Dr Karen Cheney

Senior Research Fellow

Queensland Brain Institute

Affiliated Senior Research Fellow

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science

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

  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Eduucation, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Manchester

Publications

  • 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: . doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.0926

  • Phillips, Genevieve A. C., How, Martin J., Lange, Julia E., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2017) Disruptive colouration in reef fish: does matching the background reduce predation risk?. Journal of Experimental Biology, 220 11: 1962-1974. doi:10.1242/jeb.151480

  • 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 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: 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

Grants

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Featured Publications

  • 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: . doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.0926

  • Phillips, Genevieve A. C., How, Martin J., Lange, Julia E., Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2017) Disruptive colouration in reef fish: does matching the background reduce predation risk?. Journal of Experimental Biology, 220 11: 1962-1974. doi:10.1242/jeb.151480

  • 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 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: 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

Book Chapter

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

  • Marshall, N.J. and Cheney, K. (2011). Color vision and color communication in reef fish. In A. P. Farrell (Ed.), Encyclopedia of fish physiology: From genome to environment (pp. 150-158) San Diego, CA, United States: Academic Press.

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

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

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Mudianta, I. Wayan, White, Andrew M., Suciati, Katavic, Peter L., Krishnaraj, Rahul R., Winters, Anne E., Mollo, Ernesto, Cheney, Karen L. and Garson, Mary J. (2014). Chemoecological studies on marine natural products: terpene chemistry from marine mollusks. In: 44th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress: Clean Energy Through Chemistry. Invited Papers. IUPAC 2013: 44th World Chemistry Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, (995-1002). 11-16 August, 2013. doi:10.1515/pac-2013-1111

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision