Here is a video I made to demonstrate structural colour. The blue colour on these butterflies’ wings is produced when light passes through nano-metre scale structures and the interfaces between these and the surrounding air. When ethanol is dropped onto the wings these air spaces are filled in and so the colour changes. The video is at 2x actual speed, so you can see that the colour comes back when the ethanol evaporates.
We will taking part in Discovery Night in the Department of Animal and Pant Sciences, part of the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering, on Friday 10th of March from 4-8pm. We will have live butterflies and be explaining how they can help us to understand diversity in tropical rain forests. Recommended for all ages 5+ !
Our research on Heliconius butterfly wing colour patterning genes is going to be featured in the August edition of the children’s magazine Whizz Pop Bang.
We will be among the exhibits and demonstrations after the APS Christmas lecture on the 10th of December with our exhibit that we had up in the Winter Gardens in March.
On the 25th and 26th of March we are going to be displaying some of our work and our live butterflies in the Sheffield Winter Garden. Come along to escape the wintery weather and find out about tropical butterflies and their colours! We will be on-hand to explain what we do and why we think butterflies and their colours are interesting.
Sheffield is hosting the annual Population Genetics Group meeting, which starts today! As part of this we are running and outreach event where eight speakers will give 5 minute presentations of their work aimed at a public audience. The event is this evening (Tuesday 6th Jan) at 9pm in the Student’s Union Building, Inox discovery room 3.
The exhibit that we presented at the Royal Society in the summer is currently up in the foyer of the Alfred Denny building, pop in to make your own butterfly or see how well you do as a bird.