Prof Pete Vukusic

Professor of BioPhotonics


Telephone: 01392 722029

Extension: (Streatham) 2029

Pete Vukusic began Investigating natural structural colour in the University of Exeter School of Physics in 1998. Iridescence and the photonic properties of butterflies and moths was central to the original work but his research has diversified to comprise the photonics of a much broader range of animals and plants.

Pete formed and leads the Biological Photonics research group. The group's research is motivated by the goal of fundamentally understanding naturally evolved strategies at work in the manipulation of light by biological systems.   Its principle aims comprise development of a critical knowledge base of biological strategies involved in natural photonic system processes and applying it both to improve existing technologies and to design innovative new optical devices.

Please email Prof. Pete Vukusic using the email address shown above, or look through the groups publications and research pages if you are interested in this area and wish to find out more.

Education and Employment

2013 – present       Professor of BioPhotonics, School of Physics, Exeter University, UK
2008 – 2013           Associate Professor, School of Physics, Exeter University, UK
2005 – 2008           Senior Lecturer, School of Physics, Exeter University, UK
2003 – 2005           Lecturer , School of Physics, Exeter University, UK
2001 – 2006           BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, School of Physics, Exeter University, UK
1998 – 2001           Post-doctoral researcher, School of Physics, Exeter University, UK

Funded Research Projects

USAF Air Force Multi-University Research Initiative Award. (Co-PI with 3 other US-based institutions) 2012 – 2014 ($3M).
GE Global 2012 – 2013 ($45k).
Exeter University Annual Fund.  2011. (£4.8k)
Exeter University DVC Discretionary Award . 2011. (£5k).
Mars plc. research award 2011 – 2012 (£60k). 
Royal Society International Visit Grant. 2010 (£2.6k).
DARPA Bio-Photonic Inspiration Grant (Co-PI with GE Global as commercial partner). 2010 – 2014. ($5M).
US Air Force Multi-University Research Initiative Award (Co-PI with 5 other US-based institutions). 2009 – 2012. ($4.5M).
Royal Society Research Project, 2008-2009, (£15k).
GWR Studentship Award, 2007 – 2010, (£60k).
US Air Force Research Award, (Co-PI with 1 other scientist in The Netherlands) 2007 – 2011, ($300k).
US Air Force Short Project Research Award, 2008 – 2009, ($25k).
BBSRC Grant: Interaction between fluorescence and nanostructure in naturally evolved photonic systems (£365k).
Royal Society Research Project, 2005 – 2006, Using Microwaves to characterise photonics. (£15k).
Royal Society International Visit Grant, 2005, (£1.8k).
BBSRC David Phillips Advanced Research Fellowship (2001-2006) (£400k).
BBSRC Public Understanding of Science Grant for National Science Week; March 2001 (£2k).
BBSRC Public Understanding of Science Grant for National Science Week; March 2000 (£2k).


Bausch + Lomb

Facilities Usage

Argonne National Laboratory, US

Invited Presentations

Full list available here.

Contributions to the Community

Committee member of the British Association of Science Physics section, 2004.
Committee member of the Institute of Physics (IoP) SW Branch 2001 - 2005


List of activities available here.


Fellow of the Institute of Physics.


Institute of Physics Bragg Prize 2014
Royal Society Kohn Award 2013
Institute of Physics SW Science Photography Competition 2012
Institute of Physics Ireland Schools Lecturer 2011
British Association Lord Kelvin Award Lecturer 2008
Institute of Physics UK Schools Lecturer 2007
L’Oreal International Art and Science of Colour Prize 2005.
Society for Information Display Best Invited Paper Award, at Optics of Displays Conf., April 2005.
Conference prize for "Best Invited Talk” at The Rank Prize Funds, Opto-electronic Materials for the New Millenium Conference, Grasmere, Yorkshire. October 1998.