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Department of Biological Sciences

 

 

 

A/Prof. Culum Brown

 

I am primarily interested in fish biology with an emphasis on behavioural ecology. I frequently look to apply behavioural ecology research to fisheries or conservation management, including life-skills training for hatchery-reared fishes. Broadly speaking i'm interested in comparative cognition with interests in learning and memory, cerebral lateralization and personality. I have a particular fascination for Australian native fish. I'm Editor of "Fish Cognition and Behaviour" published in 2006 & 20011 by Blackwell Scientific, Assistant Editor of "The Journal of Fish Biology" and Editor of "Animal Behaviour".   Visit Culum's web-page for more details and google scholar list of publications.

 

Melanotaenia trifasciata (banded rainbowfish)

 

 

Email: culum.brown@mq.edu.au

 

 

Current Lab Members:

Gemma White: Spatial learning in intertidal gobies
Erin Kydd: Pre-release training of hatchery-reared fishes
Lois Oulton: Stream remediation
Nathan Bass: Wild shark social networks
Larissa Tromph: Personality in zebrafinches
Penelope Carbia: Spatial learning in intertidal gobies
Evan Byrnes: Spatial learning in Port Jackson Sharks
 
 
 
 
Research Opportunities:

Ecotoxicology: sublethal effects of urban runoff on the behaviour of aquatic organisms

Population Genetics of Port Jackson sharks

 

 
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POST DOCS
 
 

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PhD STUDENTS
 
 
 
 
Erin is interested in improving the post-release survival of hatchery reared fishes by examining the use of environmental enrichment paradigms. She is working on four threatened and endangered freshwater fish in the Murray Darling Basin.
 
 
 
 
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Gemma is working on spatial learning in intertidal gobies. Ecological cognition theory suggests that those species occupying rocky platforms need a well developed spatial memory to safely move around the rock platform and find their home rock pool at low tide. Those species living in the mundane sandy beaches, on the other hand, need only move up and down as the tide comes in or retreats. The results of this study help us understand the evolution of cognition in vertebrates.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 Lois Oulton

 Lois is working on ecotoxicology related to urban runnoff. Many of our urban streams are highly influenced by runnoff eminating from impervious surfaces (eg roads). All manner of toxic chemicals gather on these surfaces and run directly into our streams and rivers. Lois is interested in how artificial wetlands can be used to filter toxins from the water before they run into our rivers.  She is primarily using freshwater shrimp and rainbowfish as bioindicator species.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  Nathan Bass
Nathan works on Port Jackson sharks in Jervis Bay. He is primarily investigating the social structure in these animals during their breeding aggregations.  No one knows where they go afterwards so we have tagged them with acoustic tags to track the movements.
 
 
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  Larissa Trompf
Larissa is studying the interaction between stress and personality development in zebrafinches.
 
 
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MASTERS STUDENTS
 
 
 

Penelope Carbia

 

Penelope is studying spatial learning in intertidal gobies to see if we can get sand-dwelling gobies to excel in a spatial learning tasks that relies on the fish using egocentric navigation
 
 
 
 
Email: Penelope.Carbia@mq.edu.au
 
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 Evan Byrnes
 
Evan is studying spatial learning in Port Jackson sharks 
 
 
Email: Evan.Byrnes@students.mq.edu.au
 
 
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RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
 

 
 
 
 
Past Lab Members:
 
Renae Hocking: Platypus vision
Dr Anne-Laurance Bibost: Laterality in rainbowfish
Dr David Wells: Brush turkey mating systems
Dr Amina Zuberi: Stress hormones in fishes
Dr Kevin Woo: Cognition and behaviour of cuttlefish
Dr Joanna Wiszniewski: Social networks in dolphins
Eleanor Irving: Guppy personalities, laterality and dispersal
Heather Baldwin: Relatedness and social behaviour in Grey Headed Flying Foxes
Eduardo Gallo: Bird communities on the Central Coast of NSW
Diana Magat: Cerebral lateralization in Australian parrots
Krystle Keller: Effect of introduced fish on native fish
Steph Snoyman: Micro-habitat choice in grey-headed flying fox
Jasmina Muhic: Behavioural responses of grey-headed flying fox to temperature variability
Jennie Morgan: Interactions between introduced redfin and Macquarie perch
Suzzi Artiss: Brain and behaviour of Australian rainbowfish
Vincent Roult: Social learning in mullaway
 
 
 

Current Lab Members:
Dr Amina Zuberi: Hormone analysis in fishes
David Wells: Brush turkey mate choice
Joanna Wiszniewski: Social networks in dolphins
Anne-Laurance Bibost: Laterality in rainbowfish
Anne-Katrin Link: Effect of storm surges on costal fish communities
Andrew Bruce: Macquarie perch behavioural ecology
Eduardo Gallo: Bird communities on the Central Coast of NSW
Erin Kydd: Reintroduction of hatchery reared fishes
Gemma White: Spatial learning in intertidal gobies
Vincent Roult: Social learning mullaway
Heather Baldwin: Relatedness and social behaviour in Grey Headed Flying Foxes
Jennie Morgan: Interactions between introduced redfin and Macquarie perch
Suzzi Artiss: Brain and behaviour of Australian rainbowfish
 
Previous Lab Members:
Dr Kevin Woo: Cognition and behaviour of cuttlefish
Steph Snoyman: Micro-habitat choice in grey-headed flying fox
Diana Magat: Cerebral lateralization in Australian parrots
Krystle Keller: Effect of introduced fish on native fish
Steph Snoyman: Micro-habitat choice in grey-headed flying fox