Dr David Wilby


Research Software Engineer @ the British Antarctic Survey

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About Me

I am a Research Software Engineer at the British Antarctic Survey. My interest is in facilitating the best possible practice in research computing, from good training to advocating reproducible scientific software methods.

As of 2022 I am a Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute, with a particular interest in developing training and guidance for reproducible methods in Matlab.


My background is in animal vision research using methods from computing and physical sciences. Primarily, my research was in using numerical computational methods to explore the optics of three-dimensional visual anatomy. During my PhD at the University of Bristol I developed FDTD simulations for studying the optics of avian retinal photoreceptors. Following this I worked on ray tracing analyses of 3D ocelli and compound eye volumes of bumblebees and hoverflies with Stockholm and Lund University. More recently I spent 4 years as an RSE at the University of Sheffield’s RSE team.

However, I’ve had an eclectic career including (but not limited to): startling hermit crabs in behavioural experiments; training chickens to study their colour vision; diving for mantis shrimp to study their secret polarized signals; and doing R&D on TeraHertz electronics for space science.