PhD Student 


I am a PhD student at the University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences, under the supervision of Karen Cheney, Justin Marshall and Katrina Mcguigan. I am interested in reef fish vision and visual signalling, especially warning colouration used by toxic animals. During honours and my PhD I have investigated fish colour vision and predator psychology using a model coral reef predator- the Picasso triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus. 

The first half of my PhD is focused on understanding the colour perception of triggerfish. To test this, we developed a novel method for testing colour vision using stimuli similar to Ishihara colour plates which are used to diagnose colour blindness in humans. In this method, rather than learning to associate a particular colour with a reward, animals learn to find the odd-one-out spot, amongst a background of distractor spots and peck on it to receive a food reward. Using this method we have conducted a series of experiments to examine their colour discrimination thresholds and conducted a second experiment to investigated whether more colourful environments raised colour discrimination thresholds. I am also comparing the anatomy and physiology of triggerfish species from different environments, using retinal mapping and Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization of retinas to examine visual adaptations to their various lifestyles.

For the second half of my PhD I have been using R. aculeatus as a model predator of aposematic, marine animals- the colourful but toxic nudibranch molluscs.  I conducted paired choice, learning experiments to determine which parts of the signal were most important and found that warning signals with more contrasting edges improved predator learning. We also found that the emblematic colour combination of blue and yellow, commonly seen in many toxic marine animals, is learnt more quickly by fish predators, which may explain their evolution in many mimic species.


I am interested in the evolution of colour signals animal vision and behaviour. In the future, I hope to travel to Lund University in Sweden to adapt our Ishihara-style tests to examine bird colour vision.


2009 Bachelor of Nursing, Griffith University, Australia.
2014 BSc with Honours 1A, Major in Ecology, University of Queensland, Australia.
2015 Commenced PhD, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia.



2015 – 2015 Research Assistant, Cheney Lab, University of Queensland, Australia.
2009 – Present Perioperative Nurse, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.





  Newport C, Green NF, McClure EC, Osorio DC, Vorobyev M, Marshall NJ, Cheney KL. (2018) An Ishihara-style test of animal colour vision. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, In press.

Newport C, Green NF, McClure EC, Osorio DC, Vorobyev M, Marshall NJ, Cheney KL. 2018. Pattern edges improve predator learning of aposematic signals. Behavioral Ecology, ary089. DOI: 10.1093/ary089 


Winters AE, Green NF, Wilson NG, How MJ, Garson MJ, Marshall NJ, Cheney KL.  2017. Stabilizing selection on individual pattern elements of aposematic signals. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B.  DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0926  
Newport C, Green NF, McClure EC, Osorio DC, Vorobyev M, Marshall NJ, Cheney KL. 2017.  Fish use colour to learn compound visual signals.  Animal Behaviour. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.01.003