QBI co-authored book picks up plaudits and award

8 Apr 2015

A book on visual science co-authored by a researcher at QBI has picked up an international award and rave reviews.

QBI’s Professor Justin Marshall was one of four co-authors of Visual Ecology, a book written to be accessible for students and members of the public wanting to understand how and why visual systems have developed the way they have.

The book recently won best Textbook/Biological & Life Sciences in the 2015 PROSE Awards, run by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers.

It was co-authored by Professor Marshall and his long standing collaborators in the USA and Sweden: Professors Tom Cronin, Eric Warrant and Sönke Johnsen, and represents a collaborative team effort for visual neuroscience.

Professor Marshall said that while receiving the award is satisfying, the most important result has been that the book completed its objective of translating science for a wide audience.

“Receiving a PROSE Award primarily means that the book is well written and conveys its message to the reader, which is the most important thing a book can do,” Professor Marshall said.

“It’s more difficult than ever to get a book published, so we’re delighted that it has been received so well.”

Visual Ecology is a 432-page hardcover book published by Princeton University Press, featuring 225 illustrations.

“How vision settles out for any animal is entirely driven by the environment it lives in; whether that’s the brightness level or the colour content of the light in that ecosystem,” Professor Marshall said.

“The book covers question from the physics of light through neurobiology and behaviour to examine how animals adapt within their environment to survive.”

Visual Ecology has received positive reviews from The Guardian, Current Biology and Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology.

Media: QBI Communications, communications@qbi.uq.edu.au; Professor Justin Marshall, +61 7 334 51397, or justin.marshall@uq.edu.au.