Professor Martin Stevens
Professor of Sensory and Evolutionary Ecology
Martin Stevens is a Professor of Sensory and Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Exeter’s Centre for Ecology and Conservation, at the Penryn (Cornwall) Campus. His work focusses on animal vision, coloration, and behaviour, and seeks to understand how animals use vision to interact with the world around them. This includes using and developing cutting-edge image analysis tools to visualise how other animals with very different visual systems ‘see’ their environment.
The vision of many animals differs greatly from how we see things. Some animals, like dogs, see fewer colours than us, whereas others like birds see many more colours, including ultraviolet light. Martin’s research has covered a wide range of questions in the natural world, including how camouflage, warning signals, and mating signals work in terms of animal vision across a wide range of animal species, from birds and crabs, to primates and moths. His work also has a strong applied aspect, including a focus on how understanding animal vision can aid in improving animal welfare and safety in areas as diverse as livestock farming, horse racing and eventing, zoos, and beyond, and how we can use aspects of animal vision to develop new tools for humans. Martin has published three books, over 100 scientific articles, and has appeared many times on TV and radio, in large public lectures, and has worked with a variety of world-famous museums and organisations on exhibitions regarding animal vision.