Currently I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Department of Fish Ecology and Evolution (EAWAG – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland) in the group of Prof. Ole Seehausen, and a Honorary Fellow with the Sensory Neurobiology Group (Queensland Brain Institute, the University of Queensland, Australia,) of Prof. Justin Marshall.
My research focus lies in animal communication and sensory processing. In particular I am interested in vision, how animals perceive their environment, how evolutionary forces shape sensory systems, and how flexible visual systems cope with varying visual needs arising from environmental, developmental or ecological changes. As vision is so multifaceted, I use invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms to unravel the diverse roles and effects of vision in an animal’s life. During my PhD I documented plastic changes in visual brain centers of predominantly visually guided desert ants as the ants increased their visual abilities during their transition from interior workers to outdoor foragers. Currently I study vision in reef fish inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef – one of the most diverse and colorful habitats on our planet. I investigate the role of visual adaptation in reef fish by comparing visual pigment genes across and within species that show a great diversity in regards to habitat preferences, feeding habits, and behavior.