James Foster

Following a BSc in Zoology at the University of Bristol, I stayed on to complete a Masters of Research in Vision Science. In April 2010 I was awarded a University of Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarship to study polarization sensitivity in damselfishes, to begin in October 2010. In the time between April and October 2010 I worked as a Research Associate investigating the use of polarization sensitivity for foraging in bumblebee Bombus terrestris In August 2014 I completed a PhD thesis focussed on the functional range of polarization sensitivity in the interactions of animals with their environment, including behavioural work on bumblebees and damselfishes. In September of 2014 I began a post-doctoral position with Dr Marie Dacke in Lund, investigating the use of polarized skylight for navigation by dung beetle Scarabaeus, with particular reference to how the quality of polarized skylight affects navigation.

My area of interest is the use of polarized light by animals to obtain information about their environment. In order to investigate the range of functions for which this information is used, I employ behavioural techniques as a measure of the different aspects of sensitivity. This has lead to the development of techniques for video tracking of animal movement, and polarization imaging— which allows us a glimpse of how polarization sensitive animals might see their world.

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