Curriculum Vitae

Full name: Thomas HesselbergPassportphoto
Sex: Male
Nationality: Danish
Marital status: Married

Research interests: Animal Behaviour, Arachnology, Behavioural Ecology, Biomimetics, Comparative Biomechanics, Comparative Physiology, Invertebrate Zoology, Neuro-ethology.

Employment history


St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, U. K. (Oct. 2017 – present)

3-hr Stipendiary Lecturer in Biological Sciences, responsible for giving tutorials to St. Anne’s biology students in quantitative methods, evolution and animal behaviour as well as providing pastoral care and helping out with admissions.

Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, U.K. (Jan 2012 – present)

Since January 2012 – Director of Studies for Biological Sciences (0.2 FTE), part/time tutor and Commissioning Editor for Online Courses in Biological Sciences. Responsible for organising the public programme in biology (weekly classes and day schools) and recruiting and managing part-time tutors. Additionally teaching face-to-face weekly classes and authoring, teaching, planning and commissioning short online courses.

Since October 2016 – Departmental Lecturer in Environmental Science (0.3 FTE), Course Director for the Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques online course. Responsible for overseeing teaching and marking as well as offering pastoral and academic support to students.

University of Gloucestershire, U.K. (June 2016 – August 2016).
Research Fellow in Biological Data Analysis (0.8 FTE). Responsible for analysing large data-sets from a citizen science project on nuptial flights in the ant Lasius niger with Dr Anne Goodenough and Prof Adam Hart.

Wiltshire College, U.K. (June 2015 – July 2017).
Lecturer in Animal Science and Management (0.2 FTE). Module leader and tutor on the FdSc and BSc degrees in Animal Science and Management. In addition responsible for supervising student research projects and involved with student recruitment and outreach.

Wixia Web Ltd, U.K. (Dec 2013 – present).
Online Education Consultant & Co-Founder (0.1 FTE). Responsible for managing the Danish educational website and for consulting and evaluation of e-learning projects.

The Daphne Jackson Trust, U.K. (Jan 2012 – Nov 2013)
Fellowship Advisor (0.4 FTE), where my responsibilities included advising, assessing and mentoring applicants and Daphne Jackson Fellows from their first initial contact to the last day of their fellowship.

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, U.K. (Oct. 2011 – present)
Non-stipendiary research associate at the Oxford Silk Group and self-employed tutor and project supervisor at the department of Zoology.

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, U.K. (Oct. 2009 – Sep. 2011)
Marie Curie Fellow in the Oxford Silk Group, where I conducted research on web-building behaviour and biomechanical aspects of orb web design and silk material properties in webs exposed to wind-loading under the supervision of Prof. Fritz Vollrath.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama (Aug. 2008 – July 2009)
Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratory of Behavior and Evolutionary Neurobiology, where I conducted research on behavioural plasticity in tropical orb-spiders under the supervision of Prof. William Eberhard.

ZenSci Consult, Denmark (Nov. 2007 – Dec 2013)
Science consultant with a focus on biomimetics and co-founder of the science communication and consultancy company ZenSci Consult. Responsible for managing the Danish educational website, writing popular scientific articles and consulting on science communication projects.

Department of Neurobiology. University of Ulm, Germany (July 2006 – July 2007)
Postdoctoral Researcher in the BioFuture Research Group, where I conducted research on flight control and sensory integration in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster under the supervision of Dr. Fritz-Olaf Lehmann.



Department of Mechanical Engineering. University of Bath, U.K. (Oct. 2002 – June 2006).
Postgraduate Research Student at the Centre for Biomimetics and Natural Technologies (Supervisor: Prof. Julian F.V. Vincent).
Thesis title: An analysis of the locomotory behaviour and functional morphology of errant polychaetes (PhD degree awarded – June 2006).

Department of Biological Sciences. University of Aarhus, Denmark (Jan. 2001 – Oct. 2002).
Master student at the Section of Zoology (Supervisors: Prof. Fritz Vollrath -external: University of Oxford and Dr. Mark Bayley – internal).
Thesis title: Web-building behaviour in Araneus diadematus Cl.: Effects of temperature and neurotoxins on the behaviour and web-geometry (Master of Science degree awarded – Oct. 2002).

School of Biological Sciences. University of Edinburgh, U.K. (Oct. 1999 – June 2000).
Non-graduating studies (visiting student)

Department of Biological Sciences. University of Aarhus, Denmark (Aug. 1996 – Dec. 2000).
Undergraduate student

Awards and Funding


Major grants and fellowships
Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development (2009, €171K)
Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008, $44K)

Minor grants
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Strategy Group funding for CertHE development (2015, £1K)
NERC Postgraduate and Professional Skills Development Awards (2013, £23K & 2014, £25K, Co-Applicant)
Wolfson College Academic Fund (2013, £475)
Nordea Travel bursary (2000, 10K DKr)

Academic memberships and duties


Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford, U.K. (Jan 2010 – Dec 2016)
Member of the Society of Biology’s Accreditation Panel (2013)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Jan 2014 – present)
Expert Evaluator for EU Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships projects for the National Agency in Denmark (May 2014 – present).
External Examiner at Moulton College for the BSc in Applied Zoology (Jan 2014 – present).
Grant Reviewer for the British Ecological Society (May 2017 – present)

Professional organisation and society memberships
American Arachnological Society
British Arachnological Society
British Ecological Society
Danish Science Journalists Association
International Society of Bionic Engineering
Royal Society of Biology
The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Ad hoc reviewer
Acta Ethologica, Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Current Zoology, European Journal of Entomology, Evolutionary Ecology, Frontiers in Zoology, Journal of Animal Ecology, Journal of Chemical Ecology, Journal of Ethology, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Journal of Insect Conservation, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Naturwissenschaften, Oikos, PNAS, Proceedings of the British Royal Society B, Scientific Reports, Sensor Review, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Zoology.

Computer skills


Languages – MATLAB (high), LabVIEW (intermediate), C++ (low), PHP (low)
Content management systems – Drupal (intemediate), Joomla (low)
Software – Microsoft Office (high), Corel Draw (high), SPSS (high), Endnote (high), R Statistical Programming Language (intermediate), ABAQUS (intermediate), Origin (intermediate), SolidEdge (low)

Language skills


Danish – Mother tongue
English – Fluent
German – Conversational
Spanish – Conversational