Post Doc



There are so many wonders under the sea and still so much to discover with only 5% of our ocean explored to date. Yet, we know more about space than the environment covering 71% of our own planet…

Fanny is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Marshall Lab at the Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland. Fanny is originally from France where she completed her Bachelor and Master of Science. Since the completion of her PhD in December 2013 at the University of Western Australia, Fanny has held two postdoctoral research positions, one year at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia) and her current position in the Marshall Lab. Fanny has ten years expertise in deep-sea ecology/biology, six years expertise in neurobiology and has worked and acquired her research experience in five different internationally renowned research laboratories from four countries: National Oceanography Centre (UK), Ifremer (France), The University of Western Australia, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), and The University of Queensland (Australia). In 2017, Fanny was awarded an ARC DECRA (2018-2020) to continue her research on fish vision and investigate the capabilities of teleost fish to see colour in dim conditions.


My main research interests lay in visual ecology, sensory systems, marine biology and deep-sea ecology/biology/diversity. I am particularly fascinated by the deep-sea environment and how its inhabitants have adapted to see in dim light conditions and for viewing bioluminescence. Contrarily to what most people think, the deep-sea is not a completely dark environment and deep-sea fish do have functional eyes! Their eyes are in fact much more powerful than ours in term of sensitivity, allowing them to detect daylight at depths up to 1000m and see bioluminescent signals emitted by conspecifics.

By using a multidisciplinary approach involving neurobiology, phylogeny and ecology, I aim to better understand fish visual adaptations in relation to their environment and evolutionary history. During my PhD, I studied in detail the visual system of one of the most abundant deep-sea fish family in the world ocean, the lanternfishes (Myctophidae). This work led to the discovery of novel visual specialisations for vision in dim conditions and for viewing bioluminescence, and shed some lights on lanternfish behaviour.

In addition to continuing my investigation of the visual system of deep-sea fishes, my current work in the Marshall’s lab, also takes me to the reef. I am particularly interested in the visual system of the holocentrids (squirrelfish and soldierfish), a family of conspicuous nocturnal reef fishes that seem to have migrated back to the shallows from the deep-sea. We believe that the peculiar evolutionary history of these fishes may provide another piece of the puzzle to better understand the evolution of dim-light vision.

In January 2018, I started my ARC DECRA Fellowship during which I am investigating the capabilities of teleost fish to see colour in dim conditions.


2005 BSc University of La Rochelle and University of Tours, FRANCE
2006 MSc University of La Rochelle, FRANCE, including a one-year European exchange (Erasmus) at the University of Southampton, UK.
2007 MSc University of Brest, FRANCE
2013 PhD The University of Western Australia, AUSTRALIA


2008 -2009 Research Assistant, Ifremer, FRANCE
2014-2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, SAUDI ARABIA
2015-2017  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Queensland, AUSTRALIA
2018-present ARC DECRA Research Fellow, The University of Queensland, AUSTRALIA



  • Lily Fogg

    PhD candidate (UQ)
  • Valerio Tettamanti

    Master student (ETHZ, Switzerland)





de Busserolles F, Cortesi F, Helvik JV, Davies WIL, Templin RM, Sullivan RKP, Michell CT, Mountford JK, Collin SP, Irigoien X, Kaartvedt S, Marshall NJ. 2017. Pushing the limits of photoreception in twilight conditions: The rod-like cone retina of the deep-sea pearlsides. Science Advances DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao4709 Download Paper 
de Busserolles F, Marshall NJ. 2017. Seeing in the deep-sea: visual adaptations in lanternfishes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0070 Download Paper 


de Busserolles F, Hart NS, Hunt DM, Davies WI, Marshall NJ, Clarke MW, Hahne D, Collin SP (2015) Spectral tuning in the eyes of deep-sea lanternfishes (Myctophidae): a novel sexually dimorphic intra-ocular filter Brain, Behavior and Evolution DOI: 10.1159/000371652    Download Paper