Cedric van den Berg
Research Interest: I completed my Master's thesis in 2015 under the supervision of Dr Karen Cheney on the analysis of colour pattern geometry in nudibranchs. In 2016 I started a PhD at the University of Queensland to continue the study of nudibranch colour patterns under the supervision of Dr Karen Cheney, Prof Justin Marshall and Dr Simon Bloomberg.
Master Thesis Project: “The Evolution of Colour Pattern Complexity in Nudibranch Molluscs”
I studied the geometrical properties of nudibranch colour patterns through the implementation of a novel analytical framework developed by Prof John Endler. This was the first time this analysis was used in an aquatic environment. Colour pattern geometry was compared to the toxicity and palatability of nudibranch molluscs with respect to their genetic relatedness. I was able to show that there could indeed be a correlation between the level of geometric complexity of nudibranch colour patterns with respect to their background and the level of chemical defence. Furthermore, I was able to indicate that ancestral nudibranchs would likely be expected to have had a moderate level of chemical defence and colour pattern complexity.
PhD Project: “Principles and Mechanism of Colour Patterns in Nudibranch Molluscs: Novel Analytical Approaches in a Marine Environment”
I aim to implement state-of-the-art knowledge of colour pattern analysis, scientific photography and digital image analysis in order to investigate fundamental principles shaping the functionality and mechanisms of marine animal colouration, particularly in nudibranch molluscs.