Anyfin is possible biologist informs BBC Springwatch on sticklebacks

Biologist Dr Iain Barber has been providing scientific advice to the BBC Springwatch team based on his research into sticklebacks.

For the past two weeks much of the country has been transfixed on the antics of two rather unlikely ‘soap star' sticklebacks who have become known as ‘Frisky Phil’ and ‘Spineless Simon’.

Viewers have watched them battle for territories, build nests, court females (with varying degrees of success, and often hilarious consequences) and now, battle with hungry predators and challenging conditions to attempt to raise their broods of eggs.

All of this makes for great TV and audiences have been spellbound, with the two male fish becoming the stars of this year’s show and developing an enormous online following – with ‘Spineless Simon’ now having his own ‘Twitter’ profile (@spinelesssimon).

Dr Barber, who has provided expertise for Springwatch for the last two years, said: “It’s great that the BBC use the expertise that we have in British universities in this way to inform their fantastic nature documentaries. Hopefully, the information we give them can give a scientific explanation for some of the really fascinating behaviours we see onscreen!”

Watch a video of Dr Iain Barber helping to show and explain male Three-Spined Stickleback behaviours, from nest building to their courtship dance and finally reproduction, on The One Show: