Post Doc




“No other ocular structure is as closely correlated to the mode of life of the animal as is the retina; so much so one can predict with reasonable assurance the habit of the animal from a histological examination of its retina.” (Ali and Klyne, 1965)

Genevieve has been intrigued with the marine world since growing up by the South China Sea on the island of Borneo. She first arrived in Brisbane from the UK in 2009 and completed a Masters project with Dr. Alexandra Grutter in the Department of Biology at UQ where she looked at the effects of ectoparasites on the growth of damselfish on reefs with and without cleaner wrasse. She then realised the joys of working in sunny Queensland and returned to embark on a PhD with Prof. Justin Marshall and Dr. Karen Cheney in 2011. Her PhD looked at the visual systems of predatory coral reef fish, and the patterns of the prey that they feed on, using a wide range of techniques and plenty of behavioural training and testing of fish – literally asking the fish what they can see. After graduating in July 2016, Genevieve has been working part-time or in an adjunct postdoctoral role within the lab.


Genevieve is interested in how predator-prey interactions have influenced the evolution of colour vision in animals. Linked to this is the evolution of colour patterns in prey fish, and how these have evolved to be cryptic (or otherwise) in the eyes of specific viewers. Her research is multidisciplinary and uses a wide range of techniques to answer these problems – in particular she focusses on using the animals to tell us what they can (or cannot) see by using behavioural training and testing. Further to this, studying the retina using topographical maps and microspectrophotometry and correlating this with genetic analyses allows predictions to be made about how specific predators see their prey. She then analyses the body patterns of both predators and prey to identify why particular colours and patterns have evolved, ultimately to understand why coral reef fish appear to be so bright and beautiful. In particular, she is interested in fish and her PhD research used the coral trout, Plectropomus leopardus, the slingjaw wrasse, Epibulus insidiator, and the raggy scorpionfish, Scorpaenopsis venosa. She is particularly interested in the barred patterns of the prey fish Dascyllus aruanus.

Additionally, Genevieve is interested in the diversity of visual systems within animal families, and how this is related to aspects of their ecology: what is the biggest influence on visual system evolution? The Labrids (wrasses and parrotfish) are particularly interesting in this regard.




2007  BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Bristol, UK
2010  MRes Ecology & Environmental Management, University of York, UK


2011 -2016  PhD Student, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Australia
2016-present Postdoctoral Researcher, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Australia
2017 Research Assistant, Dr. Alexandra Grutter, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia