Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Research Centres: Structure & Motion Laboratory
Oliver is a postdoctoral researcher working on the LOCATE project. His research interests include gait classification of wild animals using data recorded from motion sensing collars and methods to identify group hunting strategies using GPS tracking data.
Oliver graduated from the University of Sussex in 1999 with a B.Eng (Hons) degree in Mechatronics. He was then employed by the University of Reading as a Teaching Company Associate on a two-year Government funded partnership between the University and Fulcrum Systems Ltd to research and develop microphone array technology. Oliver was awarded his M.Sc. in Engineering Research from the University of Reading in 2002 (Dissertation: “Development of Microphone Array Technology for Speech Applications”).
From 2003 until 2006, Oliver worked as a design engineer for Radix Systems Ltd who manufacture optical sorting and inspection machines for the food industry. He was responsible for the design and implementation of a graphical user interface to control the operation of optical food sorting systems and research and development of image processing algorithms for defect and foreign body identification. He was also responsible for machine installation, operator training and support.
In 2006 Oliver returned to academia to study for his Ph.D at the University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. Here he developed and applied nonlinear mathematical modelling methods to investigate the neuromuscular elements of invertebrate hind limb control. He continued working in this field as a postdoctoral researcher at Southampton University’s School of Biological Sciences (2010 – 2012).
Oliver joined the Structure and Motion Laboratory at The RVC in January 2013 and is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher on the LOCATE project.
Oliver is particularly interested in signal and image processing algorithm development for application to biological systems. His research interests include:
- Gait classification of wild animals using motion sensing (accelerometer) signals obtained from collars
- Methods to identify group hunting strategies of wild animals using GPS data obtained from tracking collars
- Nonlinear system identification
- Invertebrate neuromuscular limb control
O.P. Dewhirst, N. Angarita-James, D.M. Simpson, R. Allen and P.L. Newland. A system identification analysis of neural adaptation dynamics and nonlinear responses in the local reflex control of locust hind limbs. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 34(1): 39-58, 2013.
N. Angarita-Jaimes, O.P. Dewhirst, D.M. Simpson, Y. Kondoh, R. Allen and P.L. Newland. The dynamics of analogue signalling in local networks controlling limb movement. European Journal of Neuroscience, 36(9):3269-82, 2012.
O.P. Dewhirst, N. Angarita-James, D.M. Simpson, R. Allen, C.D. Maciel and P.L. Newland. Neural adaptation in local reflex control of limb movements. In Proceedings of Biosignals 2012 International Joint Conference on Bio-inspired Systems and Signal Processing, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal, pages 398-401, 2012.
O.P. Dewhirst, N. Angarita-James, D.M. Simpson, R. Allen and P.L. Newland. The dynamics of locust non-spiking local interneurons - responses to imposed-limb movements. In Proceedings of Biosignals 2011 International Joint Conference on Bio-inspired Systems and Signal Processing, Rome, Italy, pages 270-275, 2011.
A.G. Vidal-Gadea, X. Jing, D. Simpson, O.P. Dewhirst, R. Allen and P.L. Newland. Coding characteristics of spiking local interneurons during imposed limb movements in the locust. Journal of Neurophysiology, 103: 603-615, 2010.
O.P. Dewhirst, D.M. Simpson, N. Angarita, R. Allen and P.L. Newland. Wiener-Hammerstein parameter estimation using differential evolution - application to limb reflex dynamics. In Proceedings of Biosignals 2010 International Joint Conference on Bio-inspired Systems and Signal Processing, Valencia, Spain, pages 271-276, 2010.
O.P. Dewhirst, D.M. Simpson, R. Allen and P.L. Newland. Neuromuscular reflex control of limb movement - validating models of the locust's hind leg control system using physiological input signals. In Proceedings of IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering, Antalya, Turkey, pages 689-692, 2009.
O.P. Dewhirst, D.M. Simpson, R. Allen and P.L. Newland. Validating system identification models of the locusts hind leg reflex control loop using walking and sinusoidal Inputs. Abstracts of Eighth Gottingen Meeting of the German Neuro-science Society, Gottingen, Germany, 2009.
A new study by researchers at the Royal Veterinary College’s Structure and Motion Laboratory and Botswana Predator Conservation Trust reveals that African wild dogs in mixed woodland savannah habitats may be more energetically robust than previously thought.
Professor Alan Wilson leads a team of researchers in the southern African savannah to identify how speed, manoeuvring and habitat impact the hunting and evasion practices of carnivores and their prey.