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.

Below, you can find more information about our experts, their specialisms and details of the sessions they will be running on the day.

Dr Ros Shaw

Dr Ros Shaw
Associate Research Fellow

Interaction session: What if there were no bees? – 12:30
Bees are nature's unsung heroes and are vital pollinators for our food chain. Dr Ros Shaw studies the relationship between plants and insects, and how bees affect the food we eat.

"My research investigates the impact of invertebrate biodiversity on crop production via the processes of pollination and pest regulation. I am particularly interested in interactions between plants and invertebrates".

Dr Jamie Shutler

Dr Jamie Shutler
Senior Lecturer in Ocean Science

Interaction session: What if there was no moon? – 13:30
Dr Jamie Shutler is an ocean scientist who uses satellites and computers to investigate the sea. He will talk about how the moon helps animals to navigate, how it controls the tides in our oceans, and even how it influences our weather!

"I am an oceanographer with a wide range of interests that exploit in situ observations, satellite Earth observation and models to study and monitor the marine environment, particularly in relation to climate and water quality. This includes studying atmosphere-ocean gas exchange of climatically important gases, the distribution of calcium carbonate in the ocean, evaluating the quality of model and Earth observation data, and developing approaches for water quality monitoring of bathing waters and aquaculture sites. I also have interests in developing and exploiting computer vision techniques for biometrics (gait), medical imaging (breast cancer) and surface ocean currents".

Dr Alex Thornton

Dr Alex Thornton
Senior Lecturer/BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow

Interaction session: What if dinosaurs still existed? – 14:30
Dr Alex Thornton is an animal behaviour expert- he studies the way that animals think and learn. He will talk about how different our daily lives would be if dinosaurs still roamed planet Earth!

"Most research on animal cognition and culture has been conducted in captivity and so tells us little about the selective pressures operating in natural populations. I take my research out of the lab and into the field to investigate the evolution and development of cognition and culture in the wild. Using experimental, observational and statistical techniques I aim to understand the cognitive challenges faced by animals in their natural environment and examine how the ability to learn from others affects the behaviour of individuals and groups".

Dr Shakti Lamba

Dr Shakti Lamba
Senior Lecturer in Human Behavioural Ecology

Interaction session: What if humans didn't help each other? - 15:30
Dr Shakti Lamba studies the evolution of cooperation and culture in humans. She works with societies in India to understand more about why humans behave the way they do.

"I study the evolution of sociality and culture in humans. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms and processes that lead to the evolution of cooperation, and in particular, the role of demographic patterns and cultural transmission. Since 2007 I have been working with populations of the Pahari Korwa, a small-scale, forager-horticulturist society in India. My methods combine behavioural data collected via economic experiments as well as more naturalistic measures of behaviour with demographic, ecological and social data on individuals and populations".