The evolution of vision revolutionised animal biology, and eyes have evolved in a stunning array of diverse forms over the past half a billion years.
Among these are curious duplicated visual systems, where eyes can be spread across the body and specialised for different tasks. Although it sounds radical, duplicated vision is found in most major groups across the animal kingdom, but remains poorly understood. We will explore how and why animals collect information about their environment in this unusual way, looking at examples from tropical forests to the sea floor, and from ancient arthropods to living jellyfish.
Have we been short-changed with just two eyes?
Dr Lauren Sumner-Rooney is a Research Fellow at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History studying the function and evolution of animal visual systems. Lauren completed her undergraduate degree at Oxford in 2012, and her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in 2015. She worked as a research technician and science communicator at the Royal Veterinary College (2015-2016) and held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin (2016-2017) before arriving at the Museum in 2017.