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Professor Nicholas Roberts

Detection of light and colour in nature

My research is focused on investigating optical mechanisms that underlie sensory abilities such as polarization vision and the evolution of the bio-optics of signaling and photoreception.

My work adopts a broad intra- and inter-disciplinary approach, using a combination of physics based techniques (microspectrophotometry, laser tweezing, optical modelling and X-ray scattering) and behavioural studies (operant conditioning and novel optomotor techniques). Ultimately, I want to understand how visual information helps guide aspects of animal behaviour.

Research keywords

  • polarisation vision
  • bio-optics
  • neuroethology


  • Prof Thomas Cronin (UMBC)
  • Prof Justin Marshall (Uni Queensland)
  • Prof Joe Corbo (WUSTL)
  • Prof Almut Kelber (Lund)