The functions of reef fish colour patterns: how did the coral trout get its spots? (2011–2013)
Reef fish are often stunningly beautiful and we assume the purpose of their diverse colour patterns is for communication or camouflage. While we are beginning to learn about the individual colours, oddly, we know very little about why these patterns, spots, stripes blotches and blocks of colour are combined in the way we see them. More importantly, here we interpret these patterns through the eyes of the reef fish themselves. This proposal takes advantage of an innovative combination of techniques, expertise and novel technology to reveal the purposes of this complex language of colour combinations. Our previous work has interpreted words, now we aim at whole sentences.