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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme

 
Jack Smith featured on BBC Springwatch

Our DTP Student, Jack Marcus Smith, was recently featured on BBC Springwatch. Jack is currently on the last year of his PhD in the Department of Zoology.

 
His research encompasses evolutionary biology and animal behaviour, and explores how social interactions within families induce evolutionary change. This could be the social interactions between parents and offspring, it could be sibling dynamics, or even the relationship between parents. He specifically utilises long-term experimental evolution on the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides, to explore how social interactions within families induce evolutionary change. Burying beetles are an increasingly studied model organism due to their elaborate social behaviours, and the populations of Nicrophorus in Cambridgeshire's ancient woodlands provide an ideal system for studying family life in miniature.
 

 

Jack said, "I’ve always been fascinated with natural history, especially the natural history of insects. Over lockdown I rediscovered my love for photography and film, and thought it would be a great idea to fuse my interests together. Insects have this miniature world, that often goes unnoticed, so why not try and get a glimpse into their strange lives? I ended up doing my PIPS at a natural history production company in Bristol. This gave me inspiration to delve deeper into film. Upon returning to Cambridge, I decided to tell the story of the burying beetle, a highly unusual creature that is at the forefront of my PhD."
 

Watch on BBC: Springwatch 2022, Episode 5 (from 26 mins)

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