Skip to content

Dr Martin How

My research

I study animal vision, and am particularly interested in animals that see the world in very different ways to humans. Our own camera-type eye is only one way of solving the problem of vision. Insects and crustaceans make use of compound eyes to make a mosaic-like image. Also, many animals see a different range of colours to humans. My own interests lie in how animals detect and make use of the polarization of light (the angle of light waves as they travel through space). Humans are insensitive to polarization, unless we wear Polaroid sunglasses. But many species make use of polarization as another form of visual information.

My journey

Combining a career in science with family life has not been straight forward. Even before children, the many years of study followed by the uncertainty of employment and geographic location made the process very difficult. In particular, engineering a career path that put me and my wife together in a location where we could both find work was a challenge. For us, it was not until we moved to Brisbane in Australia (2009) that we both found work in the same city. After children, the process has been a little easier, as we made the decision that my wife would have a career break until 2016, providing us with a degree of flexibility.