Great research can be meticulously planned, other times research can be opportunistic, when the right combination of conditions and collaborators fall into place. Dr Philip Withers from the University of Western Australia has an impressive track record studying everything from shark buoyancy, to thorny devil ecology. He says that many of these research opportunities arose from simply spending lots of time in the field and keeping an eye out for cool things to study.
In an interview with In Situ Science we talk about the incredible water absorbing skin of the Australian thorny devil, the complex nostrils of the kangaroo rat and all sorts of wonderful animal adaptations. Phil believes that studying the ‘outliers’, the unique and interesting animals around us, we can learns so much more about the diverse ways animals evolve to survive in different conditions.
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Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com