What is CamoEvo?
CamoEvo is a toolbox for ImageJ that allows users to run camouflage evolution experiments; combining current theory on animal pattern generation, modern genetic algorithms and the format of a game to be more easily accessible.
Why we made it?
CamoEvo was created as a platform for showcasing the interactions between habitat structure, evolution and camouflage for people at home, school and university. We wanted CamoEvo to be as accessible as possible, output meaningful data and be easily edited for camouflage research.
What does it feature?
This toolbox consists of three distinct components. i) a customisable decimal-based GA designed for evolving populations of computer-generated images, dubbed ImageGA; ii) a decimal-gene determined pattern generation systems for animals and eggs, and iii) a user-friendly visual search-based psychophysics experiment that uses ImageGA to optimise patterns for camouflage against assigned backgrounds, though it can also be used for conspicuousness.
Experimenters can find instructions for using CamoEvo and ImageGA in the downloads section. We also aim to provide video tutorials in the future.
Education and Outreach
CamoEvo was designed to be used not just for research but also as an educational tool for Undergraduates and Higher Education students. Evolution is one of the most important concepts in modern biology, yet the timescale of it makes running engaging practicals rather difficult. The UI of CamoEvo allows for users to upload their own uncalibrated photos and choose a selection of default targets to evolve. We have also provided practicals with their own sets of background images.