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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 behavioural interactions and movement ecology. My PhD largely concerned how the presence 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, both representing a source of visual noise in the respective domains: dappled light (terrestrial) and water caustics (aquatic). I aim to continue this theme throughout my current role, expanding our current knowledge to highlight how visual noise (specifically 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. 


Key publications: 

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 (