Associate Professor Karen Cheney

UQ Amplify Associate Professor

School of the Environment
Faculty of Science
k.cheney@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 57071

Overview

I have a strong interest in the evolution of animal colour patterns, particularly on what they are used for and how they are perceived. I use a variety of lab and field techniques, including behavioural experiments, spectrophotometry, theoretical visual modelling, and colour pattern measurements. I focus mainly on marine fish and invertebrates, including triggerfish, clownfish and brightly coloured nudibranch molluscs. I also collaborate with chemists to understands how compounds are stored by nudibranchs and used for defensive purposes.

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Science (Advanced), The University of Manchester

Publications

  • Mitchell, Laurie J., Cortesi, Fabio, Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2023). Higher ultraviolet skin reflectance signals submissiveness in the anemonefish, Amphiprion akindynos. Behavioral Ecology, 34 (1) arac089, 19-32. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arac089

  • van den Berg, Cedric P., Endler, John A., Papinczak, Daniel E. J. and Cheney, Karen L. (2022). Using colour pattern edge contrast statistics to predict detection speed and success in triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 225 (23) jeb244677. doi: 10.1242/jeb.244677

  • Green, Naomi F., Guevara, Emily, Osorio, Daniel C., Endler, John A., Marshall, N. Justin, Vorobyev, Misha and Cheney, Karen L. (2022). Color discrimination thresholds vary throughout color space in a reef fish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 225 (7) jeb243533. doi: 10.1242/jeb.243533

  • Winters, Anne E., Chan, Weili, White, Andrew M., van den Berg, Cedric P., Garson, Mary J. and Cheney, Karen L. (2022). Weapons or deterrents? Nudibranch molluscs use distinct ecological modes of chemical defence against predators. Journal of Animal Ecology, 91 (4), 831-844. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.13643

  • Cheney, Karen L., Hudson, Jemma, de Busserolles, Fanny, Luehrmann, Martin, Shaughnessy, Abigail, van den Berg, Cedric, Green, Naomi F., Marshall, N. Justin and Cortesi, Fabio (2022). Seeing Picasso: an investigation into the visual system of the triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 225 (7) jeb243907. doi: 10.1242/jeb.243907

  • Mitchell, Laurie J., Tettamanti, Valerio, Rhodes, Justin S., Marshall, N. Justin, Cheney, Karen L. and Cortesi, Fabio (2021). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated generation of biallelic F0 anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) mutants. PLoS One, 16 (12) e0261331, e0261331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261331

  • Mitchell, Laurie J, Cheney, Karen L, Lührmann, Martin, Marshall, Justin, Michie, Kyle and Cortesi, Fabio (2021). Molecular evolution of ultraviolet visual opsins and spectral tuning of photoreceptors in anemonefishes (Amphiprioninae). Genome Biology and Evolution, 13 (10) evab184. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evab184

  • Chan, Weili, Shaughnessy, Abigail E. P., van den Berg, Cedric P., Garson, Mary J. and Cheney, Karen L. (2021). The validity of brine shrimp (Artemia sp.) toxicity assays to assess the ecological function of marine natural products. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 47 (10-11), 834-846. doi: 10.1007/s10886-021-01264-z

  • Powell, Samuel, Mitchell, Laurie J., Phelan, Amelia M., Cortesi, Fabio, Marshall, Justin N. and Cheney, Karen L. (2021). A 5‐channel LED display to investigate UV perception. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 12 (4) 2041-210X.13555, 602-607. doi: 10.1111/2041-210x.13555

  • van den Berg, Cedric P., Hollenkamp, Michelle, Mitchell, Laurie J., Watson, Erin J., Green, Naomi F., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2020). More than noise: context-dependant luminance contrast discrimination in a coral reef fish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus). The Journal of Experimental Biology, 223 (21) jeb232090, jeb.232090. doi: 10.1242/jeb.232090

  • Santiago, Carl, Green, Naomi F., Hamilton, Nadia, Endler, John A., Osorio, Daniel C., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2020). Does conspicuousness scale linearly with colour distance? A test using reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287 (1935) 20201456, 20201456. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.1456

  • Luehrmann, Martin, Cortesi, Fabio, Cheney, Karen L., Busserolles, Fanny and Marshall, N. Justin (2020). Microhabitat partitioning correlates with opsin gene expression in coral reef cardinalfishes (Apogonidae). Functional Ecology, 34 (5), 1041-1052. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.13529

  • Matchette, S. R., Cuthill, I. C., Cheney, K. L., Marshall, N. J. and Scott-Samuel, N. E. (2020). Underwater caustics disrupt prey detection by a reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287 (1924) 20192453, 20192453. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.2453

  • da Silva, Carmen R. B., van den Berg, Cedric P., Condon, Nicholas D., Riginos, Cynthia, Wilson, Robbie S. and Cheney, Karen L. (2020). Intertidal gobies acclimate rate of luminance change for background matching with shifts in seasonal temperature. Journal of Animal Ecology, 89 (7), 1735-1746. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.13226

  • Cortesi, Fabio, Mitchell, Laurie J., Tettamanti, Valerio, Fogg, Lily G., de Busserolles, Fanny, Cheney, Karen L. and Marshall, N. Justin (2020). Visual system diversity in coral reef fishes. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 106, 31-42. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2020.06.007

  • van den Berg, Cedric P., Troscianko, Jolyon, Endler, John A., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2019). Quantitative Colour Pattern Analysis (QCPA): A comprehensive framework for the analysis of colour patterns in nature. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 11 (2) 2041-210X.13328, 316-332. doi: 10.1111/2041-210x.13328

  • Cheney, Karen L., Green, Naomi F., Vibert, Alexander P., Vorobyev, Misha, Marshall, N. Justin, Osorio, Daniel C. and Endler, John A. (2019). An Ishihara-style test of animal colour vision. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 222 (1) jeb189787, jeb189787. doi: 10.1242/jeb.189787

  • Marshall, N.J., Cortesi, F., De Busserolles, F., Siebeck, U.E. and Cheney, K.L. (2018). Colours and colour vision in reef fishes: past, present and future research directions. Journal of Fish Biology, 95 (1) jfb.13849, 5-38. doi: 10.1111/jfb.13849

  • Green, Naomi F., Urquhart, Holly H., van den Berg, Cedric P., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L (2018). Pattern edges improve predator learning of aposematic signals. Behavioral Ecology, 29 (6), 1481-1486. doi: 10.1093/beheco/ary089

  • Winters, Anne E., Wilson, Nerida G., van den Berg, Cedric P., How, Martin J., Endler, John A., Marshall, N. Justin, White, Andrew M., Garson, Mary J. and Cheney, Karen L. (2018). Toxicity and taste: unequal chemical defences in a mimicry ring. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285 (1880) 20180457, 20180457. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0457

  • Winters, Anne E., White, Andrew M., Dewi, Ariyanti S., Mudianta, I. Wayan, Wilson, Nerida G., Forster, Louise C., Garson, Mary J. and Cheney, Karen L. (2018). Distribution of defensive metabolites in nudibranch molluscs. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 44 (4), 384-396. doi: 10.1007/s10886-018-0941-5

  • Cheney, Karen L. and Wilson, Nerida G. (2018). Nudibranchs. Current Biology : CB, 28 (1), R4-R5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.060

  • Winters, Anne E., Green, Naomi F., Wilson, Nerida G., How, Martin J., Garson, Mary J., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2017). Stabilizing selection on individual pattern elements of aposematic signals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284 (1861) 20170926, 20170926. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0926

  • Casewell, Nicholas R., Visser, Jeroen C., Baumann, Kate, Dobson, James, Han, Han, Kuruppu, Sanjaya, Morgan, Michael, Romilio, Anthony, Weisbecker, Vera, Ali, Syed A., Debono, Jordan, Koludarov, Ivan, Que, Ivo, Bird, Gregory C., Cooke, Gavan M., Nouwens, Amanda, Hodgson, Wayne C., Wagstaff, Simon C., Cheney, Karen L., Vetter, Irina, van der Weerd, Louise, Richardson, Michael K. and Fry, Bryan G. (2017). The evolution of fangs, venom, and mimicry systems in blenny fishes. Current Biology, 27 (8), 1184-1191. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.067

  • Giordano, Giuseppe, Carbone, Marianna, Ciavatta, Maria Letizia, Silvano, Eleonora, Gavagnin, Margherita, Garson, Mary J., Cheney, Karen L., Mudianta, I Wayan, Russo, Giovanni Fulvio, Villani, Guido, Magliozzi, Laura, Polese, Gianluca, Zidorn, Christian, Cutignano, Adele, Fontana, Angelo, Ghiselin, Michael T. and Mollo, Ernesto (2017). Volatile secondary metabolites as aposematic olfactory signals and defensive weapons in aquatic environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114 (13), 3451-3456. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1614655114

  • Newport, Cait, Green, Naomi F., McClure, Eva C. , Osorio, Daniel C., Vorobyev, Misha, Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2017). Fish use colour to learn compound visual signals. Animal Behaviour, 125, 93-100. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.01.003

  • Simpson, Elisha E., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2016). Coral reef fish perceive lightness illusions. Scientific Reports, 6 (1) 35335, 35335.1-35335.5. doi: 10.1038/srep35335

  • Cheney, Karen L., White, Andrew, Mudianta, I. Wayan, Winters, Anne E., Quezada, Michelle, Capon, Robert J., Mollo, Ernesto and Garson, Mary J. (2016). Choose your weaponry: selective storage of a single toxic compound, Latrunculin A, by closely related nudibranch molluscs. PLoS One, 11 (1) A1222, 1-16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145134

  • Cortesi, Fabio, Feeney, William E., Ferrari, Maud C. O., Waldie, Peter A., Phillips, Genevieve A. C., McClure, Eva C., Skold, Helen N., Salzburger, Walter, Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2015). Phenotypic Plasticity Confers Multiple Fitness Benefits to a Mimic. Current Biology, 25 (7), 949-954. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.013

  • Cortesi, Fabio, Musilová, Zuzana, Stieb, Sara M., Hart, Nathan S., Siebeck, Ulrike E., Malmstrøm, Martin, Tørresen, Ole K., Jentoft, Sissel, Cheney, Karen L., Marshall, N. Justin, Carleton, Karen L. and Salzburger, Walter (2015). Ancestral duplications and highly dynamic opsin gene evolution in percomorph fishes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (5), 1493-1498. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1417803112

  • Cheney, Karen L., Newport, Cait, McClure, Eva C. and Marshall, N. Justin (2013). Colour vision and response bias in a coral reef fish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216 (15), 2967-2973. doi: 10.1242/jeb.087932

  • Cheney, Karen L., Grutter, Alexandra S., Blomberg, Simon P. and Marshall, N. Justin (2009). Blue and yellow signal cleaning behaviour in coral reef fishes. Current Biology, 19 (15), 1283-1287. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.06.028

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Marshall, Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2013). Vision and body colouration in marine invertebrates. The New Visual Neurosciences. (pp. 1165-1178) edited by John S. Werner and Leo M. Chalupa. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.

  • Marshall, N.J. and Cheney, K. (2011). Color vision and color communication in reef fish. Encyclopedia of fish physiology: From genome to environment. (pp. 150-158) edited by A. P. Farrell. San Diego, CA, United States: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374553-8.00095-2

  • Cheney, Karen L. (2009). Interspecific relationships in blennies. The Biology of Blennies. (pp. 379-404) CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b10301

  • Cheney, Karen L. (2009). Interspecific relationships in blennies. The biology of blennies. (pp. 379-494) edited by R. A. Patzner, E. Goncalves, P. Hastings and B. G. Kapoor. Enfield, NH, United States: Science Publishers.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision