The protective value and evolution of startle displays Event as iCalendar

(Biodiversity and Biosecurity, Biological Sciences, Environment, Seminars)

22 May 2017

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1, Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds Street, City Campus

Host: School of Biological Sciences

Cost: Free - all welcome


The protective value and evolution of startle displays

Dr Kate Umbers, School of Science and Health and Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Australia


Dr Umbers’ research focuses on the evolution of animal colouration. Most recently, Dr Umbers has focused on the evolution and function of 'startle displays', antipredator defences thought to cause a predator to recoil reflexively. In startle displays, prey might suddenly transform from camouflaged to warning colouration, suddenly reveal eye spots, emit a loud sound, or take an intimidating posture.

Dr Umbers’ recent work explores how these complex signals provide protection for the prey that bear them. In her presentation, Dr Umbers will outline current thinking around startle displays, how they compare to other antipredator defences. She will present the results of several new studies that contribute field-based data to our understanding of these complex defences.