrawing on existing networks, Liggins (PI) and Christie (Co-I) bring together key researchers, artists and stakeholders to participate in a series of exploratory arts workshops that will explore theories of aesthetics, sensory perception, differences in perspectives and language, and investigate possible creative interactions and partnerships. From these meetings a series of speculative art interventions will be set up to produce art works and explore ideas arising from the collaborations. Using the methodology of the 'Art Crit', not normally used within the scientific community, Cross-pollination will enable researchers from various disciplines and stakeholders to interrogate the art process, to share reflections, and explore the range of value judgments. Throughout the process, artists will be partnered with scientists and decision makers with the expectation that a future research agenda will be developed.
Impact This project has been funded by multiple councils (the Arts and Humanities Research Council with additional fundingprovided by the Arts Council of Wales, to enhance the art work production and to increase the impact of the project. The project is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in partnership with Aberystwyth University and the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The ultimate aim is to contribute towards the protection of our pollinatorsFunding (http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=AH%2FN00597X%2F1)
Start Year 2016
 
Description Cross-pollination: Re-valuing Pollinators through Arts and Science Collaboration 
Organisation University of Wales
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborate with artists regarding perception of iridescence by pollinators, and methods of replicating that iridescence.
Collaborator Contribution Revaluing Pollinators through Arts and Science Collaboration is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Networking project that aims to bring Art and Science together to produce creative art projects that explore and promote the crisis facing pollinators and to influence policy decision making. Additional funding has been provided by the Arts Council of Wales, to enhance the art work production and to increase the impact of the project. The project is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in partnership with Aberystwyth University and the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The ultimate aim is to contribute towards the protection of our pollinatorsDrawing on existing networks, Liggins (PI) and Christie (Co-I) bring together key researchers, artists and stakeholders to participate in a series of exploratory arts workshops that will explore theories of aesthetics, sensory perception, differences in perspectives and language, and investigate possible creative interactions and partnerships. From these meetings a series of speculative art interventions will be set up to produce art works and explore ideas arising from the collaborations. Using the methodology of the 'Art Crit', not normally used within the scientific community, Cross-pollination will enable researchers from various disciplines and stakeholders to interrogate the art process, to share reflections, and explore the range of value judgments. Throughout the process, artists will be partnered with scientists and decision makers with the expectation that a future research agenda will be developed.
Impact This project has been funded by multiple councils (the Arts and Humanities Research Council with additional fundingprovided by the Arts Council of Wales, to enhance the art work production and to increase the impact of the project. The project is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in partnership with Aberystwyth University and the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The ultimate aim is to contribute towards the protection of our pollinatorsFunding (http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=AH%2FN00597X%2F1)
Start Year 2016
 
Description De La Rue collaboration site visit and presentations 
Organisation De La Rue
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution All members of the team visited De La Rue and a presentation was given to De La Rue Research and Innovation. This was followed by team discussions as to how the collaboration would proceed using the set up and methodologies established at the University of Bristol.
Collaborator Contribution De La Rue will supply iridescent materials which will be tested using the methodologies set up at the University of Bristol
Impact We currently have an active NDA with De La Rue (initiated in 2015) We are in the final stages of agreeing a MTA.
Start Year 2015
 
Description 'Iridescent Camo' interview on Radio show 'Constant Wonder' by BYU radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Kjernsmo presented research on 'Iridescence as Camouflage' during an interview for the radio show 'Constant Wonder' by BYU Radio.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.byuradio.org/episode/1e50c550-91b6-4b5f-9af7-4132935db5f9/constant-wonder-history-of-dru...
 
Description Bristol Neuroscience Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture to c.200 people as part of Bristol Neuroscience Festival.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/neuroscience/bnf/2016/programme/
 
Description CBC Radio show 'Quirks and Quarks' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Kjernsmo was interviewed for the scientific popular radio show 'Quirks and Quarks' by CBC Radio's host Bob McDonald about the 'Iridescence as Camouflage' publication in Current Biology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/feb-22-live-animal-markets-and-viruses-largest-turtle-s-horned-shell...
 
Description CamoCon 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Organised CamoCon 2018 in Bristol. This is the only international camouflage conference, and attracts both academics and industrial partners (and potential partners). The latter were represented by attendees from Dstl, QinetiQ, Boots, Countershade C.I.C. and Humble Bee Films, and a number of potential collaborative projects were identified between them and CamoLab .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://camolab.com/events.php?s=camocon-2018-slides
 
Description Chelsea Flower show 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We collaborated with the British Ecological Society to help create 'Delight In the Dark', a garden in the Discovery Zone of the Chelsea garden show, We had published a paper in 2016 (Jacobs et al., 2016, Nature Plants) which explained how iridescence in plants was a feature of shade plants. The BES garden was focused on shade plants, and in particular iridescent plants - there was a wall of living iridescent plants which got a lot of interest and media attention. Members of the Whitney group attended Chelsea and talked to members of the public about iridescence in nature and its potential impacts, both in evolutionary terms and as far as what further functions we could use it for. This was further reported in the BES Bulletin, and on our university website http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2017/may/iridescent-plants-chelsea-flower-show-.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/learning-and-resources/public-engagement/events/delight-in-...
 
Description DSTL LISTEN Signature Management Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting of industrial partners interested in collaborating to improve signal management. We were the only academic institution present.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited as a keynote speaker on the PhD student course "Fish Behaviour" (Gothenburg, Sweden) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited keynote speaker. Talk presented on protective colouration during the PhD student course "Fish Behaviour" organised by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The talk sparked many questions and interesting discussions afterwards, and the University reported increased interest in related subject areas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk on 'Iridescence as Camouflage' at the Royal Entomological Society PG Forum 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was an invited speaker at the annual event 'Royal Entomological Society PG Forum 2020' and presented work on our recent publication 'Iridescence as Camouflage' which sparked questions and discussions afterwards, enthusiasm for our research and positive spread about our research on social media (twitter and facebook)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Poster on 'Deceptive Iridescence' presented at Bristol Young Researchers Colloquium, Cardiff, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation and discussion of experimental set up and early findings to other early career researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Poster on 'Disrupting object detection and identification with iridescence' presented at ECVP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Poster presentation at European Conference for Visual Perception (Barcelona 2016) to discuss experimental design, early results and next steps with other vision scientists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Poster presented at AVA Spring Meeting (Farnborough, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Spring conference for vision scientists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Poster presented at Behaviour 2017 (Portugal) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation of latest experiments to share findings and gather ideas from other scientists working in similar or related fields. Resulted in ideas for further experiments
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at a military-themed workshop of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, in Washington DC. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited to speak at a workshop on Bioinspired Signature Management on 16 September 2019, run by the Board on Army Research and Development (BOARD) of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, in Washington DC. My presentation remit was blue skies research on animal camouflage, with a view to possible military applications. The outcomes of the meeting are classified.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://sites.nationalacademies.org/DEPS/board/index.htm
 
Description Public engagement activity - Festival of Nature 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "Nature expert" at event at the 2017 Festival of Nature, a 2-day free public event organised by the the Bristol Natural History Consortium (http://www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/). I took part in "Nature Roulette" talking about animal coloration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bnhc.org.uk/nature-roulette-will-meet/
 
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact STEM ambassador event: careers advice, mock interviews.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit (Filton Avenue Primary school), Science Week, Bristol, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk on "protective coloration in animals" presented during Science Week at Filton Avenue Primary School (Bristol, UK). Approximately 100 pupils (and their teachers) attended the talks, and the school reported that this increased their general interest in our ongoing research and sparked many questions afterwards. I've been re-invited to give a similar talk this year, and this time to twice as many people from two different schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description School visits (Filton Avenue Primary School and Orchard School), Science Week, Bristol, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talks on the function of protective colouration (including iridescence) presented at Filton Avenue Primary school and the Orchard School (Bristol, UK) during their Science Week event. Approximately 200 pupils (and their teachers) attended, and the presentations sparked questions and discussions about our ongoing research. The school reported increased interest in our ongoing research, and this was clearly demonstrated by the fact that the audience had doubled since last year when I gave a presentation during their Science Week event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Scientific podcast on the function of Iridescence (by the Scientific American) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to do a podcast for The Scientific American on 'Iridescence Could Help Critters Hide in Plain Sight', the podcast reached a wide audience also via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/iridescence-could-help-critters-hide-in-plain-sig...
 
Description Seminar, Oxford Brookes University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Seminar to staff and students (postgrad and Undergrad) at the Oxford Brookes University on the Functions of iridescence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Speaker at the 'SoapboxScience' public outreach event in Bristol 13th of July 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Kjernsmo presented work on 'Iridescence as Camouflage' to the general public at the annual SoapboxScience event (Bristol 13th of July 2019). Members of the public were very enthusiastic about the topic, which sparked great discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://soapboxscience.org/soapbox-science-2019-bristol/
 
Description Speaker at the Bristol FUTURES 'European Researchers' Night' at We the Curious (Bristol, 28th of Sept 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Kjernsmo presented research on 'Iridescence as Camouflage' at the popular Bristol FUTURES 'European Researchers' Night' at We the Curious (Bristol, 28th of Sept 2019). Members of the general public were very excited to hear about our ongoing research and the presentation sparked questions and discussion throughout the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Speaker at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) 2019, Turku, Finland. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk presented by Kjernsmo on 'Iridescence as Camouflage' at the international European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) 2019 conference, held in Turku, Finland. This presentation sparked increased interest in our research and got very positive attention on social media (Twitter, Facebook).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://eseb2019.fi/info
 
Description Symposium organiser, "Bird behaviour in a changing world", at the Zoological Society of London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Symposium co-organiser (with Hannah Rowland, Max Planck Institute, Jena, Germany, and Tom Pike, Lincoln University, UK): "Bird behaviour in a changing world: with a special focus on bird senses", 14-15 September 2017. Funded by the Zoological Society of London and the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Participants from the across Europe, the USA and Australia attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.zsl.org/science/whats-on/bird-behaviour-in-a-changing-world-with-a-special-focus-on-bird...
 
Description Talk about protective colouration on local radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I was interviewed about our research project on live radio. The interview sparked questions and discussions afterwards with increased interest in related subject area as a result.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk and Poster presented at CamoCon 2018 (Bristol, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk and poster presented on 'Iridescence as Camouflage? Impaired object recognition in bumblebees' during the CamoCon 2018 conference (Bristol, UK). Talk and poster sparked many questions and discussions afterwards. Importantly, the poster presentation also sparked the interest by DSTL and QinetiQ which led to collaborations with them in terms of help with measurement of some of my iridescent objects for my studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://camolab.com/events.php?s=camocon-2018-slides
 
Description Talk at St Brendans 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk on camouflage and illusions to local school.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at local school 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to GCSE and lower 6th form students on animal defensive coloration, followed by presentation and discussion on careers in biology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at local school 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to GCSE and lower 6th form students on animal camouflage, followed by presentation and discussion on careers in biology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk at local school 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to GCSE and lower 6th form students on animal camouflage, followed by presentation and discussion on careers in biology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk on "Iridescence as a form of Camouflage" presented (at Univ. of Bristol, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk on "Iridescence as a form of Camouflage" presented during a seminar series organised by University of Bristol (2:nd of March, 2017).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk on 'Iridescence as a form of Camouflage' (Invited speaker, University of Newcastle) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was an invited speaker and 50 researchers (at different levels from undergraduates to professors) attended my talk on 'Iridescence as a form of Camouflage' at Newcastle University. My presentation sparked many questions and discussions about the anti-predator functions of iridescence afterwards and was tweeted about by several researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk on animal defensive coloration at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited research talk to graduate students, undergraduates and postdocs at the School of Life Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk on camouflage and Illusions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact STEM ambassador event: invited talk to STEM day for regional schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk on camouflage and illusions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact STEM ambassador event: invited talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk on camouflage at RHUL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited seminar at Royal Holloway, University of London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on camouflage at UCL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited seminar given in Computer Science at UCL.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on camouflage at the University of Bielefeld, Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Research talk and discussion with students (postgrad and undergrad) about my research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on camouflage at the University of Durham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Research talk and discussion with students (postgrad and undergrad) about my research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on camouflage at the University of Lausanne 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Research talk and discussion with students (postgrad and undergrad) about my research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on careers in STEM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact STEM ambassador event: careers in STEM.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk presented at the BVI Young Vision Researchers' Colloquium, Bristol, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk presented on 'Iridescence as Camouflage?' at the BVI Young Vision Researchers' Colloquium, Bristol, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bristol.ac.uk/vision-institute/events/vision-researchers-colloquium/
 
Description Talk presented at the BVI Young Vision Researchers' Colloquium, Cardiff, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk on "Iridescence as a form of camouflage" presented at the BVI Young Vision Researchers' Colloquium, Cardiff, UK 23rd of June 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk presented at the Central Association of Beekeepers Autumn Conference, Kenilworth, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Invited to present a talk at the Central Association of Beekeepers Autumn Conference, Kenilworth, UK, on the 18th-20th of November 2016. The talk sparked many interesting questions and discussions. Importantly, this event also increased the Association's general interest in our ongoing research on the protective function of iridescence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.cabk.org.uk/2016/10/10/kenilworth-weekend-2016/
 
Description Talk to 3rd year undergraduates on iridescence as a form of camouflage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Talk on deceptive iridescence as part of a larger lecture to 3rd year psychology undergraduates on the latest camouflage research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Talk to 3rd year undergraduates on latest research in camouflage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Talk on deceptive iridescence as part of a larger lecture to 3rd year psychology undergraduates on the latest camouflage research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk with title "Iridescence as a form of camouflage?" presented at the 2017 Behaviour conference (Estoril, Portugal) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I presented a talk on the topic "Iridescence as a form of camouflage?" during the international conference "Behaviour 2017" in Estoril, Portugal. The talk sparked questions and discussions afterwards and researchers from other universities posted positive comments about the talk on various social media including Twitter and Facebook. I have since received requests to deliver more talks on the subject.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://behaviour2017.org/welcome/
 
Description Workshop on "Disruption, Dazzle and Iridescence" hosted at the Anti-predator coloration symposium, Falmouth, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Workshop jointly hosted by me and Dr. Joanna Hall at the Anti-predator coloration symposium, University of Exeter, Falmouth, UK, (August 2016). About 50 researchers attended our workshop, and engaged in a joint discussion about the potential function of iridescence as a form of camouflage. Researchers that attended the workshop gave very positive feedback, and interest for our study system and questions grew. Importantly, we gained many new contacts, including contacts with experts within this subject, but from all over the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://32h9ut3dnb6h26n8oe14b6in.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Anti-Predator-Col...