Jules Smith-Ferguson

Location: Room 250, Macleay Building A12 | Phone: 02 9351 3642 | Email:

a photo of Jules Smith-Ferguson

After completing my honours in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) on the concept of ‘minimal cognition’, I had a desire to engage with the ideas in a more practical way. The social insects lab provided me with the opportunity to get my hands dirty in the practice of biology (aseptically of course), by working on the fascinating model organism Physarum polycephalum.

Physarum is an aceullar slime mould which has some rather remarkable behaviours for something which is essentially a big bag of slime, with no nervous system and the ability to be chopped into little pieces and come back together as one individual. My work largely entails behavioural studies of the slime mould, with a healthy dose of philosophy of biology informing my experimentation.