VS298: Animal Eyes

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This seminar will survey the wide variety of eye designs and visual systems found in the animal kingdom. Students will lead discussion each week based on readings from Land and Nilsson’s book, Animal Eyes, in addition to other articles from the literature.

Instructor: Bruno Olshausen

Enrollment information:

VS 298 (section 4), 2 units
CCN: 66495

Meeting time and place:

Thursdays 6-8, Evans 560


  • Animal Eyes by Michael Land and Dan Nilsson (Amazon)
  • Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved by Ivan Schwab (Amazon)
  • In The Blink Of An Eye: How Vision Sparked The Big Bang Of Evolution by Andrew Parker (Amazon)


Date Reading Presenter
Jan. 26 Chapters 1,2: The origin of vision, Light and vision

+ Nilsson paper

Feb. 2 Chapter 3: What makes a good eye?

+ Jumping spider paper

Feb. 8 (Wed.) Chapter 4: Aquatic eyes: the evolution of the lens

+ Fernald paper, Jellyfish papers

Feb. 16 Chapter 5: Lens eyes on land Lucas
Feb. 23 Chapter 6: Mirrors in animals

+ Wagner et al. article

Steve, Asako
Mar. 1 Chapter 7: Apposition compound eyes Travis
... ... ...
Apr. 5 Chapter 8: Superposition eyes Dillon
Apr. 12 Chapter 9: Movements of the eyes Fernando
Apr. 19 TBD
Apr. 26 TBD
May 3 TBD