This is a short wildlife documentary about the fascinating Turing patterns in nature and how they may help endangered species around the world.
The first half of the film introduces three characters - a science writer, Philip Ball and two mathematicians, Natasha Ellison and Philip Maini. They will take us on a quest to explain who Alan Turing was and what is his connection with patterns in nature. Alan Turing was able to explain, using two mathematical equations, how the patterns arise in nature, from zebra stripes and leopard spots to landscapes and even animal movements. This is quintessential for the story, as we will later show how this can help endangered species.
The second part of the film is showing how these patterns can help with conservation. The main example for this will be the beautiful patterns of a whale shark, as their spot point configuration forms a Turing pattern. The last person introduced will be Iru, the Lead Field Coordinator of the Maldives Whale Shark Research. Through her, viewers will discover how the team can identify individual whale sharks by their unique spots on their skin.
Natasha Ellison specialises in models which describe ecological processes. This means she can describe the patterns formed by animal movements, using Turing’s pattern formation theory. She will explain to the viewers that the patterns can also exist in the way the animals use their landscape. Where animal coat patterns are created by chemical reactions, animal movement patterns are created by behaviours, such as foraging for food or avoiding predators. Natasha will link then the animal movement theory with the whale shark movement.
This film will take viewers on a fascinating journey, from the secret world of mathematical ecology to incredible Turing patterns in nature and beautiful underwater scenes.