The adaptive significance of animal coloration is clear: it matters for survival (camouflage, warning coloration, mimicry) and it matters for reproduction (sexual and social signalling). But what about wavelengths that we cannot see? The realisation that animals perceive ultraviolet wavelengths revealed a private world of animal communication. In this talk I argue that the near-infrared represents the next frontier for understanding optical and thermal adaptations in animals.
Devi Stuart-Fox is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on the function and evolution of animal coloration, particularly colour change and colour polymorphism. She has worked on a wide variety of species in different parts of the world including chameleons in South Africa, gliding lizards in Malaysia and numerous species across Australia. Stuart-Fox obtained her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2003 before spending four years at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa pursuing postdoctoral research on colour change in chameleons. She was an ARC Australian Research Fellow from 2010-2015 and won the International L’Oréal-UNESCO Special Fellowship for 2013.