Key People

Scientists from the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus will be holding dynamic, interactive sessions with the public at this year's Science in the Square event. As well as sharing their passions for their chosen fields of science, our experts will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Professor Chris Bass

Professor Chris Bass

Interaction session: The weird ways of aphids – 12:30

My research aims to understand how insects tolerate the natural and synthetic toxins they counter in the environment - these include the natural compounds produced by plants as a defence against herbivores and the synthetic insecticides used by humans to control important crop pests and disease vectors. I have a special love for aphids which are extraordinary in many ways but also one of the most economically important pests of agriculture in many countries including the UK.

Dr Nicola Weber

Dr Nicola Weber

Interaction session: The weird and wonderful world of the land crab – 13:30

I am an ecologist with a varied background having studied seals, birds and badgers in the UK, and sea turtles, seabirds, land crabs and invasive species on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. I enjoy carrying out research that has practical applications, in particular for biodiversity conservation, and have been involved in the drafting and implementation of action plans and legislation to underpin change. I have an interest in the UK’s Overseas Territories, which support around 90% of the UK’s biodiversity.

Dr Ian Ashton

Dr Ian Ashton

Interaction session: Weird waves from space - 14:30

I am a physical oceanographer, specialised in measuring and analysing ocean waves. Combining offshore measurements, satellites and autonomous vehicles, I work to get the best information possible about the sea surface. I use this to better understand the natural forces on engineering structures at sea, and to improve estimates of ocean-atmosphere gas exchange for climate science.

Dr Vicky Hobson

Dr Vicky Hobson

Interaction session: Weird and wobbly jellyfish – 15:30

I am a marine biologist focusing on the movement ecology of marine vertebrates and marine mega-fauna. I have worked with a range of marine species from tracking jellyfish in Wales to the conservation and management of commercial fish species in Cornwall. I am particularly interested in how marine mega-fauna respond to varying environmental conditions and understanding their movements in apparently featureless surroundings, like the ocean.