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Department of Zoology



I completed my PhD (2016-2020) in the Camo Lab research group at the University of Bristol, under supervision from Professor Nick Scott-Samuel and Professor Innes Cuthill. Upon the completion of my PhD in 2020, I joined the Marine Behavioural Ecology Group at the University of Cambridge as a Research Associate.


I am fascinated by the behavioural strategies of predators and their prey. My PhD largely concerned how the presence of visual noise (in the form of dynamic illumination) within a habitat can alter the salience of motion, and subsequently influence predator-prey interactions and foraging behaviour. Two forms of dynamic illumination were of interest: dappled light (in terrestrial environments) and water caustics ("wave-induced flicker"; in aquatic environments). I am continuing this theme throughout my current role, expanding our knowledge to highlight how water caustics in marine habitats can also influence social interactions and collective behaviour. I am also interested in the emergence of interspecific foraging strategies and the ecological factors that may determine such interactions. In particular, I study the foraging behaviour and wider ecology of the trumpetfish, Aulostomus maculatus.


Key publications: 

Matchette SR, Mitchell EG, Herbert-Read JE. 2022. Spatial clustering of trumpetfish shadowing behaviour in the Caribbean Sea revealed by citizen science. Marine Biology; 169: 71 (

Matchette SR, Herbert-Read JE. 2021. Dynamic visual noise promotes social attraction, but does not affect group size preference, in a shoaling fish. Animal Behaviour; 177: 39-48 (

Matchette SR, Cuthill IC, Cheney KL, Marshall NJ, Scott-Samuel NE. 2020. Underwater caustics disrupts prey detection by a reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 287: 20192453 (

Cuthill IC, Matchette SR, Scott-Samuel NE. 2019. Camouflage in a dynamic world. Current Opinion in Behavioural Sciences, 30: 109-115 (

Matchette SR, Cuthill IC, Scott-Samuel NE. 2019. Dappled light disrupts prey detection by masking movement. Animal Behaviour, 155: 89-95 (

Matchette SR, Cuthill IC, Scott-Samuel NE. 2018. Concealment in a dynamic world: dappled light and caustics mask movement. Animal Behaviour, 143: 51–57 (