Diversity in reef fish vision is primarily produced by variation in the opsin protein component of the visual pigments contained within cone photoreceptors. Laurie aims to examine how differences in cone-opsin expression in the retina directly manifests into the visual capabilities of reef fishes.
To meet this end, Laurie is developing a CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing protocol to establish opsin knockout-lines of the anemonefish, Amphiprion percula. He is also assessing their colour discrimination using an innovative behavioural test developed within our lab group.
The fascinating biology and social behaviour of anemonefishes make them an ideal group to also investigate how vision and skin patterns are used for communication or camouflage on the reef.
2015 MSc University of Auckland, New Zealand