I’m working with a group at Newcastle or animal warning signals. We have a PhD project advertised there, on Animal Behavioural – What makes an Effective Deceptive Signal?
Understanding the design of prey colour patterns continues to be a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Many palatable prey deceive predators by resembling the appearance of toxic species found in the same locality. This project will experimentally investigate how these mimetic signals are designed in order to best fool predators.
The project will involve the use of analytical techniques, computational neuroscience and behavioural experiments to characterise real mimetic patterns, model their effects on the perceptual systems of predators, and test what makes them ‘effective’ using experiments with birds and humans. This will allow us to comprehensively assess how and why mimetic fidelity varies among species, and for the first time, quantitatively measure how mimics influence the patterns of their aposematic models.
Cross-disciplinary training will be provided in sensory ecology, image analysis methods, and behavioural testing. As well as having theoretical importance in terms of understanding the evolution of anti-predator colouration, the work will be of applied significance in terms of designing visual signals that deter birds.
for details see this link.