Colour. Pattern. Vision.

Our research laboratory at The University of Queensland investigates the evolution and function of colour vision and colour patterns in marine organisms.

Colour vision is used by many animals to escape predation, communicate with other individuals, find food and mates, and navigate through complex habitats. Our understanding of animal vision has contributed to the development of digital cameras, image sensors, optical devices such as telescopes and microscopes, and computer vision algorithms. Furthermore, understanding the visual performance of animals has widespread implications in neuroscience, ecology, conservation, evolution and animal welfare.

Fish visual systems are extremely diverse


Visual systems in fish generally range from 2-5 cone spectral sensitivities – or more.

Triggerfish are an ideal species for performing behavioural experiments


Behavioural experiments enable us to understand how animals perceive and recognise coloured objects in the environment.

Nudibranch molluscs display vibrant colour patterns


We have developed new tools that improve upon our ability to analyse colour patterns, even against complex natural backgrounds

Latest News…

Another PhD scholarship available! (update: this has now been allocated to a student)

We have another PhD scholarship available to work with JP Hobbs and others on hybridisation in clownfishes. Please contact JP on jp.hobbs (at) uq.edu.au if you are interested in this project and meet the criteria below. Project Title: Climate change and the genetic consequences of hybridisation in clownfishes. Project description : Coral reefs are theContinue reading “Another PhD scholarship available! (update: this has now been allocated to a student)”

Two new PhD scholarships available (update: these have now been allocated to students)

The Visual Ecology and Sensory Neurobiology Lab are excited to offer two PhD scholarships for domestic or international students to work on the visual systems of coral reef fishes under the supervision of Dr. Karen Cheney and Dr. Fabio Cortesi.  Both scholarships are funded by the Australian Government and provide a living stipend of AUS $28,092 perContinue reading “Two new PhD scholarships available (update: these have now been allocated to students)”

Stradbroke Field Trip

  We often go on field trips to observe nature, collect our experimental animals and engage with the natural world. Lizard Island – the Australian Museum’s field station on the Northern Great Barrier Reef is a favourite, as is Heron Island and Stradbroke Island field stations. The short video above explores some of the workContinue reading “Stradbroke Field Trip”