After several decades of research on how (and if) animals perceive colour, and the threshold at which animals can detect differences between colours, we still know little about how animals process highly contrasting colours. Second, how these colours interact in complex patterns that provide signaling or camouflage mechanisms is poorly understood. Given the ecology and evolutionary importance of animal colour patterns, and the ubiquity of colour patterns in nature, we are hoping to fill these knowledge gaps.
We are using Picasso Triggerfish in behavioural experiments to understand how visual models work when colours go beyond the discrimination thresholds.
We are also using anemonefish (clownfish) to understand the role of different visual pigments and photoreceptor cells that supports vision across a wider spectrum of light such as the ultraviolet region, an area outside of our own visible spectrum. How clownfish use ultraviolet vision on the reef is also a topic we intend to explore.