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Scanning eyes

A tree frog

A tree frog

Press release issued: 16 October 2012

The amazingly diverse eyes and visual worlds of the animal kingdom will be explored by Mike Land, Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Sussex, at the annual Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture, organised by the University of Bristol's Bristol Vision Institute, on Monday 22 October 2012.

The annual Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture, this year entitled Scanning eyes, organised by the Bristol Vision Institute (BVI) at the University of Bristol, will take place on Monday 22 October at 6 pm in Lecture Theatre 1, School of Chemistry, Cantock’s Close, Bristol.

Professor Land will tour the miraculous and varied design of eyes in the animal kingdom, showing how nature has pre-empted some of the most advanced optical designs invented by engineers, and is still pointing the way to new biologically inspired solutions to everyday problems.

Innes Cuthill, Professor of Behavioural Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences and a member of the BVI management team, said: “From multilayer ocular reflectors in the eyes of clams to the visual behaviour of jumping spiders, from target tracking in hoverflies to the role of eye movements in people driving, no one scientist has a broader grasp of the ecology and evolution of vision.”

Professor Land is one of the world’s leading vision scientists who became a Fellow of the Royal Society at the precocious age of 40 and has been described as “the quintessential neuroethologist”.

His research seeks to understand vision at all levels, from optical physics to behaviour to ecology.  He has also led the field of comparative analysis of eyes, following in Darwin's footsteps in explaining the exquisite design seen even in eyes as simple as a those of a scallop - yes, shellfish have eyes.

Admission is free but advance booking is essential.  To book email Jen Hawkins at or tel 0117 331 5759.


Further information

About the Bristol Vision Institute (BVI)

Vision science research at the University of Bristol is at the forefront of the study of human and animal vision, artificial vision systems and image analysis. The theme is embodied by the Bristol Vision Institute (BVI), which stimulates interdisciplinary research in science, engineering, arts and medicine across both Bristol universities to promote future development of this field.

BVI brings together engineers and scientists from a range of academic disciplines (from 14 Departments) including electrical and electronic engineering, computer science, biological sciences, experimental psychology, mathematics, biochemistry, anatomy, together with external partners such as the Bristol Eye Hospital, the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and UWE’s Machine Vision Group.

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