Stephanie Heyworth

About Me

Growing up in the UK countryside I was constantly surrounded by nature, this sparked my interest in Biology which grew the more I learned. My curiosity regarding neuroscience was fed further during High School where I opted to conduct an elective written project on neurodegenerative diseases. Around the same time, I gained my first ecological experience during my Year 12 summer holidays where I worked with a German Aquatic Ecology firm, conducting fish surveys and river monitoring. During my undergraduate degree studying at the University of Nottingham I took up diving and had my first open water dive in the middle of winter in Northern England with frozen ground and frost all around. Nonetheless, all I remember is how exciting it was to be submerged in a world where we still have so much to learn. These experiences confirmed that biological research was what I wanted to spend my life doing. 

Beyond University I have worked as a research assistant and fisheries consultant around the world. This has given me global experience studying population genetics and species behaviour on a range of native and invasive species; highlights include investigating feeding behaviour oceanic Manta Rays in the Gulf of Mexico and invasive lionfish in the Mediterranean Sea.

Research Directions

Joining the Marine Sensory Ecology group I have been able to combine my passions of neuroscience, genetics, behaviour and marine biology into one project. I am currently investigating the visual system of seahorses with an aim to inform conservation measures. Specifically, I am investigating gene expression, histology of the retina and top-down cellular organisation, spectral sensitivities, and physical neural connectivity in the retina. 


  • 2017 BSc (Hons, First Class) in Biology, The University of Nottingham, UK
  • 2018 MRes in Ecology, The University of Nottingham, UK
  • Present PhD, The University of Queensland, Australia


  • Heyworth, S.M., Bell, J., Wade, C.M., Cavalcante, G.H., Robinson, N.A., Young, E., Glass, J. and Feary, D.A. (2021). Genetic connectivity of seamount populations of bluenose warehou (Hyperoglyphe antarctica). Frontiers in Marine Science, 8: 640504.
  • D’Agostino, D., Jimenez, C., Reader, T., Hadjioannou, L., Heyworth, S., Aplikioti, M., Argyrou, M. and Feary, D.A. (2020). Behavioural traits and feeding ecology of Mediterranean lionfish and native species naiveté to lionfish predation. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 638: 123-135.

Google scholar link

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