Our research interests are varied but largely focus around the area of sensory ecology of vertebrates.
We want to understand how animals detect sensory stimuli in their environment, how this information is processed and used to determine behaviours, and how sensory information affects the ability of animals to survive and interact with their environment.
Within this field, our major focus is on the development of sensory systems in fish. Fish are the most speciose group of vertebrates on the planet and occupy a wide range of aquatic habitats.
By examining sensory systems in many species, correlations between sensory morphology and function can be made to habitat, offering insights into how these systems may have evolved.
This is particularly interesting developmentally in fish as many fish species have larvae with undeveloped sensory systems at first hatching.
As the larvae develop they must find food, avoid predators, and often times find suitable habitat. Each of these behaviours relies to a large extent on the still developing sensory structures.